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Comment on Synchronized IDN ccTLDs

  • To: sync-idn-cctlds@xxxxxxxxx
  • Subject: Comment on Synchronized IDN ccTLDs
  • From: Olafur Gudmundsson <ogud@xxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 16 Apr 2010 11:41:36 -0400

We are the co-chairs of the DNS Extensions Working Group (DNSEXT) at
the Internet Engineering Task Force.  We are writing to ensure there
is no misunderstanding about plans for work in DNSEXT, and that ICANN
is not proceeding on the basis of misapprehension

Materials with respect to the "Proposed Implementation Plan for
Synchronized IDN ccTLDs" might be understood as meaning that DNSEXT is
working on mechanisms to support "variant names" in the DNS.  For
instance, the Webinar presentation materials from 2010-04-15 include
the following items:

    –more work still needed for the broader solution to accommodate
    all types of variants TLDs
        •anticipated to include a DNS-technical solution

(slide 3) and

    •More work on the way defining and testing
    variant management options, including:
        •IETF DNSEXT work on sameness
        •DNAME, BNAME, Sync IDN ccTLDs

(slide 9).

We want to be crystal clear: DNSEXT has not adopted this work.  We do
not know whether DNSEXT will adopt it.  The working group does not yet
know what the problem is to be solved.  Initial indications are that
there is more than one problem.  There is some scepticism that, even
if there were a clear statement of the problems, the problems could be
solved with extensions to the DNS.  As far as we can tell, none of the
proposals that have seen so far will provide functionality to satisfy
all the possible meanings of the synchronized names Plan as currently
written.  Even if we managed to come up with something that would
support domain name variants (whatever they might be), it is
completely unclear whether such a mechanism would be realistically
deployable in the DNS within the next decade.

Moreover, the current Plan is on its face evidence that additional
in-protocol mechanisms might not be needed: if the need can be
satisfied just by provisioning rules and agreements between parties,
then perhaps making the protocol more complex is not called for.

If the implementation of this Plan is intended to be a stop-gap
measure until the day that DNSEXT delivers changes to the DNS that
will support domain name variants either partially or in whole, then
that intention needs to be reconsidered, because there is no guarantee
that DNSEXT will do so.

Best regards,

Ólafur Guðmundsson
Andrew Sullivan
IETF DNSEXT co-chairs

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