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Selection of Integration Panel for the IDN Root Zone Label Generation Rules (LGR)

ICANN is pleased to announce that the Internationalized Domain Names (IDN) Variant Top Level Domain (TLD) Program has completed the selection of the Integration Panel for the IDN Root Zone Label Generation Rules (LGR). We received many applications from well-qualified individuals and we thank all the applicants for their interest in the IDN Variant TLD Program. The Integration Panel is a vital component in the implementation of the Procedure to Develop and Maintain the Label Generation Rules for the Root Zone in Respect of IDNA Labels [PDF, 1.39 MB] (the Procedure), and its success depends on having Integration Panel members with the right skills to perform the substantive work.

The Procedure defines a two-pass process for the creation of IDN label generation rules (LGR) for the root zone. These rules are used to determine sets of potential "variants" of a given label that may be afforded specific treatment in the various root zone processes.

ICANN published the Call for Subject Matter Experts for IDN Root Zone LGR Integration Panel and Advisors to All Panels on 6 June 2013. In response, ICANN received 22 eligible submissions and utilized the following selection process:

  1. ICANN reviewed the candidates' submissions against the predefined criteria. The selection criteria were shared with the candidates and candidates were given the opportunity to provide any additional information in support of their candidature:
    • The selection criteria for members of the Integration Panel included at least one area of primary expertise in Unicode, Linguistics and Writing Systems, Domain Name System (DNS) and IDNA.
    • The selection process also took into account secondary experience the candidates had in those same areas of expertise.
    • In addition, the selection criteria required demonstrable ability and experience to perform systematic and detailed analysis of large data sets and to produce accurate and comprehensive results, have prior work experience, and demonstrated ability to advocate positions and build group consensus.
  2. Each selection criterion was assigned a score. The evaluation team ranked each candidate's submission in relation to the selection criteria. The process allowed the evaluation team to identify the candidates who best satisfied the selection criteria.
  3. Based on the scores for each of the candidates, the evaluation team arrived at a list of the most suitable candidates. For each area of expertise, the evaluation team reviewed the top candidates and made the final selection based on the aggregate expertise of the panel to ensure that all areas had appropriate representation.

Selected panel members are listed below:

  • Marc Blanchet
  • Asmus Freytag
  • Michel Suignard
  • Nicholas Ostler
  • Wil Tan

Integration Panel members are expected to serve an initial term through June 2014. Responsibilities of the Integration Panel members are stated in the Procedure and the call for subject matter experts. The decisions by the integration Panel are required to be unanimous.

Expert advisors are available to the Integration Panel to aid its deliberations. These advisors aid the Integration Panel by lending their subject matter expertise, based on specific requests from the Panel. Using the same selection criteria as used for Panel members, the following advisor has been selected:

  • Michael Everson

The selected Advisor will serve an initial term through June 2014. Additional advisors may be added at a later time as requested by the Panel and as specified in the Procedure.

The Integration Panel will undertake the work through periodic conference calls and face-to-face meetings. The first face-to-face meeting is planned for early October 2013. Initial work includes preparing the maximal set of code points and default whole label variant evaluation rules for the root zone. This will serve as a starting point for the community Generation Panels, the second part in the two-pass process.

For more information on the IDN Variant TLD Program, please visit

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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"""" is not an IDN."