Tina Dam (IDN Program director @ ICANN) quoted in an article from the Sydney meeting:
Exporters to speak your language online
by Adeline Teoh Wednesday 24 June 2009 3:48 pm The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) hopes to roll out their Internationalised Domain Names (IDNs) project after their next meeting in Korea later this year.
Speaking today at the Sydney event, ICANN’s senior director for IDN Tina Dam said the project would mean internet users could have any web address or email address in any language.
“We’ve had these IDNs at the second level for some time, under the existing TLDs [top-level domains such as .com .info .au]. It’s possible to implement these local characters from different languages in those domain names and that works fine for some communities, especially for those whose languages is based on Latin, but it doesn’t work so well for other speakers,” she said.
IDNs would not just change things for languages with a different character set, but sometimes the whole orientation of typing, she explained: “In Arabic you type from right to left so you type in part of the address in Arabic right to left; can you imagine switching to typing the second part of that address in Latin from left to right? So we want to have this at the top level as well.”
This could also help exporters who wanted to reach their market in a non-Latin-based language if they advertised an internet address, particularly in print media.
Dam gave the example of a Russian newspaper carrying an advertisement for a Russian website, which would currently carry the URL in Latin characters. This would be difficult for the reader to go to if they did not have a keyboard with Latin characters.
Exporters could therefore buy domains in the language of their destination market.
“They could select … the different alphabets that they wanted to have, different addresses for that website depending on the languages they want to represent, what market they want to target,” said Dam.
“The caveat to that is under country codes, in some cases there are registration restrictions, like you have to live in the country.”
The project involves moving from a state where domains are limited to 37 characters to a state where there are 100,000 characters to choose from. The domain must only contain the alphabet from one character set to avoid confusion with similar looking language script.
The reporter did another story prior to the above one:
Internet addresses go global
by Adeline Teoh Thursday 21 May 2009 5:47 pm Chinese, Arabic and other non-Roman characters are set to become part of universal resource locators (URLs), otherwise known as internet addresses, by the end of the year if technical problems can be overcome.
The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has been working on integrating non-Roman character sets into the uniform domain name system (DNS) technology.
The change means millions more users who can use the web in their own language and spells the end of English domination of the internet.
“India, for instance, is very concerned to get more of their people using the web,” said ICANN head Dr Paul Twomey. “There are some 150 million English speakers in India, but the rest of the population use one of 11 scripts. Once you start to think about those numbers of people coming on as active users using domain names, then you are confronted with why the DNS has to go from roman characters only to something else.”
ICANN currently manages around 180 million domain names.
Regardless and in addition, .рф (rf) news continue daily: http://www.internet.ru/news/2009-06-19368