[TF-AIDN] Session on Universal Acceptance during the ICANN Singapore Meeting

Fahd Batayneh fahd.batayneh at icann.org
Fri Jun 13 16:16:04 CEST 2014

Friends and Colleagues,


While in Istanbul, and specifically the sessions on Universal Acceptance, I
gave a brief on the Universal Acceptance (UA) session that took place in
Singapore during the ICANN meeting, and spoke about our regional engagement
in promoting Arabic Script IDNs and issues related to UA.


ICANN Singapore Session on UA


The session on UA in Singapore had Cyrus Namazi, Francisco Aries, and Edward
Lewis from ICANN staff, and included panelists from Microsoft, Google, .ru
ccTLD, Afilias, Firefox (remotely), and ALAC.


Afilias explained how they had worked hard on their .info TLD when it was
launched back in 2000/2001. While TLDs were knows to be two characters (.uk,
.de, .jo, .sa, . etc.) or three characters (.com, .net, .org, . etc.) long,
.info was 4 characters, and so there was plenty of work to be done since it
was not universally accepted by software back then. In addition to this
work, Afilias had to devise an intelligent strategy over a couple of
iterations to get the main players to recognize their new TLD and act
accordingly. Microsoft is following the roll-out of New gTLDs closely and
are updating relevant software accordingly. Google undertook some IDN email
testing on Gmail during Q1 of 2014. .ru ccTLD have been doing lots of
Cyrillic IDN email testing, and it actually worked on the Gmail platform
when Google were testing (this was what triggered Google to announce that it
was doing IDN email testing on Gmail). Firefox is following the roll-out of
New gTLDs closely and are updating their browser's whitelist of TLDs to
include the new ones. Firefox also mentioned that this is a different
approach to that used for the roll-out of IDN ccTLDs back in 2010/2011 where
the IDN ccTLD Registry would have to contact Firefox and request the
addition of their IDN ccTLD string; as an update, to the whitelist of TLDs.
ALAC; represented by Rinalia Abdul Rahim, touched base on how IDNs must
better be utilized to improve user experience with non-ASCII strings, and
that ICANN should have worked closely with the At-Large on issues related to
IDNs and UA of IDNs.


More on this session can be found online at
http://singapore49.icann.org/en/schedule/mon-tld-acceptance. You can also
find at the same URL audio recordings, transcript  of the sessions, and a


Regional Engagement on Arabic Script IDNs and UA


Within the ICANN regional engagement, regional teams covering regions deeply
interested in IDNs (such as the Middle East and Asia Pacific) are advocating
a strong message on IDNs and issues related to UA. In the Middle East, for
example, the TF-AIDN; an outcome of the Middle East Strategy, is undertaking
work related to IDNs and UA, and are speaking to attendees at relevant fora
on their work. ICANN is also supporting community members to attend relevant
events to promote the work of the TF-AIDN, and at the same time encourage
new blood to join the task force.


One outcome of this discussion was to hold a webinar including all the heavy
weights in the Internet industry such as Microsoft, Google, Apple, Firefox.
etc. to talk about their current work and future plans on issues related to
TLDs/IDNs and their UA. ICANN will try to organize such a webinar after the
ICANN meeting in London (sometime in July). The webinar will be accessible
to anyone interested in attending.


Update: Internal communication at ICANN has been initiated. The next step is
to talk to folks needed on this webinar; i.e. the big players, during the
ICANN meeting in London, and after London nail down a day and time to hold
the webinar.


Finally, I am attaching the slide-deck that Edward Lewis was supposed to
deliver during the meeting. Edward was unable to join us due to other
last-minute change-in-plans. Edward is responsible for the UA project at
ICANN, and has done a lot of work on issues related to domain names and
TLDs. He is copied in this email, and so if you have any questions for him,
please feel free to address it/them to him.


Happy to address any questions you may have.


Thank you,



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