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Workshop: Internationalized Domain Names
3, 4, 6 December 2006
ICANN Meeting, São Paulo, Brazil
Hotel Transamérica São Paulo

In General

In preparation for the IDN sessions during the ICANN meeting in S ão Paulo meeting, the following material is presented as a means to make the sessions easier to participate in.

In addition to the sessions listed here several constituencies and working groups will have the topic of internationalized domain names listed on their separate agenda. Please be referred to the overall schedule and agenda for more details.

Please note an overview of relevant reading material at the bottom of this page.

IDN Session Agenda

IDN Tutorial: Sunday, December 3rd: 15.30-17.30 (Comandatuba 2&3)

This is a session where basic information related to IDN will be presented. Various acronyms will be explained and details about what an internationalized domain name is and how it is working will be discussed.


IDN Workshop: Wednesday December 6th: 17.00-19.00 (Comandatuba 2&3)

This workshop will consist of presentations on the following topics:

  • IDN Guidelines revision, by Cary Karp (IDN-PAC)
  • IDN technical tests, by Tina Dam, ICANN Staff
  • IDNA protocol revision, by John Klensin

Panel discussion and open microphone

  • ccNSO Policy Status, Hiro Hotta (IDN-PAC)
  • GNSO Policy Status, by Bruce Tonkin
  • GAC Activities, by Pankaj Agrawala (IDN-PAC)

Panel discussion and open microphone


In addition to the presenters listed above, the panel members will consist of the following individuals from the President’s Advisory Committee on IDNs (IDN-PAC):

Hong Xue, ALAC
Pat Kane, Verisign
Erin Chen, TWNIC
More TBA


Relevant Reading Material

The material listed below is provided for preparation for the various IDN sessions and in order to provide a general overview. Additionally it is recommended to review previously held IDN workshops. An overview of these can be found at:

IDNA Protocol Revision

The IDNA protocol was published in 2003 reflected in RFCs 3490, 3491, and 3492. The protocol was based on the Unicode version 3.2 and is currently under revision, both in terms of the functionality as based on implementation experience, and also to upgrade it to be based on the current version of Unicode (5.0).

In this connection RFC4690 (September 2006) describes issues surrounding the continued development of IDNs and in particular IDNA revisions opportunities and difficulties, such as for example:

  • revision to support Unicode 5.0
  • language specific character issues
  • issues related to use of multiple scripts for one language
  • bi-directional cases
  • visually confusable character issues

ICANN issues discussed includes: Dispute management, Whois management, and Registry policies.

In response to some of the issues discussed in the RFC4690 ad hoc design team recently published three internet drafts through the IETF editor, providing suggested solutions. The three internet drafts can be found as follows:

IDN Guidelines

The first version of the IDN Guidelines was created in 2003 in conjunction with the IDNA protocol as mentioned above.

Following implementation experience a working group was formed to revise the guidelines. The group consist of IDN TLD representatives from the gTLD registry constituency and the ccNSO. The latest version made available in version 2.1, see /topics/idn/implementation-guidelines.htm

The goal behind the continued revision work is to turn the guidelines into a best practise paper ensuring that the guideline directions will be used deeper into the DNS hierarchy and within TLD's where ICANN has a lesser policy relationship.

IDN Policy Development Material

The GNSO has re-instated the GNSO IDN Working Group which was originally created in May 2006. The new charter for the working group is listed online together with a call for GNSO constituency members who may wish to participate in the IDN Working Group, see This announcement also contains links to various GNSO IDN papers and activities.


IANA Repository

The IANA Repository of TLD IDN Practices was created to support the development of the IDN technology. In addition to making the IDN Tables publicly available on TLD registry websites, the TLD registries (TLD Sponsors, gTLD and ccTLD Registry Operators) may register IDN Tables with the IANA, which in turn will display them online for public access.

In order for all TLD registries to take advantage of sharing information related to their respective variance rules ICANN recommends submission of such tables to the IANA repository. See

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