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Re: Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs) in progress

From: Martin Duerst <duerst@it.aoyama.ac.jp>
Date: Mon, 29 Oct 2007 18:29:42 +0900
Message-Id: <>
To: Daniel Dardailler <danield@w3.org>, Richard Ishida <ishida@w3.org>
Cc: "'Jonathan Rosenne'" <rosennej@qsm.co.il>, "'WWW International'" <www-international@w3.org>, public-i18n-core@w3.org, "'W3C Offices'" <w3c-office-pr@w3.org>

At 21:13 07/10/26, Daniel Dardailler wrote:

>People should not expect a full coverage of textual expression in DNS space, since it is essentially an ID space similar to file names, not a real content medium.

Agreed. I assume you know that, but just in case, for others,
please note that file names in Japan are usually in Japanese
(except for a small technical minority). This works on all
major OSes, from Windows to Mac to Unix/Linux.

>(this looks like a simplification but it isn't, DNS is a system with application constraints (e.g. what the browser does), protocols contraints, bind implementation constraints, registry server constraints, registrar commercial constraints, ICANN policy constraints, etc.)

Yes indeed. Indeed domain names are stricter than file names, with
the exception of a ':' or '\' or '/' (depending on the OS), you can
put almost everything into a filename. Actually, if you go low enough,
even the directory separators can be made parts of a filename, although
that produces more trouble than it's worth.

>We're going to face some print/digital compatibility issues that we are unprepared to deal with because of the predominance of the latin ascii subset in today's exchanges (for everybody, not just latin based cultures).

I'm not sure I understand you. It is very clear that we won't suddenly
be able to send a Japanese domain name on paper e.g. to somebody in Iran,
and expect them to be able to input that domain name in their browser.
But I don't see any fundamental problems with doing that among people
who read/write Japanese, or among those who use the Arabic script, or
any other relevant group. In all these cases, there are some egde cases
similar to Latin I/1/l or 0/O, but native users are usually aware of them,
and if really neccessary, bundling is available as a technology.

I'd also like to point to postal addresses. In many ways, they are
the best analogy for the usage patterns that we can expect. Japanese
write their addresses in Japanese, Russians in Cyrillic, and so on.
Letters with addresses written in Latin also get delivered. People
instinctively understand that not everybody is able to read their
script, and they know which address to give, the 'native' script
one or the Latin one. Therefore, I don't expect too many problems

>RFID will solve that :)

And before that, barcode-like technologies. At least here in Japan,
they are used widely. Take a picture with your cellphone camera,
and go to the relevant Web page in an instant.

Regards,    Martin.

#-#-#  Martin J. Du"rst, Assoc. Professor, Aoyama Gakuin University
#-#-#  http://www.sw.it.aoyama.ac.jp       mailto:duerst@it.aoyama.ac.jp     
Received on Monday, 29 October 2007 09:35:09 UTC

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