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IDN Variant TLD Program – Procedure to Develop and Maintain the Label Generation Rules for the Root Zone in Respect of IDNA Labels – Second Public Comment Draft

Comment/Reply Periods (*) Important Information Links
Comment Open: 7 December 2012
Comment Close: 6 January 2013
Close Time (UTC): 23:59 Public Comment Announcement
Reply Open: 7 January 2013 To Submit Your Comments (Forum Closed)
Reply Close: 27 January 2013 View Comments Submitted
Close Time (UTC): 23:59 Report of Public Comments
Brief Overview
Originating Organization: ICANN
Categories/Tags: Top-Level Domains
Purpose (Brief): To receive community feedback on the latest draft of the “Procedure to Develop and Maintain the Label Generation Rules for the Root Zone in Respect of IDNA Labels – Second Public Comment Draft” [PDF, 790 KB]
Current Status: The IDN Variant TLD Program includes a project to establish the Label Generation Rules (LGR) Process for the DNS Root Zone. The project team includes expert consultants and a global team of volunteers. The project team has created new draft document and seeks a second round of community comment and input on the proposed process.
Next Steps: The Label Generation Rules (LGR) Procedure document will be updated and published for implementation in the next phase of the IDN Variant TLD Program.
Staff Contact: Francisco Arias Email: francisco.arias@icann.org
Detailed Information
Section I: Description, Explanation, and Purpose

The IDN Variant TLD Program has been exploring the issues associated with the potential inclusion of IDN variant TLDs in the DNS root zone at the request of the ICANN Board and the community.

The Label Generation Rules Procedure is a way to develop and maintain the Label Generation Rules for the Root Zone in respect of IDNA labels. This procedure must be in place to enable the delegation and management of IDN Variant TLDs.

The IDN Variant TLD Program follows on from the publication of the final Integrated Issues Report on 17 February 2012. The Program Plan [PDF, 576 KB] was published after two rounds of public comment. The Label Generation Rules (LGR) project team was formed to include expert consultants and a global team of volunteers.

After discussions on-line and a two-day face-to-face session in Los Angeles in August, the project team created a first draft of the document on the "Procedure to Develop and Maintain the Label Generation Rules for the Root Zone in Respect of IDNA Labels". That draft was published for Public Comment, and the project team received community input on the LGR process and the principles that support it during September and October 2012.

The team continued the refinement of the procedure document, and after a second two-day face-to-face session at the ICANN Toronto Meeting, two additional teleconferences, and daily e-mail discussion with the global team of volunteers, a new draft of the procedure document is now ready for the second and final round of Public Comment.

Section II: Background

On 20 April 2011, ICANN announced the IDN Variant Issues Project to explore the issues associated with the potential inclusion of IDN variant TLDs in the DNS root zone. This project was initiated in response to a 2010 ICANN Board of Directors resolution. The project completed with the publication of the final Integrated Issues Report on 17 February 2012.

The IDN Variant TLD Program follows on from that work. The Program consists of several projects, and continues as a multi-phase multi-year program. The Program Plan was published – after substantial public input and comment - on 23 August 2012.

One of the first projects in the new program is to develop the Label Generation Rules (LGR) Process for the DNS Root Zone. The approach taken was to form a project team of expert consultants supported by a global group of volunteers representing multiple scripts and languages. The formation of the volunteer group was announced on 23 August 2012.

The project team has had multiple discussions on-line and by telephone conference, and held two two-day face-to-face sessions. The project team has created a new draft document on the "Procedure to Develop and Maintain the Label Generation Rules for the Root Zone in Respect of IDNA Labels" for Public Comment, and now seeks community input and comment.

Section III: Document and Resource Links

Procedure to Develop and Maintain the Label Generation Rules for the Root Zone in Respect of IDNA Labels – Second Public Comment Draft [PDF, 790 KB]

Integrated Issues Report [PDF, 2.15 MB]

Program Plan [PDF, 576 KB]

Section IV: Additional Information
None

(*) Comments submitted after the posted Close Date/Time are not guaranteed to be considered in any final summary, analysis, reporting, or decision-making that takes place once this period lapses.

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."