President’s Corner: Greetings from Johannesburg
Welcome to the second Policy Forum – whether you are here in Johannesburg or following along from home.
I am consistently reminded as I meet with ICANN stakeholders around the world, on behalf of the ICANN organization, that the Internet is no one country's national resource. It belongs to everyone, and is a set of constantly evolving technologies, cooperating and collaborating with different networks and partners.
For ICANN community members interested in policy development, ICANN59 will provide you the opportunity to engage with colleagues and tackle the many complex and challenging topics. The cross-community discussions throughout this meeting will be particularly valuable in promoting exchanges of views. My role at the Policy Forum is to facilitate. We are not the Internet at ICANN, but we are an essential part of the Internet. It is important that together we evolve, make progress and continue to support the Internet going forward.
The Supporting Organizations and Advisory Committees have taken the lead in organizing the program for this meeting. I know that you will be busy, but, I hope that if you are free, you can join me in the session to review the progress we've made on our Process Documentation Initiative.
As always, I hope to talk to many of you the next few days. Please let me know if you need anything and let's get to work.
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."