IDNS - A Brief Whirlwind Tour

A series of tutorials on Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs) offered by Chris Wright (CTO of the dotShabaka Registry   نقطة-شبكة.امارات ) in conversations with Mike O’Connor (from the ISPCP) and Steve Sheng (from ICANN).

[Do take note of my first-ever use of IDN links in a web page, based on my new understanding.  They just work in WordPress, no fuss or bother.  Pretty slick actually. Mikey]

Session 1: Introduction to IDNs (24:49) – covers the basics of DNS, ASCII, Unicode, languages and scripts. It focuses on how computers process domain names. After the session, users will have a better understanding of the following concepts: encoding systems, ASCII, case insensitivity of domain names, Unicode, code point, and challenges of Unicode.

Session 2: Introduction to IDNA (Internationalized Domain Names for Applications)(14:40)  covers the basics of the IDNA protocol. After the session, users will have a better understanding of: what IDNA does, punycode encoding and decoding, U-Labels and A-Labels.

Sessions 3: IDN Registrations and Registry/Registrar operations (25:36) –  covers the basics of registry and registrar operational practices that are needed to support  IDNs. After the session, users will have a better understanding of what registries need to do to support IDNs, when/where the registry/registrar interaction takes place.

Session 4: Blocking Variants (15:02) – covers the basics of variants of IDNs and how a registry could provision them in order to maintain the security of an IDN namespace. It provides examples of variants, the security issues they pose, challenges of supporting variants, and one registry’s practice to handle variant blocking.

Session 5: Activating Variants (16:46) – covers the basics of blocked vs active variants, what the challenges of activating variants are from a registry’s perspective, and Shavaka Registy’s approach to active variants.

Session 6: IDNs putting it all together (15:15) – a brief review of the topics covered in this series, an overview of some of the challenges for IDN adoption and a brief discussion of why IDNs matter.

Here’s a link to the slide deck that Chris used during the conversation.