tech-invite   World Map     

IETF     RFCs     Groups     SIP     ABNFs    |    3GPP     Specs     Gloss.     Arch.     IMS     UICC    |    Misc.    |    search     info

RFC 7700

 Errata 
Proposed STD
Pages: 11
Top     in Index     Prev     Next
in Group Index     Prev in Group     Next in Group     Group: PRECIS

Preparation, Enforcement, and Comparison of Internationalized Strings Representing Nicknames

 


Top       ToC       Page 1 
Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF)                    P. Saint-Andre
Request for Comments: 7700                                          &yet
Category: Standards Track                                  December 2015
ISSN: 2070-1721


              Preparation, Enforcement, and Comparison of
            Internationalized Strings Representing Nicknames

Abstract

   This document describes methods for handling Unicode strings
   representing memorable, human-friendly names (called "nicknames",
   "display names", or "petnames") for people, devices, accounts,
   websites, and other entities.

Status of This Memo

   This is an Internet Standards Track document.

   This document is a product of the Internet Engineering Task Force
   (IETF).  It represents the consensus of the IETF community.  It has
   received public review and has been approved for publication by the
   Internet Engineering Steering Group (IESG).  Further information on
   Internet Standards is available in Section 2 of RFC 5741.

   Information about the current status of this document, any errata,
   and how to provide feedback on it may be obtained at
   http://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc7700.

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (c) 2015 IETF Trust and the persons identified as the
   document authors.  All rights reserved.

   This document is subject to BCP 78 and the IETF Trust's Legal
   Provisions Relating to IETF Documents
   (http://trustee.ietf.org/license-info) in effect on the date of
   publication of this document.  Please review these documents
   carefully, as they describe your rights and restrictions with respect
   to this document.  Code Components extracted from this document must
   include Simplified BSD License text as described in Section 4.e of
   the Trust Legal Provisions and are provided without warranty as
   described in the Simplified BSD License.

Top       Page 2 
Table of Contents

   1. Introduction ....................................................2
      1.1. Overview ...................................................2
      1.2. Terminology ................................................3
   2. Nickname Profile ................................................3
      2.1. Rules ......................................................3
      2.2. Preparation ................................................5
      2.3. Enforcement ................................................5
      2.4. Comparison .................................................5
   3. Examples ........................................................5
   4. Use in Application Protocols ....................................6
   5. IANA Considerations .............................................7
   6. Security Considerations .........................................8
      6.1. Reuse of PRECIS ............................................8
      6.2. Reuse of Unicode ...........................................8
      6.3. Visually Similar Characters ................................8
   7. References ......................................................8
      7.1. Normative References .......................................8
      7.2. Informative References .....................................9
   Acknowledgements ..................................................11
   Author's Address ..................................................11

1.  Introduction

1.1.  Overview

   A number of technologies and applications provide the ability for a
   person to choose a memorable, human-friendly name in a communications
   context, or to set such a name for another entity such as a device,
   account, contact, or website.  Such names are variously called
   "nicknames" (e.g., in chat room applications), "display names" (e.g.,
   in Internet mail), or "petnames" (see [PETNAME-SYSTEMS]); for
   consistency, these are all called "nicknames" in this document.

   Nicknames are commonly supported in technologies for textual chat
   rooms, e.g., Internet Relay Chat [RFC2811] and multi-party chat
   technologies based on the Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol
   (XMPP) [RFC6120] [XEP-0045], the Message Session Relay Protocol
   (MSRP) [RFC4975] [RFC7701], and Centralized Conferencing (XCON)
   [RFC5239] [XCON-SYSTEM].  Recent chat room technologies also allow
   internationalized nicknames because they support characters from
   outside the ASCII range [RFC20], typically by means of the Unicode
   character set [Unicode].  Although such nicknames tend to be used
   primarily for display purposes, they are sometimes used for
   programmatic purposes as well (e.g., kicking users or avoiding
   nickname conflicts).

Top      ToC       Page 3 
   A similar usage enables a person to set their own preferred display
   name or to set a preferred display name for another user (e.g., the
   "display-name" construct in the Internet message format [RFC5322] and
   [XEP-0172] in XMPP).

   Memorable, human-friendly names are also used in contexts other than
   personal messaging, such as names for devices (e.g., in a network
   visualization application), websites (e.g., for bookmarks in a web
   browser), accounts (e.g., in a web interface for a list of payees in
   a bank account), people (e.g., in a contact list application), and
   the like.

   The rules specified in this document can be applied in all of the
   foregoing contexts.

   To increase the likelihood that memorable, human-friendly names will
   work in ways that make sense for typical users throughout the world,
   this document defines rules for preparing, enforcing, and comparing
   internationalized nicknames.

1.2.  Terminology

   Many important terms used in this document are defined in [RFC7564],
   [RFC6365], and [Unicode].

   The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT",
   "SHOULD", "SHOULD NOT", "RECOMMENDED", "NOT RECOMMENDED", "MAY", and
   "OPTIONAL" in this document are to be interpreted as described in
   [RFC2119].

2.  Nickname Profile

2.1.  Rules

   The following rules apply within the Nickname profile of the PRECIS
   FreeformClass.

   1.  Width Mapping Rule: There is no width-mapping rule (such a rule
       is not necessary because width mapping is performed as part of
       normalization using Normalization Form KC (NFKC) as specified
       below).

Top      ToC       Page 4 
   2.  Additional Mapping Rule: The additional mapping rule consists of
       the following sub-rules.

       1.  Any instances of non-ASCII space MUST be mapped to ASCII
           space (U+0020); a non-ASCII space is any Unicode code point
           having a general category of "Zs", naturally with the
           exception of U+0020.

       2.  Any instances of the ASCII space character at the beginning
           or end of a nickname MUST be removed (e.g., "stpeter " is
           mapped to "stpeter").

       3.  Interior sequences of more than one ASCII space character
           MUST be mapped to a single ASCII space character (e.g.,
           "St  Peter" is mapped to "St Peter").

   3.  Case Mapping Rule: Unicode Default Case Folding MUST be applied,
       as defined in the Unicode Standard [Unicode] (at the time of this
       writing, the algorithm is specified in Chapter 3 of
       [Unicode7.0]).  In applications that prohibit conflicting
       nicknames, this rule helps to reduce the possibility of confusion
       by ensuring that nicknames differing only by case (e.g.,
       "stpeter" vs. "StPeter") would not be presented to a human user
       at the same time.

   4.  Normalization Rule: The string MUST be normalized using Unicode
       NFKC.  Because NFKC is more "aggressive" in finding matches than
       other normalization forms (in the terminology of Unicode, it
       performs both canonical and compatibility decomposition before
       recomposing code points), this rule helps to reduce the
       possibility of confusion by increasing the number of characters
       that would match (e.g., U+2163 ROMAN NUMERAL FOUR would match the
       combination of U+0049 LATIN CAPITAL LETTER I and U+0056 LATIN
       CAPITAL LETTER V).

   5.  Directionality Rule: There is no directionality rule.  The "Bidi
       Rule" (defined in [RFC5893]) and similar rules are unnecessary
       and inapplicable to nicknames, because it is perfectly acceptable
       for a given nickname to be presented differently in different
       layout systems (e.g., a user interface that is configured to
       handle primarily a right-to-left script versus an interface that
       is configured to handle primarily a left-to-right script), as
       long as the presentation is consistent in any given layout
       system.

Top      ToC       Page 5 
2.2.  Preparation

   An entity that prepares a string for subsequent enforcement according
   to this profile MUST ensure that the string consists only of Unicode
   code points that conform to the FreeformClass string class defined in
   [RFC7564].  In addition, the entity MUST ensure that the string is
   encoded as UTF-8 [RFC3629].

2.3.  Enforcement

   An entity that performs enforcement according to this profile MUST
   prepare a string as described in Section 2.2 and MUST also apply the
   following rules specified in Section 2.1 in the order shown:

   1.  Additional Mapping Rule
   2.  Normalization Rule
   3.  Directionality Rule

   After all of the foregoing rules have been enforced, the entity MUST
   ensure that the nickname is not zero bytes in length (this is done
   after enforcing the rules to prevent applications from mistakenly
   omitting a nickname entirely, because when internationalized
   characters are accepted, a non-empty sequence of characters can
   result in a zero-length nickname after canonicalization).

2.4.  Comparison

   An entity that performs comparison of two strings according to this
   profile MUST prepare each string as specified in Section 2.2 and MUST
   apply the following rules specified in Section 2.1 in the order
   shown:

   1.  Additional Mapping Rule
   2.  Case Mapping Rule
   3.  Normalization Rule
   4.  Directionality Rule

   The two strings are to be considered equivalent if they are an exact
   octet-for-octet match (sometimes called "bit-string identity").

3.  Examples

   The following examples illustrate a small number of nicknames that
   are consistent with the format defined above, along with the output
   string resulting from application of the PRECIS rules (note that the
   characters < and > are used to delineate the actual nickname and are
   not part of the nickname strings).

Top      ToC       Page 6 
   Table 1: A Sample of Legal Nicknames

   +---------------------------+-----------------------------------+
   | # | Nickname              | Output for Comparison             |
   +---------------------------+-----------------------------------+
   | 1 | <Foo>                 | <foo>                             |
   +---------------------------+-----------------------------------+
   | 2 | <foo>                 | <foo>                             |
   +---------------------------+-----------------------------------+
   | 3 | <Foo Bar>             | <foo bar>                         |
   +---------------------------+-----------------------------------+
   | 4 | <foo bar>             | <foo bar>                         |
   +---------------------------+-----------------------------------+
   | 5 | <&#x3A3;>             | GREEK SMALL LETTER SIGMA (U+03C3) |
   +---------------------------+-----------------------------------+
   | 6 | <&#x3C3;>             | GREEK SMALL LETTER SIGMA (U+03C3) |
   +---------------------------+-----------------------------------+
   | 7 | <&#x3C2;>             | GREEK SMALL LETTER SIGMA (U+03C3) |
   +---------------------------+-----------------------------------+
   | 8 | <&#x265A;>            | BLACK CHESS KING (U+265A)         |
   +---------------------------+-----------------------------------+
   | 9 | <Richard &#x2163;>    | <richard iv>                      |
   +---------------------------+-----------------------------------+

   Regarding examples 5, 6, and 7: applying Unicode Default Case Folding
   to GREEK CAPITAL LETTER SIGMA (U+03A3) results in GREEK SMALL LETTER
   SIGMA (U+03C3), and the same is true of GREEK SMALL LETTER FINAL
   SIGMA (U+03C2); therefore, the comparison operation defined in
   Section 2.4 would result in matching of the nicknames in examples 5,
   6, and 7.  Regarding example 8: symbol characters such as BLACK CHESS
   KING (U+265A) are allowed by the PRECIS FreeformClass and thus can be
   used in nicknames.  Regarding example 9: applying Unicode Default
   Case Folding to ROMAN NUMERAL FOUR (U+2163) results in SMALL ROMAN
   NUMERAL FOUR (U+2173), and applying NFKC to SMALL ROMAN NUMERAL FOUR
   (U+2173) results in LATIN SMALL LETTER I (U+0069) LATIN SMALL LETTER
   V (U+0086).

4.  Use in Application Protocols

   This specification defines only the PRECIS-based rules for handling
   of nickname strings.  It is the responsibility of an application
   protocol (e.g., MSRP, XCON, or XMPP) or application definition to
   specify the protocol slots in which nickname strings can appear, the
   entities that are expected to enforce the rules governing nickname
   strings, and when in protocol processing or interface handling the
   rules need to be enforced.  See Section 6 of [RFC7564] for guidelines
   about using PRECIS profiles in applications.

Top      ToC       Page 7 
   Above and beyond the PRECIS-based rules specified here, application
   protocols can also define application-specific rules governing
   nickname strings (rules regarding the minimum or maximum length of
   nicknames, further restrictions on allowable characters or character
   ranges, safeguards to mitigate the effects of visually similar
   characters, etc.).

   Naturally, application protocols can also specify rules governing the
   actual use of nicknames in applications (reserved nicknames,
   authorization requirements for using nicknames, whether certain
   nicknames can be prohibited, handling of duplicates, the relationship
   between nicknames and underlying identifiers such as SIP URIs or
   Jabber IDs, etc.).

   Entities that enforce the rules specified in this document are
   encouraged to be liberal in what they accept by following this
   procedure:

   1.  Where possible, map characters (e.g, through width mapping,
       additional mapping, case mapping, or normalization) and accept
       the mapped string.

   2.  If mapping is not possible (e.g., because a character is
       disallowed in the FreeformClass), reject the string.

5.  IANA Considerations

   The IANA shall add the following entry to the PRECIS Profiles
   Registry:

   Name:  Nickname

   Base Class:  FreeformClass

   Applicability:  Nicknames in messaging and text conferencing
      technologies; petnames for devices, accounts, and people; and
      other uses of nicknames or petnames.

   Replaces:  None

   Width Mapping Rule:  None (handled via NFKC)

   Additional Mapping Rule:  Map non-ASCII space characters to ASCII
      space, strip leading and trailing space characters, map interior
      sequences of multiple space characters to a single ASCII space.

   Case Mapping Rule:  Map uppercase and titlecase characters to
      lowercase using Unicode Default Case Folding.

Top      ToC       Page 8 
   Normalization Rule:  NFKC

   Directionality Rule:  None

   Enforcement:  To be specified by applications.

   Specification:  RFC 7700 (this document)

6.  Security Considerations

6.1.  Reuse of PRECIS

   The security considerations described in [RFC7564] apply to the
   FreeformClass string class used in this document for nicknames.

6.2.  Reuse of Unicode

   The security considerations described in [UTS39] apply to the use of
   Unicode characters in nicknames.

6.3.  Visually Similar Characters

   [RFC7564] describes some of the security considerations related to
   visually similar characters, also called "confusable characters" or
   "confusables".

   Although the mapping rules defined in Section 2 of this document are
   designed, in part, to reduce the possibility of confusion about
   nicknames, this document does not provide more-detailed
   recommendations regarding the handling of visually similar
   characters, such as those provided in [UTS39].

7.  References

7.1.  Normative References

   [RFC2119]  Bradner, S., "Key words for use in RFCs to Indicate
              Requirement Levels", BCP 14, RFC 2119,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC2119, March 1997,
              <http://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc2119>.

   [RFC3629]  Yergeau, F., "UTF-8, a transformation format of ISO
              10646", STD 63, RFC 3629, DOI 10.17487/RFC3629, November
              2003, <http://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc3629>.

Top      ToC       Page 9 
   [RFC5893]  Alvestrand, H., Ed. and C. Karp, "Right-to-Left Scripts
              for Internationalized Domain Names for Applications
              (IDNA)", RFC 5893, DOI 10.17487/RFC5893, August 2010,
              <http://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc5893>.

   [RFC6365]  Hoffman, P. and J. Klensin, "Terminology Used in
              Internationalization in the IETF", BCP 166, RFC 6365,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC6365, September 2011,
              <http://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc6365>.

   [RFC7564]  Saint-Andre, P. and M. Blanchet, "PRECIS Framework:
              Preparation, Enforcement, and Comparison of
              Internationalized Strings in Application Protocols",
              RFC 7564, DOI 10.17487/RFC7564, May 2015,
              <http://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc7564>.

   [Unicode]  The Unicode Consortium, "The Unicode Standard",
              <http://www.unicode.org/versions/latest/>.

   [Unicode7.0]
              The Unicode Consortium, "The Unicode Standard, Version
              7.0.0", 2014,
              <http://www.unicode.org/versions/Unicode7.0.0/>.

   [UTS39]    The Unicode Consortium, "Unicode Technical Standard #39:
              Unicode Security Mechanisms", November 2013,
              <http://unicode.org/reports/tr39/>.

7.2.  Informative References

   [PETNAME-SYSTEMS]
              Stiegler, M., "An Introduction to Petname Systems",
              updated June 2012, February 2005,
              <http://www.skyhunter.com/marcs/petnames/
              IntroPetNames.html>.

   [RFC20]    Cerf, V., "ASCII format for network interchange", STD 80,
              RFC 20, DOI 10.17487/RFC0020, October 1969,
              <http://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc20>.

   [RFC2811]  Kalt, C., "Internet Relay Chat: Channel Management",
              RFC 2811, DOI 10.17487/RFC2811, April 2000,
              <http://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc2811>.

   [RFC4975]  Campbell, B., Ed., Mahy, R., Ed., and C. Jennings, Ed.,
              "The Message Session Relay Protocol (MSRP)", RFC 4975,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC4975, September 2007,
              <http://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc4975>.

Top      ToC       Page 10 
   [RFC5239]  Barnes, M., Boulton, C., and O. Levin, "A Framework for
              Centralized Conferencing", RFC 5239, DOI 10.17487/RFC5239,
              June 2008, <http://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc5239>.

   [RFC5322]  Resnick, P., Ed., "Internet Message Format", RFC 5322,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC5322, October 2008,
              <http://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc5322>.

   [RFC6120]  Saint-Andre, P., "Extensible Messaging and Presence
              Protocol (XMPP): Core", RFC 6120, DOI 10.17487/RFC6120,
              March 2011, <http://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc6120>.

   [RFC7701]  Niemi, A., Garcia-Martin, M., and G. Sandbakken, "Multi-
              party Chat Using the Message Session Relay Protocol
              (MSRP)", RFC 7701, DOI 10.17487/RFC7701, December 2015,
              <http://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc7701>.

   [XCON-SYSTEM]
              Barnes, M., Boulton, C., and S. Loreto, "Chatrooms within
              a Centralized Conferencing (XCON) System", Work in
              Progress, draft-boulton-xcon-session-chat-08, July 2012.

   [XEP-0045]
              Saint-Andre, P., "Multi-User Chat", XSF XEP 0045, February
              2012, <http://xmpp.org/extensions/xep-0045.html>.

   [XEP-0172]
              Saint-Andre, P. and V. Mercier, "User Nickname", XSF
              XEP 0172, March 2012,
              <http://xmpp.org/extensions/xep-0172.html>.

Top      ToC       Page 11 
Acknowledgements

   Thanks to Kim Alvefur, Mary Barnes, Ben Campbell, Dave Cridland,
   Miguel Garcia, Salvatore Loreto, Enrico Marocco, Matt Miller, and
   Yoshiro YONEYA for their reviews and comments.

   Paul Kyzivat and Melinda Shore reviewed the document for the General
   Area Review Team and Operations Directorate, respectively.

   During IESG review, Ben Campbell and Kathleen Moriarty provided
   comments that led to further improvements.

   Thanks to Matt Miller as Document Shepherd, Pete Resnick and Andrew
   Sullivan as IANA Designated Experts, Marc Blanchet and Alexey
   Melnikov as working group Chairs, and Barry Leiba as Area Director.

   The author wishes to acknowledge Cisco Systems, Inc., for employing
   him during his work on earlier draft versions of this document.

Author's Address

   Peter Saint-Andre
   &yet

   Email: peter@andyet.com
   URI:   https://andyet.com/