ICANN made a serious public relations push about its long-standing attempts to implement Internationalised Domain Names (IDNs) the week prior to the October ICANN meeting, and the initial public test results are in. ICANN released preliminary statistics Monday covering the first public tests of the long awaited localised …
IDNs make perfect sense, but I for one don't fancy sending my mates a text saying "hey check out the new PS4 on www. ummmm....how the hell do I do Kanji on my phone?"
Let's be honest, sending *anything* by text is a triumph of the will over a wholly inadequate input device. Anyway, *you* won't have to. The people with Kanji URLs in their address book will be "foreigners" and will probably have a phone with a Kanji keyboard.
I'm struggling to see the "news" in this story, though. It appears that 99% of those who signed up for the IDN beta are folks who don't use a Latin alphabet. Well bugger me with a pitchfork. Who'd have guessed?
Risk of Ghettoizing Internet
My concern is not with the idea of International Domain Names, but with the real possibility of setting up ghettos on the Internet -- one for each language. This leads to the reinvention of the Tower of Babel and all its inherent problems. The huge advantage of everyone speaking the same language, on-line at least, means that the ideas and contributions have no borders or boundaries.
Another concern is that IDN allows for easier government censorship.
You do NOT type the Kanji into the URL but an encoded version of it. That uses US-ASCII codepoint and can thus be typed from a normal keyboard.
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