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Workshop: Internationalized Domain Name

8:30 – 19:30, Wednesday, 21 July 2004

Grand Ballroom, Shangri-La Hotel, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

In General

The IDN workshop will concentrate on practical experience regarding the continued development on IDNs as well as a sharing of knowledge, opinions, and experiences. The workshop aims to lay out the work of the many players, and the related interrelations that is underway to bring IDN's to the user. It is hoped that the workshop will contribute to a better understanding of this international effort and the many disciplines and expertise that needs to be brought to bear on the matter over the next period.

The morning session contains a tutorial that aims to address the basic issues necessary for a better understanding of this complicated topic. The afternoon is divided into two sessions. The first session is concentrating on initiatives from the Asian region and is followed by a session focusing on additional international efforts.

The workshop will end with a discussion-based session concerning next steps and future requirements. This discussion will include open microphone opportunity for the participating public. There will also be Q/A opportunities after each presentation throughout the day.


Wednesday July 21, 2004. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
The workshop is a full-day event, it is open to the public, and it will be web-cast.


  1. Welcome and Chair (8:30 - 8:35)
    • Paul Twomey, President and CEO, ICANN
    • Mohamed Sharil Tarmizi, Chair of Governmental Advisory Committee, and Liaison to the ICANN Board
  2. Internationalization and the Internet, an ISOC Tutorial (8:35 - 12:35)

    In order for the Internet to effectively reach a large fraction of the world's population, it is critical that the capability for two-way communications, web and other content, and the ability to locate and refer to that content, be available in normal and local languages and scripts and not only the English language and ASCII script. This general problem, commonly known as "internationalization", involves many issues and has many elements. Ideal solutions to some of them would require solutions to problems of translation and linguistics that are thousands of years old. The Internet may make those problems more visible and intrusive, but does not intrinsically make any contribution to their solution.

    This tutorial will cover the range of issues faced in internationalization, including the tradeoffs between internationalization and localization and between localization and a globally interoperable Internet that fosters global communication. An overview will be provided of mechanisms for content internationalization and why some techniques applicable to that problem are inappropriate for domain names and even directories and search engines. It will examine internationalized domain names in some depth, including a review of how they work at a technical level and problems they do and do not solve. It will cover the IDNA technology, the strengths and weaknesses of Unicode as a character coding standard for DNS purposes, the relationship between what is permitted by IDNA and what might (or should) be prohibited by registry or other restrictions, and the risks of not imposing those restrictions. The difference between "script" and "language", and the difficulties of getting precise and global definitions for either -and the importance of either doing so or avoiding the problem-will be discussed. "Character variant" approaches to the avoidance of confusion will be discussed in that context and, as with IDNs themselves, the problems they do and do not solve. The policy tradeoffs between prevention of name conflicts and reliance on post-registration conflict resolution will be also be identified.

    There will also be a brief discussion of alternatives to guessing or remembering DNS names (especially internationalized ones) as a means of Internet navigation and the advantage of examining other approaches.

    The goal of the tutorial is to identify issues that should be carefully considered and evaluated in making IDN deployment decisions and internationalization and localization decisions more generally, and to provide background on aspects of DNS (and broader Internet) protocols and operations that constrain possible solutions. It will not provide answers, but will identify issues, tradeoffs, and constraints as a basis for local and global policymaking.

    Presenters: John Klensin, ISOC Tutorial Liaison, Professor Tan Tin Wee (National University of Singapore), and James Seng, Assistant Director (iDA, Singapore); presentations are viewable from ISOC's Workshop Resource Center <>

  3. Lunch Break (12:35 - 13:30)
  4. Afternoon Session I: Experiences and Developments in Asia

    One of the earliest efforts to develop IDN took place in Asia in the late 1990s. Several test bed projects were set up in Asia Pacific countries with the ability to support, inter alia, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Thai and Tamil. Various efforts were poured into standardization from the protocol level to usage level. One typical effort came from Joint Engineering Team (JET) by CNNIC, JPNIC, KRNIC, and TWNIC. Beside protocol standardization, its concerns were especially on the necessary features of IDNs reflecting languages/cultures. Some languages have characters overlapped among countries/economies and some characters are/should be considered to be identical in some countries. Such efforts were reflected on "Guidelines for the Implementation of Internationalized Domain Names" posted by ICANN, and IETF Informational RFC3743 "Joint Engineering Team (JET) Guidelines for Internationalized Domain Names (IDN) Registration and Administration for Chinese, Japanese, and Korean."

    This session will provide knowledge sharing and information about the development of IDN systems and about the practical experience in Asia.

    Note: there are Q/A opportunities after each presentation.

    • Asian Users Experience and Requirements (13:30 - 13:50)
      • Description: Introduction of At Large @ China briefly; What do Chinese Customers Needs and Wants for IDN; The role of At Large @ China for IDN
      • Presenter: Mr. Zuo Feng, Chairman of At Large @ China (
    • Presentation on CJK Guidelines (13:50 - 14:20)
      • Description: The Guidelines for Chinese, Japanese, and Korean ("CJK") [RFC3743] is considered the best-developed system for handling registration restrictions for IDNs. This presentation explains the principles behind the CJK Guidelines and some of the issues that might arise in trying to adapt them to alphabetic languages.
      • Presenter: James Seng, Assistant Director (iDA, Singapore)
    • Language Definition with Character-Variants (14:20 - 14:40)
      • Description: The presentation will be mainly about CNNIC's effort and experience in IDN implementation in china. It will begin with a retrospect of CNNIC's milestones in IDN R & D.
        Then CNNIC's international cooperation for IDN task will be introduced. Following, language definition with character-variants will be addressed in detail. Finally the presentation will be ended by sharing CNNIC's experience in IDN offering & service.
      • Presenter: Walter Wu, Assistant to Director General (CNNIC) presentation (PDF)
    • Experience on IDN-aware Applications (14:40 - 15:00)
      • Description: Presentation of the imminent necessity of IDN-aware Applications
      • Presenter: Hiro Hotta, Director, Corporate Planning (JPRS) presentation (PDF)
    • Experience on IDN and Keywords (15:00 - 15:20)
      • Description: TBD
      • Presenters: Kang Ahngu, Assistant Manager (KRNIC) and Kangsik Cheon, COO (Netpia) presentation (PDF)
    • Experience on Whois Database (15:20 - 15:40)
      • Description: TBD
      • Presenter: Nai-Wen Hsu, Technology Department Director (TWNIC) presentation (PDF)
    • IDN Testbed Deployment at SGNIC in Singapore (15:40 - 16:00)
      • Description: This short presentation details the experience of Singapore .SG domain in the implementation of a testbed for the launch of Chinese and Tamil script IDNs in the .SG domain.
      • Presenters: TAN Yeow Hui, Technical Manager (SGNIC) and Edmon Chung, Creative Director (Afilias) presentation (PDF)
  5. Afternoon Break 20 min

  6. Afternoon Session II: Additional International Experiences and Developments
    Note: there are Q/A opportunities after each presentation.
    • sTLD Registry Operators Experience (16:20 - 16:35)
      • Description: Generic TLDs serve a global community and thus ultimately need to accommodate a broad range of languages and scripts. The "Eligibility and Name Selection" (ENS) control that characterizes a sponsored TLD provides useful opportunity for minimizing the collateral effects that might otherwise be of concern in a registry with a large IDN repertoire.
      • Presenter: Cary Karp, President and CEO, MuseDoma (.museum) presentation (PDF)
    • uTLD Registry Operators Experience (16:35 - 16:50)
      • Description: Implementation of IDN standards and the Implementation Guidelines in .com and .net; migration of testbed registrations to the IDN standards; adoption of the IDN standards by application providers
      • Presenter: Matt Larson, Principal (VeriSign Naming and Directory Services) presentation (PDF)
      • Description: Deploying standards-compliant German script registrations in .INFO - challenges in a gTLD IDN rollout.
      • Presenter: Ram Mohan, CTO (Afilias Global Registry Services) presentation (PDF)
    • .PL Presentation (16:50 - 17:05)
      • Description: IDN deployment schedule for .pl; IDN registration rules (technical, administrative and legal aspects) + reference to IETF standards; list of accepted scripts; description of the preparatory process for new scripts; statistics; future plans
      • Presenter: Andrzej Bartosiewicz, Head of DNS Department, NASK presentation (PDF)
    • Tunisia Experience (17:05 - 17:20)
      • Description: TBA
      • Presenter: Walid Sidhom, Tunisian Internet Agency presentation (PDF)
    • Struggle with Multilingualization in Cambodia (17:20 - 17:30)
      • Description: TBA
      • Presenter: Norbert Klein, Advisor to the Director (Open Forum of Cambodia)
    • IDNs, Multilingualization and the Empowerment of Local Communities (17:30 - 17:50)
      • Description: TBA
      • Presenter: Khaled Fattal, MINC Chairman and CEO presentation (PDF)
    • SaudiNIC's Contribution and Experiences in supporting Arabic Domain Names (17:50 - 18:05)
      • Description: TBA
      • Presenter: Dr Abdulaziz H. Al-Zoman, Associate Professor, SaudiNIC Director presentation (PDF)
  7. Afternoon Session III: Open Discussion on Future IDN Plans
    • Open Microphone and Panel Discussion (18:05 - TBD)
      • Description: This will be open discussion based session, with open microphone available for public participation. The session will contain discussions regarding the next steps in continuing development on IDNs, future requirements, expectation to various entities involved, including but not limited to application providers, registries, and others.
      • Chair: Vinton G Cerf, Chairman, ICANN Board of Directors
    • Snacks will be served (19:00)

Please contact members of the IDN Planning Committee for questions and comments to the information provided above. ICANN staff conveys its sincere thanks for the efforts of the IDN Planning Committee members:

  • ccNSO: Hiro Hotta, JPRS and Nai-wen Hsu, TWNIC
  • GNSO: Bruce Tonkin
  • ALAC: Hong Xue
  • GAC: Christopher Wilkinson
  • ISOC Tutorial Liaison: John Klensin
  • ICANN Staff: Tina Dam (Chair)

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