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IAB Minutes 2012-12-05

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Minutes of the 2012-12-05 IAB Teleconference (Tech Chat & Business Meeting)

1. Roll-call


  • Bernard Aboba (IAB Chair)
  • Jari Arkko
  • Mary Barnes (IAB Executive Director)
  • Marc Blanchet
  • Ross Callon
  • Alissa Cooper
  • Spencer Dawkins
  • Joel Halpern
  • Russ Housley (IETF Chair)
  • David Kessens
  • Cindy Morgan (IAB Executive Assistant)
  • Jon Peterson
  • Robert Sparks (IESG Liaison)
  • Dave Thaler
  • Hannes Tschofenig


  • Lars Eggert (IRTF Chair)
  • Heather Flanagan (RFC Editor Liaison)
  • Mat Ford (ISOC Liaison)
  • Danny McPherson


  • Andrew Sullivan (present for agenda item 2 only)

2. Tech Chat: IDN TLD Variants

Andrew Sullivan led the IAB in a discussion about Internationalized Domain Names Told-Level Domain (IDN TLD) variants. The following slides were presented:

–Begin Slide Deck–

  Slide 1: ICANN IDN Variants for the root

  Andrew Sullivan
  IAB Tech Chat

  Slide 2: Topics

  1. Short background
  2. What’s a variant?
  3. Why does it matter?
  4. How did this happen?
  5. Why the root?
  6. Special considerations for the root?
  7. ICANN Variant Issues & Variant TLD Project states

  Slide 3: The good old days
  is registered to a different person than

  Slide 4: Some background: IDNA

  - Add Unicode support to things that go in “domain name slots”
  - Short identifiers (63 octets in each label, 255 overall, in practice 
    much smaller)
  - No place to carry script or language identifier
  - Not “words” anyway

  Slide 5: Background: Han

  - Chinese is written in Han script (Hanzi)
    * roughly ideographic
    * partly shared with Japanese (Kanji) and Korean (Hanja)
    * Underwent major writing system reform during living memory
    * Not everyone was included
    * Japanese also reformed system before, in an unrelated way

  Slide 6: Example

  廠 (U+5EE0)
  simplified to
  厂 (U+5382)


  Slide 7: What’s a variant? 

  - Original IDNA (“2003”) work heard request to map TC and SC 
    * No, because not 1:1
  - RFC 3743 (“JET guidelines”, 2004) proposed a management guideline
    * Unicode code point by code point
    * Activate some, prevent others from registering the rest
    * “IDL Package”

  Slide 8: Example

  國 simplified to 国
  中国 produces a variant 中國

  These are treated as a package for administrative purposes

  Slide 9: But they are different, right?

  Slide 10: But these are different, right?

  Apparently not to competent Chinese readers.

  Slide 11: Ok, so special rules for Chinese?

  - To be fair, lots of problems in other writing systems
    * “Arabic YEH” vs “Farsi YEH”
    * Should ç match c?
    * What about Cyrillic a and Latin a?
    * What about loss of accents in case-folding?
    * These were not what “variant” meant in RFC 3743, but it’s what it 
      means now

  Slide 12: Why does this matter?

  - DNS administration is distributed
  - Parent policy doesn’t constrain child
  - Lots of servers need to know their names
  - Nobody can even maintain their DNS today, when there’s only one 
    entry to cope with
  - There’s no way to guarantee that the user expectation is actually 

  Slide 13: Crucially depends on language context

  - Chinese users think two strings the same, and they should both work
  - Japanese users do not think the two strings the same
  - For Germans, ö transcribes as oe; not for Swedes
  - In the root (and other mixed-user-population zones), there is no 
    reliable language context

  Slide 14: How did this happen? (Layer 9)

  - Root zone IDN “Fast Track” was for the “simple” and “uncontroversial” cases
  - “No variants”
  - China wanted to put Chinese in the root
  - But “China” is spelled two ways (SC and TC)
  - China is a government & ICANN can't tell them what to do
  - “Sets no precedent” caused the variant issues project

  Slide 15: Why do we need something for the root?

  - First, no matter what, you need a list of allowable code points
    * Doesn’t exist today, exactly
    * Expected by RFC 5891
  - ICANN needs a mechanism to cope with special pleading
  - Users expect something
    * We know not what (yet)

  Slide 16: Is the root really special?

  - See draft-iab-dns-zone-codepoint-pples
  - Short answer, “Sort of”
  - Letter principle
    * Is this really defensible?
  - Still, if not unique, different from leaf zones
  - Also, ccTLDs are perhaps special

  Slide 17: State of play at ICANN

  - Variant Issues Project explored 6 topics:
    * Arabic (script, sort of)
    * Chinese
    * Cyrillic
    * Devanagari
    * Greek
    * Latin
  - Produced report at beginning of 2011

  Slide 18: State of play at ICANN (2)

  - Report led to new project plan
    * Includes a project to set up the way to define the zone policies
      (“label generation rules”): 2.1
    * Includes a project to investigate user experience: 6
  - 2.1 about to ship another draft for public comments
  - 6 split into two phases, phase 1 nearly done

  Slide 19: 2.1 (Label Generation Rules)

  - To provide allowed code points and any variant relationships
  - Variants may be allocatable or may block
    * No decision on delegation
  - Partly based on IAB draft on code points
  - 2 panels: generation (writing-system specific) and integration (has 
    final say)
  - Consensus and unanimity model
  - No appeal (controversial!)

–End Slide Deck–

3. Minutes

The minutes of the 28 November 2012 business meeting and the IETF 85 Plenary remain under review.

4. Approval of liaison statement to ISO/IEC JTC1/SC6

The IAB approved the text for the liaison statement to ISO/IEC JTC1/SC6; the IESG approved the text last week. Russ Housley will send the liaison statement.

5. Document status

5.1. draft-iab-anycast-arch-implications

The board agreed to send draft-iab-anycast-arch-implications to IAB Last Call. Bernard Aboba will send the Last Call message.

5.2. draft-iab-dns-zone-codepoint-pples

The board agreed to send draft-iab-dns-zone-codepoint-pples to IAB Last Call. Bernard Aboba will send the Last Call message.

5.3. draft-iab-modern-paradigm

The board agreed to approve draft-iab-modern-paradigm for publication as an RFC. Bernard Aboba will send the Request to Publish to the RFC Editor.

6. Executive Session

Liaisons and guests were asked to leave the call, and the board discussed the following topics in an executive session.

6.1. IAOC appointment

The IAB appointment to the IAOC was discussed in an executive session. IAB agreed upon a selection for the IAB-appointed seat to the IAOC. Bernard Aboba will follow up with the chosen candidate to confirm his willingness to serve. Once the candidate has confirmed his willingness to serve and the other candidates have been informed of the decision, the appointment will be announced to the public.

6.2. ICANN appointment timeline

The timeline for the appointment of the IAB liaison to the ICANN Board was discussed in an executive session.

6.3. RFC Editor Performance Review

The schedule of reviews for the RFC Series Editor was discussed in an executive session.