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Implementation of Internationalized Top Level Domains

A full-day IDN workshop will be held during the ICANN meeting in Vancouver. This workshop will build on discussions concerning deployment of internationalized top level domains that occurred during the IDN workshop in Luxembourg.

ICANN is issuing this formal call for papers to those who wish to actively participate in the sessions on internationalized top level domain deployment. Presentations should last 15-25 minutes, with time for questions from the floor. Papers should be submitted by 15 November 2005.

The Luxembourg IDN workshop described opportunities associated with the deployment of internationalized TLDs (sometimes described as "idn.idn").

The Vancouver workshop will focus on various topics, including:

  • Identifying and assessing IDN TLD implementation issues, and
  • Potential risks of IDN TLD deployment to a global interoperable Internet.

All interested parties are invited to provide suggestions for topics and questions that should be addressed during the workshop, to the IDN-Vancouver Discussion Forum (see below).

Discussion in the on-line forum below is also open for the review of the following documents. These documents are focused on the implementation of IDNs at the top level.

If you wish to submit a paper or have documents regarding deployment of internationalized top level domains posted here for review please contact Tina Dam, ICANN's Chief gTLD Registry Liaison.

Click here to submit comments to deployment of Internationalized TLDs

Click here to view comments regarding deployment of Internationalized TLDs


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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""icann.org"" is not an IDN."