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Things you didn’t realize were on the ICANN site: Part 1

One of the consistent gripes about ICANN is that we don’t provide sufficient information (which, incidentally is why there is an online survey for people right here to help us understand what you are looking for). This usually prompts the response from ICANN that in fact that information is already available, and has been for years. Which in turn leads to people complaining that it may be there but it is impossible to find…

… which then, by the way, prompts ICANN to try to bring the information up a level from three-clicks-through to two-clicks. Which has the unfortunate knock-on effect of a heavily cluttered page of information. Which, some way down the line, prompts a tidy-up of webpages that then shifts certain types of information down a level again. Someone then can’t find it and the circle turns again.

Quite aside from the fact that ICANN will be transitioning to a new content management system starting in the next few months which will hopefully solve this problem, we thought that this time we would pre-empt the problem by trying to flag up an interesting and relatively new feature on the ICANN website that most of you have probably yet to come across. It is known internally as the “virtual bookshelf” but to everyone else it is most easily described as an archive of the various presentations and speeches that ICANN staff give and have given all over the world to do with ICANN and the issues that surround the organisation.

So if you want to find out what CEO Paul Twomey said earlier this month in Sydney about the future of the Internet, or what Theresa Swinehart said about Internet Governance in Dubai in June, or what Anne-Rachel Inne told the Club of Rome about participating in ICANN back in April, then this is the page to visit. Where is it? Very simple: http://icann.org/presentations/. Enjoy.

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    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."