Feeds

ICANN speeds IDN ccTLDs

No translation necessary

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

The likes of China, Russia, and Saudi Arabia are on the fast track to net domains that use their very own alphabets.

This week, at the Internet Governance Forum in Rio de Janeiro, ICANN announced that it's cranking an effort to provide certain very important nations with "country code top-level domains" that use "internationalized domain names." In ICANN speak, these are known as IDN ccTLDs. But you can think of them as web addresses that uses non-Latin characters.

"There are certain countries that clearly need to have an IDN representation of their territory as soon as possible," Chris Disspain, the country code manager for Australia and the chair of ICANN's Country Code Names Supporting Organization, told us, as he was jetting out of Brazil. "So we've working on a fast track approach that will give those countries IDN ccTLDs sooner rather than later."

Those countries include China, Taiwan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, The United Arab Emirates, and various other Arab nations. Disspain and ICANN have been testing IDNs for the past two weeks, and they hope to finalize a plan for these big-name countries within the next six months.

How difficult can this testing be? Pretty darn difficult. Disspain doesn't want Russia confused with Paraguay. The current Latin-character country code for Russia is "ru." But the Cyrillic equivalent looks just like Paraguay's Latin-character code: "py." Meanwhile, China uses two different scripts: simplified and traditional. So ICANN must decided whether to settle on one IDN ccTLD for such countries or provide more than one.

"From a technical point of view, there's a huge amount of work required to make sure that this sort of confusion doesn't happen," Disspain said.

Sorting everything out for every country across the globe will take "two to three years." But ICANN realizes that the likes of China and Russia need their IDNs well before then. "Over the next six months, we'll to try figure out a way to provide those territories with an IDN ccTLD without interfering with overall policy development."

So China and Russia should have a plan by June. But then that plan must be implemented. And who knows how long that will take. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Bono apologises for iTunes album dump
Megalomania, generosity and FEAR of irrelevance drove group to Apple deal
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
'Cowardly, venomous trolls' threatened with TWO-YEAR sentences for menacing posts
UK government: 'Taking a stand against a baying cyber-mob'
Arab States make play for greater government control of the internet
Nerds told to get lost in last-minute power grab bid at UN meeting
Zippy one-liners, broken promises: Doctor Who on the Orient Express
Series finally hits stride, but Clara's U-turn is baffling
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.