Internet Architecture Board


Internationalization Program

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Work in the IETF and other areas has exposed the general topic of Internationalization (i18n) as a very complex one, with almost all decisions involving complex tradeoffs along multiple dimensions rather than “right” or “wrong” answers. The IAB intends to try to bring these issues together to reduce the number of decisions that are made on an isolated topic basis and, where appropriate, to review prior IAB and IETF work that has may require updating to reflect accumulated experience.


The primary program purposes of this program are to:

  1. monitor the state of internationalization-related items in the industry including the IETF and related organizations such as ICANN, Unicode, and ISO/IEC JTC1 SC2,
  2. provide recommendations (via e.g. email or IAB techchat or document) to the IAB,
  3. discuss/review any IAB documents or liaison statements,
  4. plan any other internationalization efforts desired by the IAB (e.g., workshop or plenary), and
  5. maintain historical knowledge within a committee of the IAB.


IAB Members:

  • Ted Hardie (Program Lead)
  • Joe Hildebrand
  • Andrew Sullivan
  • Dave Thaler

Non-IAB Members:

  • Marc Blanchet
  • Francis Bond
  • Stuart Cheshire
  • Patrik Fältström
  • Heather Flanagan
  • John Klensin
  • Olaf Kolkman
  • Barry Leiba
  • Xing Li
  • Pete Resnick
  • Peter Saint-Andre


The Internationalization Program advises the IAB as internationalization issues arise from time to time.  As time permits, the program works on an update to RFC 2277: “IETF Policy on Character Sets and Languages.”

Mailing list:

Public discussion:

Past IAB Actions on I18N

  • Weider, C., Preston, C., Simonsen, K., Alvestrand, H., Atkinson, R., Crispin, M., and P. Svanberg, “The Report of the IAB Character Set Workshop held 29 February – 1 March, 1996″, RFC 2130, April 1997.
  • IAB and L. Daigle, Ed., “A Tangled Web: Issues of I18N, Domain Names, and the Other Internet protocols”, RFC 2825, May 2000.
  • IAB Response to Verisign GRS IDN Announcement, January 2003.
  • IAB to ICANN – IAB comments on ICANN IDN Guidelines, 14 October 2005.
  • IAB response to the Unicode Technical Consortium re:”Procedural Issues with the Liaison on Nextsteps”, 16 June 2006.
  • Klensin, J., Faltstrom, P., Karp, C., and IAB, “Review and Recommendations for Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs)”, RFC 4690, September 2006.
  • IAB liaison statement to ITU-T SG17 on the Review and Recommendations for Internationalized Domain Names, 2 October 2006.
  • IAB Technical Plenary on Internationalization at IETF 68 (minutes), 22 March 2007.
  • IAB Technical Plenary on Internationalization at IETF 76 (minutes), 12 November 2009.
  • Techchat on IDNA2008, Unicode, and UTR 46 (minutes), 7 April 2010.
  • IAB response to the IDNA appeal from JFC Morfin, 20 August 2010.
  • Thaler, D., Klensin, J., and S. Cheshire, “IAB Thoughts on Encodings for Internationalized Domain Names”, RFC 6055, February 2011.
  • IAB Statement on “The interpretation of rules in the ICANN gTLD Applicant Guidebook,” 8 February 2012.
  • IAB Statement on Identifiers and Unicode 7.0.0, 11 February 2015