IDN in the News

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.



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