"International Domain Names" support in KDE

Thiago Macieira thiagom at wanadoo.fr
Sat Jun 21 13:31:59 BST 2003

Martin Konold wrote:
>> //  RFC 3454 - Preparation of Internationalized Strings
>> //  RFC 3490 - Internationalizing Domain Names in Applications (IDNA)
>> //  RFC 3491 - Nameprep: A Stringprep Profile for
>> //                Internationalized Domain Names (IDN
>> //  RFC 3492 - Punycode: A Bootstring encoding of Unicode
>> //          for Internationalized Domain Names in Applications (IDNA)
>This looks rather good and like an open standard.
>Are there any competing RFCs?

Not that I know of. Should there be any? I think one standard is enough, since 
it causes already a lot of confusion. Two competing standards would probably 
mean they don't interoperate, which would be bad for Internet health.

>> As for patents, well, I can't be sure, but the whole process is described
>> by the above RFCs in a lot of detail. They don't mention any patents.
>Which does not mean that verisign or someone else applied for a patent.

Indeed, but I don't feel that is the case. Verisign has been participating in 
the development as a testbed, but the documents themselves have been drafted 
by an IETF Workgroup (see http://www.i-d-n.net). I had access to those 
documents -- freely, anyone could have -- before they had been made standard 

The Xcode library that I was given access to is Verisign's impementation of 
the above RFCs. It does the same as GNU libidn, but under BSD licensing. That 
library is not yet publicly available (at least, I could not find it in their 
site), but it has been made available to us, to the Safari developers and the 
Mozilla developers at least.

KDE doesn't need it because we can link against LGPL code (GNU libidn). But if 
the IDNA support is moved from KDE to Qt, then maybe Trolltech would benefit 
from a BSD-licensed library to merge with Qt. Or, then again, they could 
write their own implementation based on the RFCs and reuse the QString's 
Unicode tables.

  Thiago Macieira  -  Registered Linux user #65028
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