Technology.am (Oct 30, 2009) — The world of internet is all prepared and geared up for undergoing its largest modifications, with the anticipated agreement of plans to introduce web addresses making use of non-Latin characters.
The board of the internet regulator, Icann shall decide upon whether or not to permit domain names to be in Arabic, Chinese and other scripts.
Over half of the 1.6 billion citizens who make use of the internet converse in languages with non-Latin scripts. The primary Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs) can be in use next year. Strategy for IDNs was first accepted at a conference in June 2008, but testing of the system has been going on for two years.
If accepted on Friday, the net’s Domain Name System (DNS) will be altered so that it is able to distinguish and interpret non-Latin characters.
The DNS acts similar to a phonebook, turning without difficulty understood domain names into strings of computer-readable numbers, called Internet Protocol (IP) addresses.
The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (Icann) said the “extremely intricate technical characteristic” allowing IDNs would symbolize the “biggest change” to the coding that underlies the internet because it was invented 40 years ago.
Icann held it would acknowledge the initial applications for IDNs by 16 November, with the first up and running by “mid-2010”. It is probable the bulk of early non-Latin net addresses to be accepted will be in Chinese and Arabic script, followed by Russian. A few countries, such as China and Thailand, have already introduced workarounds that permit computer users to enter web addresses in their own language. Nevertheless, these were not globally accepted and do not work on all computers.
“Of the 1.6 billion internet users nowadays worldwide, over half make use of languages that have scripts that are not Latin-based,” said Icann president and CEO Rod Beckstrom on Tuesday.
“Consequently this transformation is exceptionally essential for not just half the world’s internet users nowadays but more than half, most likely, of the potential users as the internet continues to increase.”
The conference in South Korea will in addition talk about its plans to initiate generic Top Level Domains (TLDs), such as .uk or .com.
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