November 8, 2005

ICANN Does Something Technical!

I've often said that ICANN regulates the business of buying and selling of domain names and that ICANN's claim that it coordinates technical matters to preserve the stability of DNS is a fantasy.

Well I am proven wrong.

ICANN has done something technical.

ICANN has issued Guidelines for the Implementation of Internationalized Domain Names, Draft Version 2 (pending approval by the ICANN board.)

It's only four pages long, but those few pages contain a lot of significant material.  But as in all things IDN-ish, solutions are not easy (in fact, IDN is a particularly difficult subject.)  I'd like to hear the opinions of folks like Paul Hoffman and James Seng.  Paul H. had some negative comments on an earlier draft over at CircleId.  It's not clear to me that Paul's concerns have been addressed in the new guidelines.

(Version 1 came out back in 2003.  I spent some time on the ICANN Board's committee on IDN's but my work on that was derailed when ICANN forced me to take legal action against ICANN for its unlawful denial of my right as a director to inspect ICANN's financial records.)

The new guidelines are an extension of the original rules.  The new material largely deals with the issue of domain names in different "scripts" (character sets for different languages) that look like one another and could lead to visual confusion.

Very much a small nit about the new guidelines document - the hyperlinks in the Acrobat (.pdf) file seem to be non-functional.  Perhaps that's the fault of my Acrobat viewer rather than the document.

So I find myself now having to amend my statement that ICANN does nothing of a technical nature.  Yet when one places the four pages of new guidelines against the thousands upon thousands of pages of ICANN's business regulations we can see that I need merely amend my statement to be that ICANN does almost nothing of a technical nature.

Posted by karl at November 8, 2005 7:56 AM