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Old 24th October 2006, 11:46 PM
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The Trouble With IDN Is ...

The Problem - but possible solutions?


One of the most common objections I hear about the usability of IDNs is more or less as follows:

"OK, you get to write the word as its spelled locally - but it's a waste of time developing a domain that can only be accessed through local keyboards. What about the user(s) abroad?"

The above can come in a few different versions, but I think many of you recognize this way of thinking (or not thinking hard enough??)


Let's use Österlen.com as an example (I don't know who owns this - I just use it as a simple example - it's a part of the southern Swedish province Skåne):

How can I access Österlen.com when sitting in an Internet café in France?

1) Search for it on Google (or other search engines)

2) Convert the name into punycode

3) Through links etc

4) You tell me


None of these ways are very efficient and might be time consuming.


One way of getting around this would be to register also an ASCII domain that forwards to Österlen.com - the best one would obviously be Osterlen.com but when that's taken and not for sale I would need to find something else. But what should I register that people would know to use when abroad/using a foreign keyboard?

Could / should some common standard be set here? Could for instance IDN be added in front of the ASCII term, i.e. IDNosterlen.com ? Or perhaps INT (for international) INTosterlen.com?

But this would not work either when the name is registered in several different non latin scripts since only one developer would be able to get the IDNosterlen.com.

Should an abbreviation of the language used in the IDN-domain also be added then - like this: IDNseOsterlen.com ? (se for Sweden in this case)

Or is this problem in the end purely intellectual and not really a problem? Is the real problem the narrowmindedness of the ASCII community?

Well this might just the ramblings of a tired mind - but it would be interesting to hear your thoughts or ideas.
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Old 25th October 2006, 12:04 AM
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Re: The Trouble With IDN Is ...

It is very easy to add languages using Windows XP. Probably even easier with a Mac. I don't see this as a problem.
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Old 25th October 2006, 12:40 AM
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Re: The Trouble With IDN Is ...

I think the typing in of a domain name is the least of a user's worries when he's in a foreign Internet cafe. Most people use foreign internet cafe's to access web mail. An ascii domain isn't going to help once the user has to start typing in his native language on a foreign keyboard.

My biggest problem (usually) is finding the damn @ symbol in order to send mail. I usually end up just manually cutting and pasting it from somewhere else.
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Old 25th October 2006, 12:44 AM
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Re: The Trouble With IDN Is ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drewbert

My biggest problem (usually) is finding the damn @ symbol in order to send mail. I usually end up just manually cutting and pasting it from somewhere else.
Yeah, why don't they just give the @ a key of its own and be done with it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by thefabfive
It is very easy to add languages using Windows XP. Probably even easier with a Mac. I don't see this as a problem.
So how do we make them see it's not really a problem? I have seen several discussions about this but in the end it always boils down to this "problem" that to them renders IDN practically useless for real business.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drewbert
I think the typing in of a domain name is the least of a user's worries when he's in a foreign Internet cafe. Most people use foreign internet cafe's to access web mail. An ascii domain isn't going to help once the user has to start typing in his native language on a foreign keyboard.
This might be so but let's just say for the sake of argument that our guinea pig in this foreign Internet café wants to visit Österlen.com in order to read some new posts, adverts, news, see some images or what have you - how should he go about it (and consider this imaginary person less Internet savvy and bright than the average guy here at IDNF!) Would he think of finding the ö-letter in some Swedish text online and then cut and paste it into the address window?

Last edited by Absalon; 25th October 2006 at 01:11 AM.. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
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Old 25th October 2006, 02:36 AM
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Re: The Trouble With IDN Is ...

Good topic

of the three ways to get there (Österlen.com)

my understanding of the three ways to get to a webpage (minus using favorites)
1. type it in could be a problem in foreign cafe.
2. finding a web page where it is linked, could be a problem in a foreign cafe
3. why not search google.se/or popular search engine for country/region
searching for Österlen.com
http://www.google.se/search?hl=sv&q=...S%C3%B6k&meta=
give me a page from www.osterlen.com as the first result

searching osterlen.com
http://www.google.se/search?hl=sv&q=...%B6kning&meta=
give me a page from www.osterlen.com as the first result

but then what if you can't change one letter and get almost the same word? Will search engines be able to recognize this and ask you did you mean this "Österlen" ?

interesting?
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Last edited by tee1; 25th October 2006 at 02:45 AM.. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
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Old 25th October 2006, 02:55 AM
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Re: The Trouble With IDN Is ...

The bottom line is how computer savvy is the user.

if he is..there are several ways we know of...and if he isn't at all, i still dont see a problem as i think most users who speak a language other than English know where they can find a virtual keyboard of they're native language.

After all ALOT of these users also email in they're native language to family/friends at home.
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Old 25th October 2006, 03:02 AM
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Re: The Trouble With IDN Is ...

My thoughts thinking like my roommate who can't speak English.
If he finds a computer that he can't type in a domain
He can't use the computer because he can't type a message to anyone.
He might not be able to use the net at all because
He will not type in English for a search.
In any situation he must use a Japanese keyboard to function.
Most people know this & would just bring their own laptop if they want to use the net.
Most Japanese abroad have Japanese compatible computers, email mom, friends etc.

Even most of us Japanese speaking gaijins would know to bring laptops with us if we travel. I have to email someone in Japanese, or receive it everyday.

If your position is important enough, you know what to expect traveling abroad.
The if you can't type in the domain, you can't search for what you want to find either.

It's not a big issue.
In most countries the target is consumers in the country first.
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Old 25th October 2006, 05:06 AM
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Re: The Trouble With IDN Is ...

Olney you are right,

we have to accept that IDNs will be only limited to the local market.

URL/Domain names are comparable to phone numbers; we all can reach everybody world wide; if you want to talk to somebody in Paris you dial 00 33 1 xxxxxx (33 france and 1 Paris); in Paris they have to dial 01 only.

Imagine now, french would use now indian numbers instead of the current arabic numbers?

You got what I mean?

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Old 25th October 2006, 05:09 AM
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Re: The Trouble With IDN Is ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by dabsi
Olney you are right,

we have to accept that IDNs will be only limited to the local market.

You got what I mean?

DABSI
I did not, can you explain?
Where did you get olney said idn accessibility options are limited to natives on foreign machines?
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Old 25th October 2006, 09:20 AM
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Re: The Trouble With IDN Is ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Absalon
How can I access Österlen.com when sitting in an Internet café in France?
If you are able to switch the Keyboard type to Swedish in the OS, then all you have to be able to do is touch type. The French Keyboard with the new driver will behave like you own Swedish Keyboard, it just won't have the keymarkings. Beware though the French use an Azerty layout rather than the Anglo Saxon Qwerty layout.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drewbert
I think the typing in of a domain name is the least of a user's worries when he's in a foreign Internet cafe. Most people use foreign internet cafe's to access web mail. An ascii domain isn't going to help once the user has to start typing in his native language on a foreign keyboard.

My biggest problem (usually) is finding the damn @ symbol in order to send mail. I usually end up just manually cutting and pasting it from somewhere else.
If you are on bi-lingual keyboard, which most are perhaps apart from French, then you just need to toggle back to your own language. I am not sure what the key sequence is exactly but Alt+Shift seems to ring a bell.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dabsi
Olney you are right,

we have to accept that IDNs will be only limited to the local market.

URL/Domain names are comparable to phone numbers; we all can reach everybody world wide; if you want to talk to somebody in Paris you dial 00 33 1 xxxxxx (33 france and 1 Paris); in Paris they have to dial 01 only.

Imagine now, french would use now indian numbers instead of the current arabic numbers?

You got what I mean?

DABSI
Whilst other number sets exits and used, I don't think there is a culture in the World that cannot function in what we call Arabic Numbers. Chinese have used them for centuries, they are more used than Davengari, even in Hindi Text. About the only people that don't use Arabic Numerals most of the time are the Arabs themselves.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 261275
I did not, can you explain?
Where did you get olney said idn accessibility options are limited to natives on foreign machines?
Yes, IDN are going to be limited to local markets, but then to a large extent so is ASCII, when everyone else pulls the pin and leaves English as one of the few languages on the Internet with no requirement for IDN. ASCII domains are going to bugger all use for marketing in Asia where half the World's population will live and will therefore by definition be Local Domains.

There are of course one or two exceptions. Terms that have true global impact, but the term IDN itself is not really going to be understood in most places.
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Last edited by Rubber Duck; 25th October 2006 at 09:33 AM.. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
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