Skip to main content

Update: IDN .test Root-Zone Evaluation

23 August 2007 Update

ICANN today finalized the IDN .test Evaluation Plan and continued taking steps toward insertion of IDN strings in the root zone. Recent changes to the plan are based on comments received on the IDN public forum and also from consultations with ICANN Technical Advisory Committees. This last version was approved by the ICANN Board at their 14 August 2007 meeting. The resolution directs ICANN Staff to implement the IDN .test Evaluation Plan, and report back to the ICANN Board following the conclusion of the evaluation.

Specifically, the Board approved the delegation of eleven evaluative top-level domains representing the term 'test' translated into: Arabic, Persian, Chinese (simplified and traditional), Russian, Hindi, Greek, Korean, Yiddish, Japanese and Tamil. Following this ICANN Board approval, the delegation request will now go through standard IANA procedures for insertion of top-level domains into the root zone. The technical evaluations of IDN TLDs and their usability in various applications will proceed following their delegation.

This is a major milestone in the IDN Program Plan and signals a significant step forward towards Internationalization of the DNS. It is currently anticipated that delegation of these TLDs and the evaluations, as described in the plan, will commence in September 2007. More information about this project will be made available at If you have any questions about ICANN's IDN Program please contact Tina Dam, IDN Program Director at

The final version of the IDN .test Evaluation Plan can be viewed here. [PDF, 220K]

Updated IDN .test Evaluation Plan

19 July 2007 Update

ICANN has amended the draft plan for insertion of evaluation IDN TDs into the root zone based on comments received on the public forum established for that purpose (see, Specifically, an amended version of the proposed label for the Persian TLD, has been posted (see, [PDF, 241K]). The changes that have been made: (i) replaces the previously suggested Persian .test TLD with an alternate TLD label that more clearly reveals the Persian YEH, and (ii) changes of the reference to the name of the language from Farsi to Persian.

Comments on this or other aspects of the evaluation plan can be made to and viewed at

For more details please see: and


ICANN Releases Draft IDN Evaluation Plans

19 June 2007

As announced previously in the IDN program status report, in the draft IANA Root Zone Procedures for Test IDN Deployment, and the draft IDN TLD Root Server Performance / Tolerance, ICANN has developed a plan for insertion of IDN TLDs in the root zone for evaluation. The .test plan contains two separate evaluation facilities where the feasibility and usability of fully localized domain names can be evaluated and tested in a live environment. Implementation of this plan is one of the core elements in ICANN’s IDN Program.

The draft .test plan is posted here for public comment. The draft contains a preliminary list of scripts for the example.test evaluation strings. Recommendations for changes or additions to this list of strings will be reviewed carefully to ensure broad public participation in the evaluations.

During the public comment period, the plan will be discussed during several sessions of the ICANN meeting in San Juan (June 2007) and at the RSSAC / IETF meeting in Chicago (July 2007). Subject to these and other consultations, a final version of the plan will be provided for ICANN Board consideration at its 14 August 2007 meeting. ICANN Board approval will be sought for the plan, including approval of the insertion of the suggested evaluations strings (<.test> translated into a number of different languages), in the root zone. According to the plan the evaluation facilities will be launched in late September 2007.

Comments to the draft .test plan can be submitted and viewed here For other questions or inquiries regarding ICANN’s IDN Program please contact Tina Dam, ICANN’s Director for the IDN Program, at

Translation of the .test plan into Arabic, French, Spanish, Russian, and Chinese is currently underway and will be released shortly.

More Announcements
Domain Name System
Internationalized Domain Name ,IDN,"IDNs are domain names that include characters used in the local representation of languages that are not written with the twenty-six letters of the basic Latin alphabet ""a-z"". An IDN can contain Latin letters with diacritical marks, as required by many European languages, or may consist of characters from non-Latin scripts such as Arabic or Chinese. Many languages also use other types of digits than the European ""0-9"". The basic Latin alphabet together with the European-Arabic digits are, for the purpose of domain names, termed ""ASCII characters"" (ASCII = American Standard Code for Information Interchange). These are also included in the broader range of ""Unicode characters"" that provides the basis for IDNs. The ""hostname rule"" requires that all domain names of the type under consideration here are stored in the DNS using only the ASCII characters listed above, with the one further addition of the hyphen ""-"". The Unicode form of an IDN therefore requires special encoding before it is entered into the DNS. The following terminology is used when distinguishing between these forms: A domain name consists of a series of ""labels"" (separated by ""dots""). The ASCII form of an IDN label is termed an ""A-label"". All operations defined in the DNS protocol use A-labels exclusively. The Unicode form, which a user expects to be displayed, is termed a ""U-label"". The difference may be illustrated with the Hindi word for ""test"" — परीका — appearing here as a U-label would (in the Devanagari script). A special form of ""ASCII compatible encoding"" (abbreviated ACE) is applied to this to produce the corresponding A-label: xn--11b5bs1di. A domain name that only includes ASCII letters, digits, and hyphens is termed an ""LDH label"". Although the definitions of A-labels and LDH-labels overlap, a name consisting exclusively of LDH labels, such as"""" is not an IDN."