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RSSAC Review – Draft Working Group Report

Open: 27 April 2010
Closed: 5 June 2010

Explanation/Background: The Board appointed Westlake consulting as the consultants for the independent review of the DNS Root Server System Advisory Committee - SSAC. The report of external reviewers [PDF, 2.56 MB] was published for public comments and presented to the community.

The RSSAC review WG considered the report of external reviewers and the comments received, and releases now its draft report [PDF, 212 KB] for public comments. The report will be finalized for Board action after closure of the public consultation phase.

Translations of the draft final Report are now available:

[PDF, 400 KB] العربية Español [PDF, 620 KB] Français [PDF, 628 KB] Русский [PDF, 660 KB] 中文 [PDF, 540 KB]
Staff members responsible: Marco Lorenzoni – Alice Jansen

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."