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>New gTLD Program - Draft Applicant Guidebook, Version 4 and Explanatory Memoranda

Open: 31 May 2010
Closed: 21 July 2010

Explanation/Background: There is a dedicated public comment page designed to collect your input on the Draft Applicant Guidebook, Version 4 and the related supporting documentation. The Guidebook describes the process of applying for new generic top-level domains (New gTLDs).

On the dedicated page you will see the Draft Applicant Guidebook, version 4 available in its entirety as well as in the six individual modules. You can either comment on the overall guidebook or comment per module, by area of interest. Also, with each module's discussion area, you will find a list of documents that serve as explanatory memoranda or reports specific to that particular topic. This series of supporting documents are designed to supplement understanding of the implementation work for the program. A red-lined, annotated version of the documents is provided to facilitate understanding of the changes that were made in progressing from Draft Applicant Guidebook, Version 3 to Version 4.

ICANN expects to engage in a productive and robust dialogue with the Internet community throughout this consultative process.

Staff member responsible: Kurt Pritz

Announcement | Comments | Summary/analysis of 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."