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Draft Topic Paper for Policy on Introduction of Internationalised ccTLDs

Open: 4 November 09
Closed: 4 December 09

Explanation/Background: The ccNSO's Internationalised Domain Name Country Code Policy Development Process Working Group (IDN ccPDP WG) for the selection and delegation of IDN ccTLDs is pleased to announce the publication of its draft Topic Paper for public discussion and comment. The purpose of this Topic Paper is to identify and define the topics and issues that, in the view of the WG, need to be taken into consideration to propose a feasible policy for the selection and delegation of IDN ccTLDs. To be most helpful at this stage of the process, the WG seeks your input and comments on whether they have identified all relevant topics and issues that need to be addressed by a global policy for the selection and delegation of IDN ccTLDs.

Note that this is a draft document and has not been adopted by the Working Group, whose members will continue to provide their own comments and input during this consultation period.

Staff member responsible: Bart Boswinkel

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."