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Seeking Ideas on Allocation Methods

Yesterday ICANN opened a forum for ideas on potential allocation methods for single-letter and single-digit domain names at the second level in gTLD registries (see announcement). The comment forum runs until 15 November 2007 23:59 UTC. To be considered, suggestions should be sent to allocationmethods@icann.org, and comments can be viewed at http://forum.icann.org/lists/allocationmethods/.

The GNSO Council called for the launch of this forum after considering a report of the Council’s Reserved Names Working Group (RN-WG), which recommended that “single letters and digits be released at the second level in future gTLDs, and that those currently reserved in existing gTLDs should be released. This release should be contingent upon the use of appropriate allocation frameworks. More work may be needed. In future gTLDs we recommend that single letters and single digits be available at the second (and third level if applicable).”

There are likely to be a wide variety of ideas and opinions on this topic. Take the opportunity to add your comments on the forum at the address listed above.

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."