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Public forums in Mexico City

If you were at the Cairo meeting, you will know that there was no small degree of irritation about the time that was available for the traditional open mic session on the Thursday.

If people are really keen, I can explain why that came about, but perhaps more importantly, we have ensured that there is plenty of time available at the Mexico City meeting next month for “public forum”.

In fact, there is four-and-a-half hours dedicated forum time: 90 minutes on the Monday solely covering the Applicant Guidebook; 30 minutes at the end of the Joint ACSO meeting; and two-and-a-half hours open-mic time on the Thursday.

Click here to visit our new online Question Box for Mexico City

Just to be clear: this is more open-mic time than at any ICANN meeting since Vancouver in 2005, and that meeting was marked out as being where both the dotcom contract and the .xxx application were discussed. We are also starting to separate out the delivery of reports (AC/SO chairs, staff and Board Committees) from “public forum” time, meaning open microphone time. That means that open microphone time is not dependent on anything else and stands alone as dedicated time.

Aside from the time issue, the other big concern the community has had is the ability to ask questions. Not everyone likes queuing up behind the public microphone and having to wait their turn to address an entire room of people.

Equally, the public forum has always been the most contentious meeting in terms of remote participation. In my role as general manager of public participation, I introduced and have followed chatrooms for the public forum in every meeting since Lisbon (March 2007), reading out questions and comments directly into the microphone.

This approach works, but not that well: chatrooms do not lend themselves very well to asking questions. So, in order to make things much easier for the community, there is now a very simple online question box.

Go to the Question Box

You type in your name, affiliation and email address. You give the broad area that the question is covering. You type in your question and then hit “Ask Your Question” and it is then in the system and we will make sure you receive an answer either in the forum itself, or in a response that we will produce in the weeks following the meeting (the hope of course is that everything will be answered on the day).

I hope that this online question box is self-explanatory, but it case you have any questions or queries, that is why this blog post exists – to enable you to raise them where others can see them, and to allow for responses to those queries to be easily found.

So, in summary – please use this question-box system. It is only as good as the use made of it. And I hope it will make for more enjoyable, informative and interesting public forum sessions in Mexico City.

You can visit the Question Box by clicking here.


    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."