November 22nd, 2006

Internationalizing the Internet

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A couple of news caught my attention today. With the impeding Microsoft IE 7 support of IDN, the industry has renewed its interest in IDN. Already, CircleID is buzzing with articles on IDNs in the last couple of weeks and various commenters noted that IDN registrations is expecting to go up. Look no further, it is going up. My visit to CNNIC last month confirmed they have increased the Chinese Domain Names registration by a significant portion to 300k registrations. At a prenium price (20 USD a name), Chinese Domain Names is generating as much revenue for CNNIC as the English domain names (a lot more but a lot cheaper too).

But what catch my attention is this wonder article written by Geoff Hutson on Internationalization of Internet. It is definitely a great summary covering various events surrounding IDNs.

Just two note:

1. On DNAME, I wasnt a big fan of using DNAME. I think ICANN is misguided that the DNS infrastructure cannot support too many TLDs and that using DNAME adds a level of complexity than it needs to be.

A label is a label, does not matter if it is on the 2nd level or the top level. If we dont use DNAME on 2nd level, I dont see why we need to use DNAME on the top level.

But I wont stand in the way for ICANN to experiment with DNAME IDN TLDs. Any little step forward is a step forward.

2. The article didnt mention RFC 4690 : Review and Recommendations for Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs). It covers a great deal of the technical complexity of IDNs, what we know works and some of the potential technical pitfalls we are concerned with in the existing system.

I wrote to Patrik and John a few weeks ago and here is what I said:

I agreed with issues raised in the doc, many of them are already
well-known before the original set of IDN RFCs was publish.

However, I think it would make sense for the system to implement a bit
longer to see whether the problem mentioned is real or just a
theortical possibility. It might also hurt the IDN progress if IETF
undertakes a review at this moment in time, as more likely then not,
implementors will then wait for the completion of the review before
further implementation gets done.

Other the minor disagreement with the timing, I applaud the work done
on RFC 4960 :-)

Patrik replied to say they have taken the timing into consideration so I left it as that.

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