International Domain Names

Intro to International Domains

Recently there has been some squeeking and peeping from the tiny and best-ignored IDN community.

What the hell is the IDN community?

It’s two guys, maybe three, who think that International Domain Names arre the best thing since sliced bread.

What the H, E, double hockey sticks is a International Domain Name?

I really should stop asking myself questions, but nobody reads this blog and I’m having fun so shuttup.

I’ll let Wikipedia answer the question:

An internationalized domain name (IDN) is an Internet domain name that (potentially) contains non-ASCII characters. Such domain names could contain letters with diacritics, as required by many European languages, or characters from non-Latin scripts such as Arabic or Chinese. However, the standard for domain names does not allow such characters, and much work has gone into finding a way around this, either by changing the standard, or by agreeing on a way to convert internationalized domain names into standard ASCII domain names while preserving the stability of the domain name system.

Italics and bolding added, quoted from here.

The Problem with International Domain Names

From a Western point of view, it would seem like a natural thing for non-romanized cultures to do. For instance, since Japanese is written in Kanji (漢字), Hiragana (ひらがな) and Katakana (カタカナ), you’d think that Japanese would prefer to use these in their domains.

You’d be wrong. In an extensive poll I conducted, only one person preferred IDN to romanized domains. The other two people who responded preferred romanized.

The biggest problem with IDN’s is in the fact that most keyboards cannot type the damn domains. Take あほ.com for instance. Nice, international domain. Can you read it? No? You’re not alone – neither can the majority of folks in the world, and that’s dumb, dumb, dumb.

Websites are most often maintained for marketing purposes. To base your website on a IDN that the vast majority of people in the world cannot read or understand has to be stupidity of monumental proportions.

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