2.3.7 Internationalized Domain Name (idn)

NOTE: This charter is a snapshot of the 50th IETF Meeting in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It may now be out-of-date. Last Modified: 14-Mar-01


James Seng <jseng@pobox.org.sg>
Marc Blanchet <Marc.Blanchet@viagenie.qc.ca>

Internet Area Director(s):

Thomas Narten <narten@raleigh.ibm.com>
Erik Nordmark <nordmark@eng.sun.com>

Internet Area Advisor:

Erik Nordmark <nordmark@eng.sun.com>

Technical Advisor(s):

John Klensin <klensin@jck.com>
Harald Alvestrand <alvestrand@cisco.com>

Mailing Lists:

General Discussion:idn@ops.ietf.org
To Subscribe: idn-request@ops.ietf.org
Archive: ftp://ops.ietf.org/pub/lists/idn*

Description of Working Group:

The goal of the group is to specify the requirements for internationalized access to domain names and to specify a standards track protocol based on the requirements.

The scope of the group is to investigate the possible means of doing this and what methods are feasible given the technical impact they will have on the use of such names by humans as well as application programs, as well as the impact on other users and administrators of the domain name system.
A fundamental requirement in this work is to not disturb the current use and operation of the domain name system, and for the DNS to continue to allow any system anywhere to resolve any domain name.
The group will not address the question of what, if any, body should administer or control usage of names that use this functionality.
The group must identify consequences to the current deployed DNS infrastructure, the protocols and the applications as well as transition scenarios, where applicable.
The WG will actively ensure good communication with interested groups who are studying the problem of internationalized access to domain names.
The Action Item(s) for the Working Group are
1. An Informational RFC specifying the requirements for providing Internationalized access to domain names. The document should provide guidance for development solutions to this problem, taking localized (e.g. writing order) and related operational issues into consideration.
2. An Informational RFC or RFC's documenting the various proposals and Implementations of Internationalization (i18n) of Domain Names. The document(s) should also provide a technical evaluation of the proposals by the Working Group.
3. A standards track specification on access to internationalized domain names including specifying any transition issues.

Goals and Milestones:



First draft of the requirements document



Presentation and discussion at IETF-Adelaide



Second version of the requirement document



Final discussion on the requirement document

Aug 00


Req document wg last call

Sep 00


First draft of comparaison document

Dec 00


Final discussion of comparaison document

Dec 00


Protocol RFC first draft

Jan 01


Comparaison document wg last call

Mar 01


Protocol RFC second draft

Mar 01


Transition RFC first draft

Jun 01


Protocol RFC wg last call

Jun 01


Transition RFC second draft

Sep 01


Transition RFC wg last call

No Request For Comments

Current Meeting Report

IETF Minneapolis March 2001
IDN WG summary. Marc Blanchet, James Seng

IDN wg met 2 times during IETF Minneapolis, March 2001. Requirements document was discussed in length and the concensus in the room was to add an "intended scope" section that will state that the work doesn't solve the larger problem dealing with languages and nonuniqueness of names. Given possible concensus on the new section wording, concensus was reached in the room that this would enable forwarding the requirement document for Informational RFC.

A patent from Walid has been discovered that cover many documents that are seen as the direction of the working group, namely IDNA and maybe nameprep and the ACEs. WG feels that we need clarification on fair access of the patent in order to push IDNA to standard track. Co-chairs will contact Walid to obtain further information. If the IP clarification doesn't satisfy the working group or never comes, then the working group will have to make a decision on the orientation. It is possible that the patent could be invalidated, but this could take time to resolve and this will be done outside the ietf. Walid already acknowledged the wg chairs request so we expect an answer in a reasonable timeframe. It is difficult right now to guess the outcome of this IP issue.

Nameprep and IDNA were going just fine and are seen as mostly completed if not completed. The ACE design team will continue work and will also take into account the implementors findings that were presented during the meeting. There was two presentations about implementations that deal with chinese issues. Nothing really new since they were well discussed in the cjk draft presented in Pittsburg. However, it displays the fact that the DNS cannot be used as a directory, nor as a language helper. A presentation was on the use of idn in mail which shows the possible leakages of idn in application protocols. While internationalization of applications protocols is outside of the scope of the wg, the impact of the use of idn in protocols is in the scope of the working group. More work is probably needed on this topic.


None received.