Archive for the 'idnsearch' Category

Chinese and Japanese IDN in .BIZ

Tuesday, April 24th, 2007

I just got back this morning from attending the OASIS XRI TC face-to-face meeting in San Diego with Bill Barnhill, Drummond Reed, Laurie Rae, Les Chasen, Markus Sabadello, and Marty Schleiff. A number of good things came out of the meeting, which I’ll leave for another blog because this post is about Internationalized Domain Names, not XRI.

So we just opened the flood gates for Chinese and Japanese IDNs for .BIZ. This has been my brainchild for the past half a year or so, and represents a significant step forward for our registry in terms of internationalization. As one might expect, no support for Chinese IDN is complete without bundling as specified in the JET guidelines and RFC4713.

The tricky part to supporting both Chinese and Japanese IDN within a single registry is that the two languages share a large repertoire of Han characters. While the concept of Simplified and Traditional Chinese is well-understood within the Chinese communities, Japanese generally do not use variants the same way. Two characters that may be considered variants by a Chinese user may be seen as distinct characters with different semantics from the Japanese’ point of view. To implement a registry that respects the culture and expectations of both language communities while offering a high degree of protection against homographic attack is a juggling act in itself. I dare say that NeuStar is the first unsponsored gTLD registry that Got It Right ™.

So, how does it work? Well, suppose you registered 電車.biz with the Chinese language tag, you will automatically get the simplified version of the domain, 电车.biz, placed into the DNS for you. No one can register any combination of variants of the domain, e.g. 电車.biz and 電车.biz.

What if you registered a mixed version 電车.biz, also with the Chinese tag? Well, you get that PLUS 電車.biz (traditional) and 电车.biz (simplified) giving you 3 domains in total! That is because we respect the registrant’s request, even if it looks like a mixed- traditional and simplified string. Whatever you asked for, if it doesn’t clash with another registered domain, will always be given to you.

If, however, the Japanese tag was used to register 電車.biz, that would be the only domain that you’d get. Once that is registered, other variations of the domain name in Chinese will not be allowed to register. This is a slight deviation from JPRS‘s appraoch, which treats them as distinct domains. We feel that this conservative approach offers better protection for the registrant.

So that was the skinny on our Chinese and Japanese Internationalized Domain Names offering. Is it me or do Han characters look very good with .BIZ? =)

Usual disclaimer about this being my personal opinion applies.

NeuStar Launches 5 New Languages for .BIZ

Thursday, November 2nd, 2006

We launched 5 new languages for IDN in .BIZ today. They are Danish (da), Icelandic (is), Norwegian (no), Spanish (es) and Swedish (sv). Prior to this, the only language available in .BIZ was German (de), launched in October 2004.

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank DK-Hostmaster, ISNIC, NORID, NIC-SE and Cary Karp of MuseDoma for their help and advice on these tables. The work on these tables really started 2 years ago when we first had the intention to launch additional languages, so I am very proud and relieved that they made it out!

Here’s a summary of the non-ASCII characters available for registration:

Code Point Character Language Codes
U+00E0 à no
U+00E1 á is,no,es
U+00E4 ä de,da,sv,no
U+00E5 å da,sv,no
U+00E6 æ da,is,no
U+00E7 ç no
U+00E8 è no
U+00E9 é da,sv,is,no,es
U+00EA ê no
U+00ED í is,es
U+00F0 ð is
U+00F1 ñ no,es
U+00F2 ò no
U+00F3 ó is,no,es
U+00F4 ô no
U+00F6 ö de,da,sv,is,no
U+00F8 ø da,no
U+00FA ú is,es
U+00FC ü de,da,sv,no,es
U+00FD ý is
U+00FE þ is
U+010D č no
U+0111 đ no
U+0144 ń no
U+014B ŋ no
U+0161 š no
U+0167 ŧ no
U+017E ž no

If you’re looking to register a Scandinavian or Spanish domain name, visit your favourite domain registrar to get yourself one.
When you’re done and made a web site out of it, don’t forget to submit it to IDNSearch.NET!

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 to find example IDN URLs. So, if have IE7 installed and want to see a real-life IDN in action, head over to

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

Download IE7 here:
Find IDN examples here:

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:

Enjoy 😀

IDNSearch Launch

Wednesday, September 6th, 2006

What do you do on a long weekend? Code, code…. and more code!

That’s all I’ve been doing the whole US labor day weekend, working on various projects. One of the projects that i’ve been burning my weekends on is The idea is to have a showcase of IDN’s as they are being used today. It serves as a central searchable directory of IDN’s that is community-driven.

Finally, after many burnt weekends and missed lunches, the site is ready for public consumption.


  • searching – this is an essential feature by definition
  • voting – yay or nay? Have your say
  • commenting – discuss with each other
  • tagging – organize them by category
  • trackback – ping an IDN to have it link to your blog
  • RSS feed – stay tuned to the latest additions

I’ve spent most of today scouring the web for interesting IDN’s and manually adding it to the site. As of now, there is a total of 38 IDN’s spread across 11 TLD’s and 10 languages, and already you can see the potential for it (well, at least I can.) So, if you’re reading this, please explore the site and send me your feedback. If you have a little more time, help by either submitting an IDN or casting some votes! Tell your friends about it. Thank you and God bless!