15(b) Describe the process used for development of the IDN tables submitted, including consultations and sources used
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For the development of 〈 .بازار 〉 IDN Table, CORE was fortunate to have as team members, Siavash Shahshahani and Alireza Saleh, two experienced IDN experts who have together been involved in both the technical and policy aspects of IDNs, especially in Arabic script. They have participated in a number of ICANN working groups, IETF IDNA2003 & 2008, and various other activities. They are also responsible for the development of Persian IDN at .IR Registry as represented in IANA IDN Repository 〈http:⁄⁄www.iana.org⁄domains⁄idn-tables⁄tables⁄ir_fa_1.0.html〉. CORE also plans to seek advice of other experts from major language groups that may be served by the proposed TLD.
The following two features stand out as the main guiding principles in the development of 〈 .بازار 〉 IDN Table, its Variant Table and the registration policy under the proposed TLD.
1. The proposed TLD is meant to provide a natural platform for ecommerce in a wide area from north Africa across west and south Asia to Malaysia, encompassing the many language groups that use the Arabic script. The TLD is meant to take advantage of the fortuitous situation that the string 〈 .بازار 〉, as it appears in Arabic script, is used and understood as ‘a place of commercial activity’ across virtually all languages using the Arabic script, albeit with slight differences in pronunciation and nuances in semantic coloring. Unlike most other IDN TLDs that have appeared to date, this is not intended to be a language-specific TLD, but a script-directed TLD. The languages this TLD could serve include, geographically from west to east, Arabic, Kurdish, Persian in its three variants of Farsi⁄Dari⁄Tajik, Urdu, and Malay written in Jawi alphabet. In addition, our IDN Table includes some letter-characters that although commonly used in commerce, are not generally recognized as ‘classic’ letters in any of the alphabets.
2. In view of the script orientation of the TLD, cross-language variants and writing conventions present an especially challenging problem for this TLD. The solutions adopted are fully consistent with variant identifications described in the final report of ICANN’s Variant Issues Project for Arabic Script (http:⁄⁄archive.icann.org⁄en⁄topics⁄new-gtlds⁄arabic-vip-issues-report-07oct11-en.pdf). Taking advantage of the feature of Arabic script wherein a letter-character normally possesses four forms depending on whether it appears as isolated or is an initial-, medial- or terminal letter of a string, our variants are mostly defined with reference to position. This allows for a less restrictive registration policy without risking the creation of confusable strings. More details appear in the Explanatory Annex in response to Question 15a.
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