[council] New Versions of IDNA Protocol Revision Proposals Posted

GNSO.SECRETARIAT@GNSO.ICANN.ORG gnso.secretariat at gnso.icann.org
Tue Nov 27 13:25:52 UTC 2007

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An Important Step toward the Implementation of IDN Top-Level Domains:
New Versions of IDNA Protocol Revision Proposals Posted

26 November 2007

Revised papers of the technical standards that define the implementation
of IDNs — the standards are called IDNA — were recently released via the
IETF editors. These revisions are an important step toward the
delegation of IDN top-level domains.

An informal expert panel, working as what the IETF calls a "design
team," evaluated experiences gained in the implementation of the
previous version of IDNA since its introduction in 2003, and identified
several key areas of future work. These key areas were described in
several documents that triggered a formal revision of the IDNA protocol.
New versions of the internet-drafts proposing the revisions to the IDNA
protocol have been released and are as follows:

     * http://www.ietf.org/internet-drafts/draft-alvestrand-idna-bidi-01.txt

The core components in the revision effort include:
     *   definition of valid IDN labels, an inclusion-based model that
clearly defines which characters will be available for IDNs (the current
model is exclusion-based), and recognizes the implications of the
Unicode handling of various scripts on use in IDNs;
     * elimination of confusing and non-reversible character mappings;
     * fixing an error in right-to-left error in Stringprep (a profile
used to prepare IDNs in the IDNA protocol ), and eliminating Unicode
version dependencies, thereby permitting more scripts to be used in IDNs
now and in the future.

The issues with the current IDN model that led to these revisions are
discussed in RFC4690. This RFC discusses specific character issues where
the same script is used in different languages, issues related to cases
where languages can be expressed by using more than one script, issues
involving bi-directional cases, and issues concerning the topic of
visually confusing characters.

ICANN urges the Internet technical community to take part in the final
stages of this development work by reviewing this documentations and
constructively commenting on it. The review is moving forward in
accordance with standard IETF processes. The intention is to finalize
this work and publish the new IDNA standard within the next two months
Glen de Saint Géry
GNSO Secretariat - ICANN

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