Archive for October, 2006

IDN in the News

Wednesday, October 25th, 2006

In the past week or so, we have seen a few pieces of news worth mentioning here:

September 30RFC4690Review and Recommendations for Internationalized Domain Names was published. Here’s the abstract from the document:

This note describes issues raised by the deployment and use of Internationalized Domain Names. It describes problems both at the time of registration and for use of those names in the DNS. It recommends that IETF should update the RFCs relating to IDNs and a framework to be followed in doing so, as well as summarizing and identifying some work that is required outside the IETF. In particular, it proposes that some changes be investigated for the Internationalizing Domain Names in Applications (IDNA) standard and its supporting tables, based on experience gained since those standards were completed.

Yes, you heard right – it is a proposal to update the IDNA standard. The story is this: IDNA is based on Unicode version 3.2 which means that many newly added characters (especially many African scripts) will not be usable as domain names. Unicode is at version 5.0 now and is continually being updated. The fact that IDNA has no versioning feature is a massive headaches for the standards bodies and implementors alike.

October 18 – The much anticipated IE7 was officially released. Internet Explorer is the last but largest major browser to support IDN, making this the most important event for the world of IDN.

October 23 – Afilias announces new scripts (Polish, Swedish, Danish, Hungarian, Icelandic, Latvian, Lithuanian and Korean) for IDN in .INFO (Press Release).

More IDN news to follow, stay tuned.

IE7 with IDN support

Tuesday, October 17th, 2006

From the official IEBlog posting entitled “IE7 Is Coming This Month…Are you Ready?”:

The final release of IE7 is fast approaching … and I mean really fast … and will be delivered to customers via Automatic Updates a few weeks after it’s available for download.

The #1 feature in IE7 that interests me greatly is its support for IDN. Yes, it’s a little late (3.5 years after the IDNA standard was published and more than 4 years after Mozilla implemented it in the browser.) Still, being the most popular browser on the planet this marks a very important milestone in the history of IDN. In fact, JPRS saw the IDN registration numbers soar after Microsoft announced that IE7 will support IDN. I’m sure many other IDN-enabled registries experienced similar surges too.

I’ve been using the RC1 version of IE7 for about a month now, and have been using IDNSearch.net to find example IDN URLs. So, if have IE7 installed and want to see a real-life IDN in action, head over to IDNSearch.net.

If you’re an IE6 user, I would encourage you to upgrade.

Download IE7 here: http://microsoft.com/ie
Find IDN examples here: http://idnsearch.net/

IDN Converter

Monday, October 9th, 2006

Quickly hacked up a two-way IDNA converter for IDNSearch. It has a short and easy-to-remember URL too: idnsearch.net/converter

Enjoy 😀

Connexion Bye-Bye

Friday, October 6th, 2006

Just received a Singapore Airlines newsletter announcing the discontinuation of the in-flight broadband service – Connexion by Boeing, affectionately called CBB. For those in the industry, this may not be news but the following might be welcoming news for those belonging to the Too Frequent Flyer Club (of which thankfully I’m not a member): the service will be free of charge from now until the end of the year when the service will be withdrawn.

I’ve always found it thrilling to be IM’ing and checking emails mid-air, and to imagine the packets travelling all over the skies. I might have the chance to make use of the generous offer when we make the move to Sterling at the end of the year ;-P