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CDAC-IDN-Critique

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== Issues with the approach and process ==
=== Response to CDAC's response to the critique (dated 2/12/2010) ===We are not satisfied with the answers given to our questions. The response seems to be prepared by somebody who does not know the scope of IDN. The replies are based on things that are not at all related to IDN. We have tried to explain why your answers are completely wrong. See the responses given below. CDAC seems to be confused about the Malayalam orthography, Unicode standard, Font , rendering etc.
One of the main thing that we want to emphasis is, standards should not be drafted based on the existing applications. The response from CDAC says, it did extensive study on existing browsers and their address bar behavior. Even one variant table entry is associated with Microsoft Internet Explores buggy behavior. Sorry to say that this is ridiculous. Standards and Policies are for the implementations in the future. It is the guidelines for the applications to be developed in future. It is not a study of existing application behavior. This is a trivial fact any person with minimal technical qualification is aware of. CDAC seems to be missing this point.
Orthography is style of writing. It is a users choice for visualizing the content. The content remains same whether one use traditional orthography or new orthography. What IDN policy need to take care of is avoiding all cases of spoofing. That should be independent of orthography. IDN can not assume , or cannot enforce that a user should be using only a particular font with Internet browsers. The CDAC's draft policy makes such a false assumption. It states that Malayalam IDN is not designed for Traditional orthography. This argument comes from ignorance about the basic concepts of Language technology. Unicode does not define anything about Malayalam new and old orthography. It is all about users choice. When CDAC's policy states "Modern Orthography", it should define what it is. It is not all defined technically or even in usage pattern. It is just a users user's convenience.
We demand a process to re-draft this policy document. This is the age of open standards. CDAC should take initiatives to consult with all stakeholdesstakeholders- language experts, language computing experts, developers.
== Criticism on the policy ==
#:: Since CDAC took that much effort to check visual spoofing, i just like to know the basic glyph set in modern orthography of Malayalam --[[User:Jinesh.k|Jinesh.k]] 06:26, 4 December 2010 (PST)
#:: Please understand that IDN has no relation with the orthography. Orthography is kind of writing style and decided by user's choice on fonts. It is at higher level and close to user, while IDN has nothing to do about the choice of fonts by users. The distinction between Modern Orthography and Old orthography is not technically defined. Unicode or Unicode capable applications never bother about whether user use an Old lipi font or Traditional font. CDAC or IDN policy cannot say that user should use only a certain set of fonts to work with IDN. If CDAC says IDN does not support traditional orthography, it does not make any sense at all for some one who know what is Unicode, Orthography and IDN. - [[User:സന്തോഷ്|സന്തോഷ്]] 23:53, 4 December 2010 (PST)
#:: Forcing a user to chose a particular orthography font based on bugs in one browser is not acceptable. IDN standard should not ban most popular fonts currently in use, majority of digital Malayalam users are happy with traditional fonts and there is no reason to stop it. CDAC cannot and should not decide what fonts a user choses in his/her computer. IDN should work with any Malayalam font, which complies with Unicode version 5.0 and correctly implement Malayalam language rules for conjunct formation. Unicode 5.1 is controvercial controversial and many issues are not answered and it would be a tragedy for Malayalam language if we decide to follow unicode 5.1 blindly without considering its impact on Malayalam language for years to come. [[User:Pravs|Pravs]] 06:30, 7 December 2010 (PST)
#:: If mirror image was not a criteria for variant table, explain how ത്സ/ഝ , സ്സ/ഡ്ഡ qualify to the variant table? - [[User:സന്തോഷ്|സന്തോഷ്]] 00:00, 5 December 2010 (PST)
#:: Why browser behavior is studied for drafting IDN standard? Does it mean that if this policy was drafted 10 years, back, none of the Malayalam characters will be allowed in IDN? 10 years back, Malayalam rendering was pathetic in browsers. Or the current policy is going to change when browsers improve the rendering and their address bar behavior later? How can a standard drafted based on its Implementation? - [[User:സന്തോഷ്|സന്തോഷ്]] 00:00, 5 December 2010 (PST)
#: <font color="red">CDAC's Response: The ന്‍്റ happened because none of the rendering engines available today does support the rendering of 'nTa' in the Unicode 5.1 way. as displayed in the document is the wrongly rendered form of the conjunct 'nTa'. This 5.1 official document on rendering the conjunct 'nTa'.</font>
#:: CDAC said, it did extensive study on rendering in various browser address bars and took policy decision was based on that. So for this, no study was conducted? Never noticed that browsers are not able to render this properly? -[[User:സന്തോഷ്|സന്തോഷ്]] 00:57, 5 December 2010 (PST)
#:: It seems, no systematic process or criteria were used to arrive at the conclusions. [[User:Pravs|Pravs]] 06:47, 7 December 2010 (PST)
# Since LHC is invalid for Malayalam, including L = ന്‍ , section 5 of the document cancels itself.
# Because of argument #6, section 6 also cancels itself.
=== nta criticism===
#This document does not address the case of stacked and non stacked forms of nta, which are interchangeably used. For example എന്റെ can be spoofed with എന്‍റെ. Severity of this issue is increased by having one more sequence to represent the same conjunct (ന്‍ + ് + റ) is introduced in Unicode 5.1#: <font color="red">CDAC's Response : Ans : Modern orthography treats ന്‍റ as 'nRa' and ന്‍റ as 'nTa'. The interchangeable usage of stacked and non-stacked forms for the conjunct 'nTa' is wrong by convention.</font>#:: One of the main motivations for IDN restrictions is to avoid spoofing, and this policy does not address legitimate case of multiple encoding for 'nTa'. This is a glowing example of complete disregard for the language and obedience to faulty implementation by a big corporation. Though it cannot be solved at IDN level (it is an issue at encoding level), there should be an effort to address severity of this issue. To me, the only solution seems to be dumping the 5.1 version and Microsoft's version of nTa in favour of Malayalam nTa, as per laguage rules. [[User:Pravs|Pravs]] 06:58, 7 December 2010 (PST)
===Chart of allowed characters===
# Malayalam au sign - ൌ is not allowed. Instead the au length mark ൗ is provided. The inscript standard does not allow one to type ൗ and allows only ൌ. Other input methods allows to type both. But the document does not say anything on the equivalence of both. Allowing both vowel signs is also a spoofing issue. And hence this should be handled in variant table.
#: <font color="red">CDAC's Response : The inscript standard being revised. The new standard allows both the characters to be inputted. For restricting spoofing and phishing, only one form i.e. ൗ by IDN policy (used in modern text) has been allowed</font>
#:: This also shows CDAC is completely clueless about the difference between character encoding and input methods. How is CDAC going to prevent me from using ൌ with old inscript standard or entering the unicode value directly? This is an encoding issue and has to be solved at encoding level by providing equivalance. Trying to fix encoding issue by mandating a specific input method is like prescribing ointment when you need a surgery (ചുക്കുവെള്ളം കുടിച്ചാല്‍ കാന്‍സര്‍ ഭേദമാകും എന്നു് പ്രതീക്ഷിയ്ക്കുന്ന പോലെയാണതു്.) [[User:Pravs|Pravs]] 07:08, 7 December 2010 (PST)
#:: Our response to the CDACs revised Inscript standard- [[CDAC-Inscript-Critique ]]- [[User:സന്തോഷ്|സന്തോഷ്]] 07:10, 7 December 2010 (PST)
=== Variant Table and Visual Spoofing ===
: <font color="red">CDAC's Response : The variant table is based on the observations how Malayalam characters and conjuncts are rendered in the address bars of standard browsers like IE, Mozilla and Safari. While ന്ത and ന്ന are perfectly rendered in Mozilla and Safari, they are not legibly rendered in various versions of IE. The mirror imaged nature of the glyphs was not the criterion for the two glyphs to be qualified as variants. Also note that the variant table is not a full-proof mechanism which can prevent spoofing.</font>
:: We cannot keep our language hostage to faulty software from one company. Bugs needs to be fixed, not the other way around ie, standards are not drafted based on buggy software. It is completly unacceptable, CDAC should ask Microsoft to fix its rendering in IE. [[User:Pravs|Pravs]] 07:15, 7 December 2010 (PST)
Even though similarity is considered, dual encoding is not mentioned. In case of dual encoding of chillus, both forms (atomic chillu and consonant chandrakkala ZWJ) of chillus will look SAME.
: <font color="red">CDAC's Response : IDN policy doesn't allow control characters such as ZWJ and ZWNJ to be part of domain names.</font>
:: ZWJ and ZWNJ are part of unicode standard and is required for Malayalam (even though atomic chillus might solve ZWJ issue, there is no substitute for ZWNJ). We need these characters for using Malayalam and what CDAC should be doing is to change IDN policy. We should be demanding what is our right and not blindly accpeting what is given to us. Does CDAC have a soultion to cases requiring ZWNJ? [[User:Pravs|Pravs]] 07:20, 7 December 2010 (PST)
== Conclusion==
The CDAC Policy document on Malayalam IDN is not acceptable without correcting the above explained errors. In its current format, the document was prepared with lot of false assumptions and contains many technical mistakes as pointed out above. Issues introduced by careless encoding standards cannot be fixed by standarding input methods ot IDN policy. We need a consistant way of using Malayalam everywhere in digital domain. Compromise for security should not be at the cost of the language. Consultation is must with all stake holders of Malayalam Computing before preparing such an important document. This was not happened and we expect such an initiative from the authorities.
== Discussion ==
# Discussion about the CDACs response: http://lists.smc.org.in/pipermail/discuss-smc.org.in/2010-December/011985.html
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