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ICANN Board Announces Public Meeting

The Board of Directors of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is pleased to invite any interested party to a special open public meeting in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA on Saturday, November 14, 1998, commencing at 9 am and concluding at 4 pm.

The purpose of the meeting is to let the new ICANN Board hear the views and concrete suggestions of the Internet community on matters of current importance to the work of ICANN. The Board members wish to understand the issues and to engage in open dialogue on ways to achieve the goals of the U.S. government's White Paper.

We are developing an agenda. It will be posted at the www.iana.org web site by Monday, November 2, along with information on the location of the meeting. The closest international airport to the meeting location is Boston's Logan airport.

The Board wishes to express its appreciation to the organizers of the previously scheduled Domain Name Support Organization (DNSO) meeting in Monterrey, Mexico for their willingness to adjust their meeting agenda so that attendees wishing to participate in both meetings can do so. Information on the DNSO meeting can be found at http://dnso.nic.mx.


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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."