Comments on ICANN IDN Guidelines V 2.0
The following are comments as a response to the request for comments
on the âICANN Guidelines for the Implementation of Internationalized Domain Names, Draft v2.0â.
These comments are from the Steering Committee of the Arabic Domain Names Pilot Project (www.arabic-domains.org).
* The ICANN IDN Guidelines V.2 reflects the experiences of the IDN registries who have implemented version 1.0 (i.e., registries which provide ML.English, such as VerSign). This excludes the experiences collected by different entities around the world who strive to support their languages on domain names.
* The current IDN implementations as suggested by the ICANN IDN Guidelines V. 1.0 and 2.0 (i.e., ML.English) still are not suitable for languages that are not Latin-based, for example, languages written from right-to-left (e.g., Arabic, Farsi, Urdu) or ideographic languages (e.g., Chinese, Japanese, Korean).
* A more practical approach even for testing proposes is to start the IDN support at a ccTLD level rather than on a gTLD. So that the TLD is written in a specific language (e.g. Arabic) that will be supported on the SLD controlled by a character set table. In this case characters from other scripts (e.g., Farsi, Urdu, â) will not be confused with visually confusable characters.
* It is strongly believed that concerns and issues that are raised by the guidelines regarding IDN implementations would be addressed when internationalizing ccTLDs are supported.
* The Arabic domain names pilot project (www.arabic-domains.org) supports the following principles that have been stated in the proposal submitted by the Chinese Domain Name Consortium (CDNC) (www.icann.org/announcements/idn-tld-cdnc.pdf) to ICANN, namely:
- Give the priority to internationalizing ccTLDs. To ensure the system stability, itâs recommended to internationalize ccTLD before internationalize gTLD.
- For convenience purpose, only one form of language character variant of internationalized ccTLD is accepted. Considering that some countries or regions may have character variants, only one form of character sets shall be chosen for IDN use by each sponsored registry.
- Supported by their own governments, ccTLD registries or authorized agencies make their own choice of which IDN character sets for their ccTLDs.
- Register and operate the internationalized ccTLDs in the root DNS server in the form of IDNA Punycode.
On behave of the Arabic Domain Names Pilot Project
Dr. Abdulaziz H. Al-Zoman Chairman of the Steering Committee (AND Pilot Project), and Director of SaudiNIC (.sa ccTLD Registry) zoman@xxxxxxxxxx