[IDN-WG] ALAC Response to the VIP Proposed Project Plan and Next Steps

Olivier MJ Crepin-Leblond ocl at gih.com
Wed Apr 11 10:14:36 UTC 2012

Thank you very much for this follow-up Rinalia.

I would just add a couple of notes which I have also recognized on the
- the ALAC's concerns regarding following a standard path vs. looking at
each variant case in turn appear to be already taken into account
according to some of the comments made by Dennis Jennings. So it appears
that each variant type will be studied separately, along with its own
timeline, rather than a one-size-fits-all scenario
- the point of timing issues which the ALAC is concerned with, appears
to have already been echoed by other commenters and to be taken into
account, with an amended time-line which would bring forth some of the
segments allocated to 2013, to an earlier start.

I personally find the matters of pointing out communities readiness to
implement IDN variant very important indeed. It is one thing to approach
such implementation in a top-down manner, but another to allow for
communities desiring to work on their variants, to be pro-actively able
to engage ICANN in rolling out IDN variants for their script. Thanks for
pointing this out, it's an excellent point.

Thanks for your draft which we can work on, in an accelerated procedure.
May I suggest that comments/discussion takes place according to the
following schedule:

*Call for comments closing time*: Wednesday 18 April 2012 @ 23:59 UTC --
that gives it 1 week from today. If this group reaches consensus before
this deadline, all the better & the statement can be submitted
*Statement to be submitted*:  Friday 20 April 2012
*ALAC Vote starts*: Friday 20 April at 20:00 UTC and ends on 27 April @
23:59 UTC
*Vote reminder on*: 25 April @ 0:00 UTC

So the clock is ticking.

I have also made a copy of your draft & added it to the relevant Wiki
policy development page. (and also updated the new start/end date for
the public comment)
This is on: https://community.icann.org/x/jp-bAQ

In order to have a way to track things, may WG members (and any other
commenters) use the Wiki's "comment" feature, please?
As a reminder, if you do not have a log-in for the WIKI, please ask one
from staff at atlarge.icann.org . In the meantime, you may also comment
without logging in -- just you identify yourself in your response so as
for it to become a comment from more than an anonymous user.

Kind regards,


On 11/04/2012 10:25, Rinalia Abdul Rahim wrote :
> Dear IDN WG,
> We had a webinar today where the VIP Team re-presented their work.  It
> was a pity that many of our WG members could not participate.  *They
> made one point of clarification regarding the treatment of communities
> who consider themselves ready to implement IDN Variants - that it
> would only happen after the label generation toolset work is done.  
> In their project plan this can only begin mid of FY13. *
> ALAC is requested to make its response/comment to the proposed plan
> before the end of next week so that the VIP Team can incorporate our
> input in their next steps. 
> Below is my draft attempt at a response (based on my limited
> understanding) so that we can meet this deadline.  Note: I draw
> heavily from Edmon's previous drafts before and after Costa Rica, with
> tweaks and adjustments based on the clarification made during today's
> webinar. 
> Gaps:
> 1. The issue on COST requires more content and justification - Tijani,
> perhaps you have some ideas.  Otherwise, we might have to drop this
> aspect. 
> 2. Would be good if reference to communities who are ready to
> implement IDN Variants could be expanded beyond the Chinese case if
> they are available - Cheryl, any thoughts?  
> Next Steps:
> 1. Staff - pls upload to a wikipage.
> 2. Edmon - pls check overall content.
> 3. Other WG members - please contribute.
> Note: I have not proofread this draft.
> Thanks.
> Rinalia
> [Draft] ALAC Response to the VIP Proposed Project Plan for Next Steps
> *Acknowledgement of VIP Team Achievement*
> The ALAC congratulates the IDN VIP team upon the successful completion
> of the case study reports and the final integrated report.  We also
> wish to record our appreciation for the outreach efforts of the VIP
> Team aimed at enhancing the community’s understanding about the
> outcome of its work to date as well as the thinking/framework that
> guided its work and the processes entailed.
> *Significance of IDNs and Implications on Future Work of the VIP Team*
> The ALAC reiterates its continued recognition of the significance and
> importance of IDNs, including IDN TLDs in enhancing diversity and
> embracing multilingualism on the Internet.  We believe that every
> culture and every language is unique and that the implementation of
> IDN and IDN Variants would serve to make the Internet more inclusive
> and representative of the world that we live in. 
> Given the importance of the work, the ALAC calls on the VIP Team to
> ensure that the conduct of its future work is accountable, transparent
> and does not duplicate work that has or is being done within or
> without the ICANN community.  Towards this end, we urge the VIP Team
> to continuously inform the community on its work and progress, and to
> draw synergize wherever possible by leveraging on the work and
> expertise of the wider Internet community.
> The ALAC is pleased with the VIP Team’s interest in engaging the wider
> Internet community, which the Team expressed during the ICANN meeting
> Costa Rica in March 2012.  In doing so, We request that the VIP Team
> maintain a high level of transparency and clarify the project basis
> for engaging consultants vs. community volunteers vs. ICANN staff.
> *Comments on the Internationalized Domain Names (IDN) Variant Issues
> Project (VIP) Proposed Project Plan *
> _Approach_
> The approach taken by the VIP Team is a standardized, universal and
> comprehensive one, which has merit in that it takes into consideration
> aspects of fairness and security.  The approach hinges crucially upon
> the expectation that it is possible to develop a comprehensive
> codepoint repertoire and label generation rule-set within a specific
> timeframe.  The VIP Team has been careful to clarify to the ALAC
> during a webinar on 11 April 2012 that until the codepoint repertoire
> and label-generation rule-set are complete, the implementation of any
> IDN Variant would not be considered regardless of the level of
> community readiness. 
> The ALAC concern regarding the VIP Team’s approach is as follows:
> 1.     The standardized is contrary to the community consensus on
> appropriate approaches to the IDN Variant issues, which are highly
> diverse.  A standardized approach also discriminates against
> communities who consider themselves ready to implement IDN Variants.
> 2.     Assuming that it is possible to develop a comprehensive
> codepoint repertoire and label generation rule-set within the period
> specified in the proposed project plan, the VIP Team will only be
> ready to work with communities who can demonstrate that they are ready
> to implement IDN Variants by the middle of Fiscal Year 2013. 
> 3.     The process, timing and criteria for communities to demonstrate
> their readiness to implement IDN variants are not addressed.  This set
> of information would serve as an invaluable guide for communities
> regardless of whether they are early entrants or late entrants to IDN
> Variant implementation.
> The ALAC recommends the following:
> 1.     Adopt an inclusive multistakeholder bottom-up approach to
> codepoint repertoire development that is consistent with the ICANN IDN
> Guidelines and relies on the community consensus in identifying and
> determining codepoints by language/script or groups of languages/scripts.
> 2.     Develop a framework based on the findings of the integrated
> report that would serve as a checklist/guide for language communities
> to develop their IDN Variant TLD policy and or implementation plan. 
> Such a checklist would include aspects that include codepoint
> repertoire, codepoint overlap, label generation ruleset, types and
> states of variants, etc.
> 3.     Clarify the process, timing and criteria for engaging with
> communities who consider themselves ready to implement IDN Variants. 
> In addition engage the ICANN channels for reaching out to various
> language communities to raise their awareness of these considerations.
> _Cost_
> The ALAC would appreciate an elaboration on the financial basis of the
> proposed project.
> _Risk_
> The ALAC understands and appreciates that security risk considerations
> are paramount. The introduction of new technological advancement
> however, requires balancing risk considerations with benefits to be
> derived.  The demand for IDN Variants and the findings of the VIP case
> study reports indicate that the benefits of implementing IDN Variant
> TLDs out-weigh the risks.
> *Way Forward*
> Given that the technical community, including the IETF and the IAB,
> has iterated that the issue of IDN Variants cannot be solved with a
> technical solution based on current DNS standards, the ALAC agrees
> with the view that, in the immediate term, the implementation of IDN
> Variant TLDs should be focused on:
> 1.     The engagement of communities in developing codepoint
> repertoire and label generation rule-set.
> 2.     The development of a process, timeline and criteria for working
> with communities who are ready to implement IDN Variants.
> 3.     The development of a framework that guides language communities
> in developing their IDN Variant policy and implementation plan.

Olivier MJ Crépin-Leblond, PhD

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