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A new guy blogs

I am a new Board member, and this is my first blog entry, ever. As a new guy on the block (or maybe a recycled one, since I had been retired for four years before joining the Board), I just want to let you all know that the Board is much more active and deals with many more issues than might appear to be the case from the outside. Frankly, I don’t know how most of my colleagues who have full-time jobs find the time to keep up their Board activity. I was warned when I signed on to the Board that the learning curve would be steep, and that was no exaggeration. I am grateful to my colleagues for their patience and helping hands as I try to climb that precipice.

The Board members are enthusiastic about ICANN’s being more transparent, but it has not been all that easy to do so. I applaud Paul Levins, ICANN’s chief link to the public, for all that he has been doing to make ICANN’s activities more visible. And, he has just begun. Stay tuned.

As I look back at the Sao Paulo meeting in December, it is pretty much a blur, as it was while I was there. But, we have had several telephonic meetings of the Board and its committees since then, and lots of e-mails flying back and forth, so I hope to be able to make much more sense of everything in Lisbon. I hope to meet many more of you in person this March.

–SteveG

Comments

    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."