Latest charter version and TODOs from BOF

Lisa Dusseault lisa at
Mon Mar 17 18:12:04 CET 2008

Here's the charter version (at bottom) that went up on the slides  
during the IDN BOF:  it's similar to the version that went for  
External Review, but I went ahead and made a few changes that seemed  
to have consensus during External Review (e.g. the name change to  

Here are the TODOs on the charter from the meeting:

  - Consensus to be more specific which RFCs the new work would  
obsolete, vs update or leave alone
  - Consensus to mention that solving phishing is not in scope (needs  
  - Consensus to remove reference to 4690 from charter
  - Revised milestones

TODOs for more list discussion:

  - Change the language about separate validity requirements for  
resolution vs registration?
  - Add a tutorial or similar work product?






Applications Area Directors:

Lisa Dusseault (ldusseault at
Chris Newman (Chris.Newman at

Applications Area Advisor:

Lisa Dusseault (ldusseault at

Mailing List:
General Discussion: idna-update at
To Subscribe:


The original Internationalized Domain Name (IDN) WG set the
requirements for international characters in domain names in
RFC 3454, RFC3490, RFC3491 and RFC3492 in 2002.  These documents
were tied to Unicode version 3.2 and an update to the current
version (5.x) is required to accommodate additional scripts.
In addition, experience has shown a number of real or perceived
defects or inadequacies with the protocol.  Some of them are
described in an IAB review (RFC4690), which also provides a good
introduction to the subject matter.

IDNA is currently tied to an old version of Unicode. This WG
is chartered to untie IDNA from specific versions of Unicode using
algorithms that define validity based on Unicode properties.  It is
recognized that some explicit exceptions may be necessary in any
case, but attempts would be made to minimize these exceptions.

Additional goals:

   - Separate requirements for valid IDNs at registration time,
     vs. at resolution time
???  - Revise bi-directional algorithms to produce a deterministic
	answer whether a label is allowed or not
???  - Determine whether bi-directional algorithm should allow
	additional mnemonics labels
   - Permit effective use of some scripts that were
	inadvertently excluded by the original protocols.

The constraints of the original IDN WG still apply to IDNABIS,
namely to avoid disturbing the current use and operation of the
domain name system, and for the DNS to continue to allow any
system to resolve any domain name. The basic approach of the
original IDN work will be maintained -- substantially new
protocols or mechanisms are not in scope.  In particular, IDNs
continue to use the "xn--" prefix and the same ASCII-compatible
encoding, and the bidirectional algorithm follows the same basic
The IDNABIS WG will work to ensure practical stability of the
validity algorithms for IDNs.

The work is currently organized (though not constrained in
organization) as four Standards Track documents. If the WG does
not come to early consensus around the general direction from
this charter, the WG will need to stop and recharter so that
the IETF can understand what the WG proposes to do.

The Overview document with explanation and rationale is intended
for Standards Track status because it has definitions and
other normative text required by the other documents.  The
protocol specification explains how to map non-ASCII
characters into ASCII DNS labels.  It relies normatively on
two other documents that are separate for readability: the
bidirectional algorithm specification and the character
validity tables.  The validity of characters in IDNs is
almost exclusively based on Unicode properties but is
organized as tables and categories for readability.

Goals and milestones:

xxx 08: Revised Overview/Rationale document
xxx 08: WG Last Call for Protocol, Bidi and Tables documents
xxx 08: Revised Protocol, Bidi and Tables documents
xxx 08: Review Overview document again if needed
xxx 08: Request for publication for all documents


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