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Final Proposed Draft v. 2.0 of the IDN Guidelines

The final proposed draft version 2.0 of the Guidelines for implementation of Internationalized Domain Names is now posted. This draft is currently pending endorsement from the ICANN Board.

To highlight the changes made as a result of the public consultation, the IDN Guideline Summary is also posted, which includes: an overview of the public comments made as a result of the posting of the earlier draft; actions taken by the IDN Revision Working Group in response to the comment received on the initially proposed draft; and the identification of next steps in the IDN deployment process. These comments have been synthesized with the initially proposed draft of the Guidelines to provide the present final proposed version that has been submitted to the ICANN Board for endorsement.

The proposed final version of the IDN Guidelines can be found here.

The IDN Guideline Summary of the working group's response to the comments received on the initial proposed draft can be found here.

Previous IDN Related Announcements:

31 October 2005: IDN Guideline Revision Update, Process Description and Acknowledgement of Expertise Advice

17 October 2005: Draft Revised IDN Guidelines French Version and Extension of Comment Period

20 September 2005: Draft Revised IDN Guidelines: Public Comment Period

14 September 2005: Formal Call for Papers Concerning Deployment of Internationalized Top Level Domains


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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."