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Re: idn2 fails with uppercase (german) umlauts

From: Simon Josefsson
Subject: Re: idn2 fails with uppercase (german) umlauts
Date: Thu, 24 Oct 2013 20:09:48 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.130008 (Ma Gnus v0.8) Emacs/24.3 (gnu/linux)

Tim Ruehsen <address@hidden> writes:

> Hi,
> could you give me a hint why
>       idn2 ä
> works (translates to xn--4ca), but
>       idn2 Ä
> results in 'lookup: string contains a disallowed character' ?

Hi Tim!  Uppercase characters are forbidden in IDNA2008, see RFC5894 for
an easier explanation.

   There is provision for exception cases but, in general, characters
   are placed into DISALLOWED if they fall into one or more of the
   following groups:
   o  The character is an uppercase form or some other form that is
      mapped to another character by Unicode case folding.

In particular, Ä is U+00c4 which is disallowed by RFC 5892:


> The 'old' idn works in both cases.

Yes, but that's IDNA2003.  IDNA2008 is not fully backwards compatible
with IDNA2003

> Is this by purpose (should I convert my utf-8 domains names to lowercase 
> before calling libidn2 lookup functions) or will this behaviour be fixed ?

It is on purpose.  See RFC5894 for some recommendations:

   User interface
   programs can meet the expectations of users who are accustomed to the
   case-insensitive DNS environment by performing case folding prior to
   IDNA processing, but the IDNA procedures themselves should neither
   require such mapping nor expect them when they are not natural to the
   localized environment.

Unicode has published TR46 which describe one way to perform
IDNA2008-mappping in a way that maximize IDNA2003-compatibility:

It is not implemented in libidn2 though.


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