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ICANN to Start Sample Internationalized Domain Trials in 11 Languages

On Oct. 15, ICANN plans to unveil mechanisms for individuals and businesses to try out the new sample Top-Level Domains in nearly a dozen languages. The 11 domains now under review will read "test" in Arabic, Persian, simplified Chinese, traditional Chinese, Russian, Hindi, Greek, Korean, Yiddish, Japanese and Tamil.

At this point, these 11 domain names are meant primarily for software developers and website designers to test the new system, but they are the first such names entered in the root servers after years of discussions and limited-access tests. A 24-hour hot line is being established to allow ICANN to quickly suspend the test if any problems might disrupt other domains such as ".com" and ".uk."

Update Oct 11, 2007 - Elsewhere on this topic:
A Script for Every Surfer
ICANN begins testing URLs with non-Roman characters
What's the Hindi Word for Dot-Com?

Read full story: Associated Press

Related topics: DNS, Domain Names, ICANN, Multilinguism, Top-Level Domains

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Comments

Re: ICANN to Start Sample Internationalized Domain Trials in 11 Languages Stephane Bortzmeyer  –  Oct 05, 2007 3:08 AM PDT

The AP article says:

Among major browsers, only the one from Opera Software ASA fully implements Punycode, Dam said.

Did ICANN really said so? This is so untrue, was it a mistake from the AP reporter or ICANN ignorance?

Re: ICANN to Start Sample Internationalized Domain Trials in 11 Languages Stephane Bortzmeyer  –  Oct 05, 2007 3:15 AM PDT

A 24-hour hot line is being established to allow ICANN to quickly suspend the test if any problems might disrupt other domains such as “.com” and “.uk.”

This is quite ridiculous. What could be wrong with these test domains, which are just ordinary ASCII strings? Was there any test before introducing ".cat" or ".museum"? This is just standard ICANN FUD, trying to make people think of IDN as dangerous things.

Re: ICANN to Start Sample Internationalized Domain Trials in 11 Languages Tina Dam  –  Oct 05, 2007 10:49 PM PDT

Stephane Bortzmeyer said:

The AP article says:

Among major browsers, only the one from Opera Software ASA fully implements Punycode, Dam said.

Did ICANN really said so? This is so untrue, was it a mistake from the AP reporter or ICANN ignorance?

Hi Stephane, a bit more background to that piece of information might be helpful.

Browsers such as IE(version 7), Firefox, Safari, Opera and probably many more, have all implemented the IDNA protocol. This means that they will resolve web-addresses with internationalized domain names. In other words you will be directed to the correct site. What is displayed in the address bar is a different story. All browsers have IDNA implemented differently so it provides a different user experience and in some instances you need to enter local settings. If you do so then, for all of the above mentioned, the domain name part of the URL will display correctly, however the path does not always display in local characters. Opera is the one browser (of those that I have tried out) that will display the entire address (domain name and path) in local characters.  Now, whether or not this looks differently in different operating systems I have yet to try out, but that is hopefully also something that people will try out under the wiki’s and provide us with the feedback.

Here is an example of the difference I am talking about:

http://مثال.إختبار/الصفحة_الرئيسية

http://مثال.إختبار/الصفحة_الرئيسية

I hope these get displayed correctly, again this is interesting to figure out how fully localized URLs handle copy and pasting into different programs. I pirposely chose the Arabic "examle.test" as the example because it adds an additional complexity, namely the direction bywhich the address get's displyaed. If you see the fully localized string then yiu will note that it reads the domain name right-to-left and then the path follows immidiately before the http://

I hope this clarifies things for you. Please don’t hesitate to let me know if you have additional questions, and also I welcome you to try these things out yourself when the wiki’s are live, scheduled for October 15, 2007.

Best regards,
Tina

Tina Dam
Director, IDN Program
ICANN

Re: ICANN to Start Sample Internationalized Domain Trials in 11 Languages Tina Dam  –  Oct 05, 2007 10:54 PM PDT

Stephane Bortzmeyer said:

A 24-hour hot line is being established to allow ICANN to quickly suspend the test if any problems might disrupt other domains such as “.com” and “.uk.”

This is quite ridiculous. What could be wrong with these test domains, which are just ordinary ASCII strings? Was there any test before introducing ".cat" or ".museum"? This is just standard ICANN FUD, trying to make people think of IDN as dangerous things.

Inserting 11 TLDs in the root at the same time, and that Internationalized ones, have never been done before. It is only natural to have a plan in place in the case that something goes wrong. This is a process specifically set up to work well with the technical community making us all feel comfortable to take this first step of inserting IDN TLDs in the root for evaluation purposes.

If you ask me personally if I think anything will go wrong, then the answer is no. Otherwise I would not have proceeded with this plan. However, I would also never proceed with a significant change to the Internet without making sure i had a plan B in place.

Re: ICANN to Start Sample Internationalized Domain Trials in 11 Languages Stephane Bortzmeyer  –  Oct 08, 2007 6:58 AM PDT

Opera is the one browser (of those that I have tried out) that will display the entire address (domain name and path) in local characters.

OK, but the path has nothing to do with IDN (IDN are only for domain names) and the quoted sentence is about Punycode support, which has nothing to do with the problem you now talk about.

A correct sentence would have been 'In my opinion, Opera is the one browser with complete IRI support', which is a very different thing, and quite outside ICANN's realm.

Re: ICANN to Start Sample Internationalized Domain Trials in 11 Languages Stephane Bortzmeyer  –  Oct 08, 2007 7:09 AM PDT

Inserting 11 TLDs in the root at the same time, and that Internationalized ones, have never been done before.

Inserting ".museum" in the root was never done before, too, and noone claimed it could be an hazard. (I choosed ".museum" for an example because it is the longest TLD. With the same methods, one could have claim it was a safety risk.)

Eleven domains in a zone file is peanuts. Almost every TLD, even from the smallest country, has more domains than the root.

And the fact they are internationalized is irrelevant. Since the
IETF decided that IDN would be 'punycoded' in ASCII-only domains, an IDN in the root is exactly like any other domain. So, the risk of problems is next to nil.

It is only natural to have a plan in place in the case that something goes wrong.

It seems to me purely rhetorical. Sure, it is better to have a plan B. But every sensible organization only makes plans B for risks that have a serious chance of happening. ICANN does not have a plan B for the risk of a meteorite striking Marina del Rey and destroying half of California. This is because this risk, while possible, is very unlikely. Same thing with IDNs in the root.

This is a process specifically set up to work well with the technical community

Please provide pointers to work of the 'technical community' indicating there is a risk with IDN in the root.

Re: ICANN to Start Sample Internationalized Domain Trials in 11 Languages Tina Dam  –  Oct 08, 2007 1:07 PM PDT

Stephane Bortzmeyer said:

Opera is the one browser (of those that I have tried out) that will display the entire address (domain name and path) in local characters.

OK, but the path has nothing to do with IDN (IDN are only for domain names) and the quoted sentence is about Punycode support, which has nothing to do with the problem you now talk about.

A correct sentence would have been 'In my opinion, Opera is the one browser with complete IRI support', which is a very different thing, and quite outside ICANN's realm.

We agree on this :)

(And note that just because it is a quote does not mean i said those exact words....and for the journalist, it can be hard to make everything 100% technical correct with what I am guessing is limited space)

Re: ICANN to Start Sample Internationalized Domain Trials in 11 Languages Tina Dam  –  Oct 08, 2007 1:13 PM PDT

Stephane Bortzmeyer said:

Inserting 11 TLDs in the root at the same time, and that Internationalized ones, have never been done before.

Inserting ".museum" in the root was never done before, too, and noone claimed it could be an hazard. (I choosed ".museum" for an example because it is the longest TLD. With the same methods, one could have claim it was a safety risk.)

Eleven domains in a zone file is peanuts. Almost every TLD, even from the smallest country, has more domains than the root.

And the fact they are internationalized is irrelevant. Since the
IETF decided that IDN would be 'punycoded' in ASCII-only domains, an IDN in the root is exactly like any other domain. So, the risk of problems is next to nil.

It is only natural to have a plan in place in the case that something goes wrong.

It seems to me purely rhetorical. Sure, it is better to have a plan B. But every sensible organization only makes plans B for risks that have a serious chance of happening. ICANN does not have a plan B for the risk of a meteorite striking Marina del Rey and destroying half of California. This is because this risk, while possible, is very unlikely. Same thing with IDNs in the root.

This is a process specifically set up to work well with the technical community

Please provide pointers to work of the 'technical community' indicating there is a risk with IDN in the root.

Well, I guess we just have to agree to disagree on this one. I am fully aware that the technical community is not in agreement either....FYI, the 24/7 emergency removal procedure was developed with recommendations for the root-server operators. See http://icann.org/announcements/announcement-06aug07.htm

Best,
Tina

Re: ICANN to Start Sample Internationalized Domain Trials in 11 Languages Stephane Bortzmeyer  –  Oct 09, 2007 9:45 AM PDT

On Oct. 15, ICANN plans to unveil mechanisms for individuals and businesses to try out the new sample Top-Level Domains in nearly a dozen languages.

The new TLD are now in the root. As far as I know, the sky is still there.

Apparently, they are not the ones announced by ICANN but it is a detail.

Re: ICANN to Start Sample Internationalized Domain Trials in 11 Languages Tina Dam  –  Oct 09, 2007 11:36 AM PDT

Stephane Bortzmeyer said:

On Oct. 15, ICANN plans to unveil mechanisms for individuals and businesses to try out the new sample Top-Level Domains in nearly a dozen languages.

The new TLD are now in the root. As far as I know, the sky is still there.

Apparently, they are not the ones announced by ICANN but it is a detail.

At this time they are in process of being propagated to all the root servers - however, these are exactly the TLDs that we announced would be published. At the present second they are all in a,b,c-root. Please call me if you have any concerns. Tina +1-310-862-2026

Re: ICANN to Start Sample Internationalized Domain Trials in 11 Languages Phil Regnauld  –  Oct 14, 2007 7:58 AM PDT

Tina Dam said:

> http://مثال.إختبار/الصفحة_الرئيسية

> http://مثال.إختبار/الصفحة_الرئيسية

Safari 3 shows this properly, both the domainname and the IRI.

It's actually hard to see how the complete URI is renderded after data is returned, since the link you posted requires authentication, and there is no configured error handler on the server in question for 404.

Cheers,
Phil

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