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Subject: Proposal to move forward on $f/$l issues

    I've been doing some talking/research with folks about the particular problems Japanese users have with Unicode. I understand the need for specifying font and language, but I'm concerned about *us* proposing the solution. I'm concerned that we are tackling a problem that the majority of us are not prepared to solve (both from a political and a technical point of view), and that it may significantly delay the specification's adoption.  
    Therefore I propose the following solution, which essentially defers the details of the $f and $l cross references until a later time:
1) We define the $f and $l namespaces as "reserved" for use in i18n characters. The use  shall be defined in a future version of the XRI spec, or at least in a separate document.
2) We *not* say anything special about the comparison of two strings containing $f or $l cross references. The issue about whether $f and $l are significant for the purposes of comparison can be determined later, but for now, absent a clear consensus, I'd suggest we stay silent.
    I do not think this "prejudices" against the use of $f and $l - in fact this proposal explicitly calls out these namespaces for future definition. I'm just worried that we are getting bogged down in this issue now. If we condition approval of the XRI specification on the inclusion of the fully-specified $f and $l, I believe we'll have a longer road to approval.
    Nat, as the champion of this issue, and the main proponent of the solution, I expect your input to be the most important on whether this plan is acceptable. If this deferral is a showstopper, please let us know.

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