Worldwide web at last – Non-Latin web addresses approved

October 30, 2009

(ChattahBox) — Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (Icann), the private body that oversees the basic design of the Internet has finally approved the Internationalized Domain Names proposal for country-code top-level domain names. Icann, which is in charge of assigning the world’s Internet users their online addresses on Friday in a meeting in Seoul, Korea agreed to allow the use of any of the world’s scripts, not just the Latin alphabet.

Plans for IDNs were first approved at a meeting in June 2008, but testing of the system has been going on for two years. Technical tricks have been used to allow portions of the Internet address to use other scripts, but until now, the suffix had to use 37 characters. Now, ICANN is allowing those same technical tricks to apply to the suffix as well, allowing the Internet to be truly multilingual. So the local bodies responsible for the likes of .kr and .ru will soon be able to apply for domain names in their own languages. The program will be rolled out in stages, starting Nov. 16. Countries can only request one suffix for each of their official languages, and the suffix must somehow reflect the name of the country or its abbreviation. Eventually, the use of IDNs will be expanded to all types of Internet address names.


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