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Non-ASCII Domains

Only übergeeks actually understand and care about this news from the Seoul ICANN conference, Internet Set to Allow Non-Latin Addresses, but this is the culmination of years of hard work by people like EBW at Wampum.

They are set to allow people whose language is not written in the Latin alphabet [actually limited to the 7-bit version of ASCII] access web sites without having to shift to the ASCII character set, i.e. the Russian sites can use .ру instead of .ru [the Cyrillic version may look like py, but the underlying codes of the characters are totally different and may appear as two question marks for some of you.] This is especially important for Asian users, as most of them do not use the Latin alphabet.

Internet addressing is about to become international.

4 comments

1 Steve Bates { 10.27.09 at 9:38 am }

So… now a German man truly can be a König in his own domain…

2 Bryan { 10.27.09 at 11:57 am }

Or, at least Fürst among equals.

3 David { 10.27.09 at 12:37 pm }

It exist since many years, but the problems came from the browsers. See here http://bit.ly/7KlXD for examples.

4 Bryan { 10.27.09 at 8:27 pm }

Browsers are responsible for the inability to properly display Right-to-Left languages like Hebrew, but the characters themselves require fonts that aren’t generally available.

UTF-8 solved many of the font problems, and UTF-16 even more, but it is up to the browser to identify the shift to displaying from Right-to-Left based on the character encoding.

This is just the next step in the process, and it isn’t a giant leap by any stretch of the imagination, but it will goad the people who write browsers to begin dealing with the problem.