I may be getting confused. I understand that "variants" means, for example, simplified versus traditional Chinese. These variants will be specified in a "variants table".
But Chuck Gomes (in the postings you cited) is talking about IDN versions of .com. If I'm not mistaken, [.com in IDN] is not a variant
of .com, it is a translation
Though variants and translations may be handled by similar mechanisms (DNAMES, BNAMES), I believe they are not the same thing, from ICANN's point of view. So some of the ICANN discussions may apply to one but not the other.
Like everyone else who has been paying attention, I believe that [.com in IDN] is coming. But I'm trying to get better at reading the tea leaves, so that I can understand the timing more clearly.
Thanks for all the informative posts!