ICANN has conducted six case studies of individual scripts to investigate any issues that need to be resolved to facilitate a good user experience for IDN variant TLDs. Public comment on the Latin case study team report will inform the formulation of the combined issues report.

Individual case studies for the Arabic, Chinese, Cyrillic, Devanagari, Greek, and Latin scripts have been undertaken. Each study, carried out by a volunteer community study team with help from ICANN staff, concentrates on specific issues that are relevant to the individual scripts.

ALAC Statement on the IDN Variant Issues Project Draft Integrated Issues Report - Final

DRAFT ALAC Statement on the Variant Issues Project Case Studies

Click here to download a PDF of the DRAFT ALAC Statement on the Variant Issues Project Case Studies

The ALAC would like to acknowledge the extraordinary work done by the IDN Variant Issues Project (VIP) case study teams.

The ALAC recognizes the significance and importance that IDNs play in enhancing diversity, preserving language, and democratizing access. Furthermore, the ALAC recognizes the rights of consumers to express themselves in the language of their choice. We embrace cultural diversity as a driving force of development, not only in respect of economic growth, but also as a means of leading a more fulfilling intellectual, emotional, moral and spiritual life.  The ALAC therefore recommends that the Board set aside financial and technical resources for outreach purposes on the adoption and accessibility of IDNs and factor it into the 2012-2015 Strategic Plan.

On the work of the VIP case study team reports, we observe a diverse set of issues and unique circumstances for the different languages and scripts considered.  From the documented IDN variant issues, we note that issues stem from various origins, including technical (Unicode codepoint allocations), historical, political, language evolution and usage, coincidental “look-alikes”, etc.  The ALAC therefore would advise the VIP case study teams to identify and report on the types of issues that should be handled as IDN variant issues versus those that should be handled by other user confusion avoidance mechanisms applicable overall to non-IDN as well as IDN TLDs.  Such distinction and explanation would provide important and useful context for the general community to provide comments to the work of the VIP case study teams.

The ALAC also observe the possible disparity between the policy and technical implications of implementation.  We therefore advise the VIP case study teams to also identify the readiness of implementation, including the level of consensus within the language community, the impact across languages, and most importantly to avoid disadvantaging language communities that have implementable policies available.

We thank the VIP case study teams for their prompt and thorough studies and look forward to the integrated report and the equally prompt implementation of IDN variant TLDs critical to the language communities currently disadvantaged by the incomplete IDN implementations especially those in the new gTLD process.

The ALAC will be inviting all At-Large Regional At-Large Structures to solicit views from their members on the case studies and will provide additional advice on the VIP integrated report when it is published for public comment.

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