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Minutes - Public Participation Committee

17 February 2009 at 20:00 UTC

PPC members present: Dennis Jennings, Thomas Narten, Jean Jacques Subrenat – chair, and Katim Touray

PPC member not present and sends apologies: Dave Wodelet

Staff Members Present: Samantha Eisner, Kieren McCarthy, Diane Schroeder, Amy Stathos­­ and Nick Tomasso


The following is a summary of discussions, actions taken and actions identified:

  • Discussed and unanimously approved minutes from 14 January 2009 committee meeting.
  • Discussed status of committee charter, which has been accepted by the Board Governance Committee and will be recommended for approval by the Board in Mexico City.
  • Reviewed discussion from 27 January 2009 informal meeting.
  • Discussed scheduling and planning details for PPC meeting in public in Mexico City, including a detailed discussion on how to maximize public participation. Action: Staff to circulate paper regarding mechanisms for real-time feedback and suggestions for committee member visibility, and provide outline for presentation to At-Large Summit; staff to follow up on interpretation and scribing for the meeting.
  • Discussed suggested procedures for the public forum sessions in Mexico City. Action: Staff to provide information to Board regarding how the public forum sessions will work. Staff also to provide guidance on physical room formation for future public forum sessions.
  • Discussed public participation definition and agreed that pointing to an i nternational public participation group’s core values as a guideline to be use d for public participation activities would be a positive step. Action: Committee Chair to inform Board about guidelines.
  • Discussed formation of budget for PPC activities and initiatives. Action: Staff to provide executive summary of budget proposal to committee so committee chair can submit to Board in report about committee activities and for submission through the normal operational plan and budget process.
  • Discussed potential conflicts in scheduling between ICANN’s international meetings and other Internet-related meetings and/or social and cultural events. Action: Staff to compile revised calendar of community meetings, religious holidays and cultural dates of note and provide to committee for consideration.
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."