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Tech@ICANN54 – Your Roadmap to Dublin’s Technical Sessions

We are hours away from the official start of ICANN54 in Dublin, Ireland, and the meeting agenda is packed with many exciting and interesting sessions. As we have seen with previous public meetings since the March 2014 announcement, the focus remains the IANA Stewardship Transition process, and Dublin will not be an exception. A significant amount of time is dedicated to community discussions on the accountability track, which is the last piece of this community driven process. We are paying close attention to their meetings to see what comes of it.

Fifteen years ago, I attended my first ICANN meeting, and as someone with a technical background, I focused on sessions that allowed me to connect with the technical community. I must admit that it's not always been obvious to identify those kinds of sessions.  As I boarded a flight to Dublin, I thought it would be useful for newcomers with a technical background to have a quick overview of some of these sessions. 

A few days ago, the agenda was rearranged to allow more time for the dialogue on Accountability, which has resulted, for instance, in the cancelation of the Ecosystem Coordination update that usually takes place after the Opening Ceremony (the session will be back to the agenda in Marrakech). Nevertheless, there will be more than 18 sessions that are of particular interest to the technical community.

These sessions will begin Sunday with the "How it Works" series we introduced during ICANN53 in Buenos Aires. Four "How it Works" sessions are scheduled, which cover topics such as How Internet Standards are set, How Internet Networking works, What is the  Internet Registry Protocol and How Root Servers are operated.

On Monday, after the opening ceremony, Tech Day will showcase a lineup of interesting presentations and discussions on the technical coordination of and research being done on the Internet's Domain Name System (DNS).

Two additional technical workshops are planed for Wednesday on the Internet Health Indicator (15:30 to 16:45 IST) and DNS Anti-Abuse for Businesses (16:00 to 19:00 IST).

The ASO (Address Supporting Organization), ISPCP (Internet Service Provider and Content Providers), SSAC (Security and Stability Advisory Committee) and RSSAC (Root Servers System Advisory Committee) will hold their regular working sessions, workshops and joint sessions with the Board. The SSAC and the RSSAC working sessions are closed, but both advisory groups will hold public sessions with the community on Tuesday and Wednesday.

If you are not planning on attending ICANN54 in person, you can still follow most of the open sessions remotely. Details for connecting remotely are provided on the schedule page for each session.  

Below, you'll find links information about the technical sessions:

  1. How it works: Internet Standards Setting

  2. Sun, 18 October 2015 - 09:30 to 11:00 IST

  3. How it works: Internet Networking

  4. Sun, 18 October 2015 - 11:15 to 12:45 IST

  5. How it works: Domain Name Registry Protocols

  6. Date: Sun, 18 October 2015 - 14:00 to 15:30 IST

  7. How it Works: Root Server Operations

  8. Sun, 18 October 2015 - 15:45 to 17:15 IST

  9. Tech Working Group (CLOSED)

  10. Date: Sun, 18 October 2015 - 09:00 to 10:15 IST

  11. Tech Day

  12. Mon, 19 October 2015 - 10:00 to 18:00 IST

  13. RSSAC Working Session (CLOSED)

  14. Tue, 20 October 2015 - 09:00 to 12:00
    Tue, 20 October 2015 - 14:00 to 17:00 IST
    Wed, 21 October 2015 - 11:00 to 12:00

  15. ISPCP

  16. Tue, 20 October 2015 - 13:30 to 16:30 IST

  17. ASO/NRO Join Board meeting

  18. Tue, 20 October 2015 - 16:45 to 17:45 IST

  19. SSAC Join Meeting with the Board (CLOSED)

  20. Tue, 20 October 2015 - 18:15 to 19:15 IST

  21. NRO/ASO Workshop

  22. Wed, 21 October 2015 - 09:15 to 10:30 IST

  23. RSSAC Joint Session with ICANN Board (CLOSED)

  24. Wed, 21 October 2015 - 10:00 to 11:00 IST

  25. RSSAC Public Session

  26. Wed, 21 October 2015 - 14:00 to 15:00 IST

  27. Internet Health Indicator

  28. Wed, 21 October 2015 - 15:30 to 16:45 IST

  29. DNS Anti-Abuse Workshop for Businesses

  30. Wed, 21 October 2015 - 16:00 to 19:00 IST

  31. SSAC Public Meeting

  32. Thu, 22 October 2015 - 08:00 to 09:00 IST

  33. gTLD Registry Operational workshop (CLOSED)

  34. Thu, 22 October 2015 - 12:00 to 13:15 IST

  35. ICANN L-Root Server Copy Program Workshop (CLOSED)

  36. Thu, 22 October 2015 - 09:30 to 16:30 IST

I encourage you to add some of these sessions to your calendar. You can add them via the meeting website, or with the brand new ICANN54 meeting app. To download the app, just search "ICANN54" on your device's app store.

I wish you all a very productive ICANN meeting! If you are newcomer, feel free to talk to any ICANN staff or the hundreds of volunteers and community leaders that will be more than happy to assist you as you navigate the different sessions.


    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."