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ICANN Approves Internationalized Chinese Domain Names

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the beats-nationalized-any-day dept.

The Internet 116

philalethiac writes "Millions of Chinese language users will soon be able to access the Internet using Chinese script following a decision today by ICANN's Board of Directors to approve a set of Chinese language internationalized domain names."

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First Post. (-1, Offtopic)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 4 years ago | (#32789726)

Ching-chong-chang-wong-bong-dong.

Re:First Post. (0, Troll)

Luke727 (547923) | more than 4 years ago | (#32790002)

Well, I thought it was funny. Not quite as funny as getting raped by a pack of niggers, though.

Re:First Post. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32790690)

You forgot to post anonymously. You need to do that when you're trolling. Remember that next time, you arse licking sperm face.

Re:First Post. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32793512)

Clearly you are not familiar with my work.

As an aside, is "arse licking sperm face" supposed to be an insult? I sincerely hope that you can do better than that.

! Ha! (3, Funny)

KWTm (808824) | more than 4 years ago | (#32789732)

! ("shou3" = number one; "biao1" = to announce/post)

ICANN speak Chinese but Slashdot can't (4, Insightful)

KWTm (808824) | more than 4 years ago | (#32789752)

I guess, until Slashdot enables the UTF character set like everyone else has for the past decade or so,

1. There will be some domain names that we can't link to on Slashdot
2. No one will get my First Post joke.

Re:ICANN speak Chinese but Slashdot can't (2, Informative)

xC0000005 (715810) | more than 4 years ago | (#32789804)

You can link but it will need to be to the punycode versions for the domain portion, I suspect. Just wait for international email addresses - it's viagra ads in all the languages of the world.

Re:ICANN speak Chinese but Slashdot can't (1)

gzipped_tar (1151931) | more than 4 years ago | (#32789854)

1. URL shorteners could possibly be used to work around it.

2. "tie3" (http://zdic.net/zd/zi/ZdicE5ZdicB8Zdic96.htm) is a better alternative than "biao1". There's a more idiomatic Chinese jargon for "first post" which is prevalent among Internet users: "the sofa" ;)

Re:ICANN speak Chinese but Slashdot can't (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32789906)

URL shortners. Right.

Enjoy your chinese rickrolls [youtube.com]

Re:ICANN speak Chinese but Slashdot can't (3, Informative)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 4 years ago | (#32790148)

I guess, until Slashdot enables the UTF character set like everyone else has for the past decade or so,

1. There will be some domain names that we can't link to on Slashdot

Slashdot did allow Unicode. Then things like like this [slashdot.org] happened. Blame the comment trolls for forcing Slashdot to use a whitelist of characters allowed.

As for domain names, from what I see, they start with a standard prefix (I think it's "xn--") followed by the Unicode codepoints. Just so they're compatible across all systems. Browsers can choose to display the codepoints, or, I'm seeing an option to not do that, so you can tell Paypal.com from xn--blahblabblah.xn--blah.

Re:ICANN speak Chinese but Slashdot can't (1)

KiloByte (825081) | more than 4 years ago | (#32790832)

Too bad, the whitelist is retardedly narrow. I cannot see any reason to not allow every single printable character -- if you care for terminally broken browsers, perhaps except RTL, but that's it.

It's only certain control characters that can cause mess like that.

Funds to track Unicode (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#32791344)

Too bad, the whitelist is retardedly narrow.

I imagine that Slashdot staff ruled that on an English board, Chinese characters are more useful for SJIS art and lameness filter evasion than for text.

It's only certain control characters that can cause mess like that.

Slashdot staff apparently thinks that the effort to track new control characters that get added to new versions of Unicode or implemented in operating systems' text layout engines isn't worth the additional ad revenue.

Re:ICANN speak Chinese but Slashdot can't (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32791722)

If you cannot read every language in the world, why would you allow them on YOUR server? I moderate everything on my site - not just to stop blog spammers, but also to prevent non-English postings. I use UTF-8, but not everyone else does.

As to whether the ICANN choice is good or not, that is yet to be seen, but I'm worried that my mother will click a UTF-8 link and get infected with everything nasty on the internet because her system is not configured to display those characters and runs MS-Windows.

I would be in favor of a change to the top level domains where UTF-8 is used. Basically, provide a different UTF-8 .country code that can easily be blocked by people like me and Mom while allowing those who wish to use it to continue onto those domains.

Do no harm.

Re:ICANN speak Chinese but Slashdot can't (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#32791516)

It's just like Firefly..... two main languages for communication: English and Mandarin

Re:! Ha! (4, Interesting)

donscarletti (569232) | more than 4 years ago | (#32790146)

Ah, pinyin, the writing system that 1.3 billion people can write, and only primary school kids can read. To be able to write in a valid language and never be fear that it will be read by anyone important is liberating. For example:

xie2xian4dian3 shi4 zhai2nan2 de xin1wen2 dan1shi4 wang2zhan4 de ji4shu4 fang1mian4 chu1chou4, er2qie4 nei4rong2 shi4 gou3pi4. wo3 gan4le4 zhong1xiao4 mo4xi1ge1zhuan3 de ma1 de bi1. (Slashdot: News for Nerds, Stuff that matters. Commander Taco's mother is a classy lady)

Though on a more serious note, this is a little bit worrying. OK, ICANN is allowing Chinese domain names, this is no huge problem to me, since I can read and write Chinese anyway. But the Chinese will be pissed off when Japanese start using Kana and they are no longer able to enter the correct domain names to look up porn. I think this just screws the world all over in the long run, at least EVERYONE knows ascii.

Re:! Ha! (3, Funny)

sydneyfong (410107) | more than 4 years ago | (#32790510)

Took me a while to decode. Looks like I'm barely primary school level. :) My first language is Cantonese so my Putonghua isn't quite there...

For those who are interested, this is the real translation:

Slash-Dot is Otaku's news. But the website's technological aspect stinks and the content is dog fart. I fucked Commander Mexico-Roll's mother's pussy.

Nice one.

Re:! Ha! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32791016)

Commander Mexico-Roll

Brilliant.

Re:! Ha! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32791042)

For anyone unsure, this actually is the translation.

Re:! Ha! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32791776)

For those who are interested, this is the real translation:

Slash-Dot is Otaku's news. But the website's technological aspect stinks and the content is dog fart. I fucked Commander Mexico-Roll's mother's pussy.

Nice one.

But he was Chinese, so Commander Mexico-Roll's mom said, "Is it in yet?"

Re:! Ha! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32791116)

Pretty funny. There stereotypes are true. wang zhong fang mang chu chou tee hee!

Zhuyin fuhao (2, Informative)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#32791374)

Kana [wikipedia.org] developed out of man'yougana, the old "rebus" method of using Chinese characters for their sounds to spell Japanese words. Katakana were partial characters, and hiragana were cursive. Chinese has its own analogous system, called zhuyin fuhao [wikipedia.org] , whose alphabet begins bo-po-mo-fo.

Re:! Ha! (1)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | more than 4 years ago | (#32791692)

I think this just screws the world all over in the long run, at least EVERYONE knows ascii.

Everyone knows the numbers from 0-9 too, but that doesn't mean we should go back to using numbers only instead of domain names.

Re:! Ha! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32792068)

I think this just screws the world all over in the long run, at least EVERYONE knows ascii.

Everyone knows the numbers from 0-9 too, but that doesn't mean we should go back to using numbers only instead of domain names.

Numbers work fine for me.

Re:! Ha! (1)

conscarcdr (1429747) | more than 4 years ago | (#32793672)

Mind if I ask: what dialect of Chinese did you learn? Your Pinyin is mostly good but some phonemes sound strange to me, and I'm native mandarin. For instance: zhuan for Taco?

Re:! Ha! (1)

boxwood (1742976) | more than 4 years ago | (#32793852)

I think you need a browser extension to make it show chinese characters, otherwise it just shows ascii characters. Not even sure why ICANN needs to be involved. Thailand does this without any ICANN involvement.

Really? (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32789734)

ICANN haz internationalized Chinese domain name?

Re:Really? (1)

greentshirt (1308037) | more than 4 years ago | (#32789918)

lol. +1 funny

Re:Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32790646)

No. But you can has cheeseburger instead.

Re:Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32790854)

It's haz and cheezburger. Jeez, what has spelling become these days?

CHINA IS THE BEST (0, Flamebait)

For a Free Internet (1594621) | more than 4 years ago | (#32789748)

It is the best and the greatest. The USA is a stupid little country full of ignorant slobs who are idiots and retarded. Americans are so fat and dumb, especiallhy American slashdot readers, who are morelike primitive invertebrates than humans and I hope they choke on their stupid patriotic shit. Also, remember that CHINA IS GREAT and you are stupid if you dpon'tlike CHINA, THE VERY VERY BEST AND GREATEST AND AWESOME STEAMING HOT MARXISM!!!!!!!!!!!

Re:CHINA IS THE BEST (0, Troll)

Mitchell314 (1576581) | more than 4 years ago | (#32789896)

I swear slashdot needs a "-1 you're a bloody nuisance" mod option.

Re:CHINA IS THE BEST (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32790138)

Reserved only for people who bitch about how Slashdot needs some mod option or another.

Re:CHINA IS THE BEST (1)

macshit (157376) | more than 4 years ago | (#32790252)

I swear slashdot needs a "-1 you're a bloody nuisance" mod option.

I dunno, I think he deserves at least a little credit for the phrase "AWESOME STEAMING HOT MARXISM!!!"

Re:CHINA IS THE BEST (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32790338)

AWESOME STEAMING HOT MARXISM!!!!!!!!!!!

ROFL! Please mod this funny. I think I just shit my pants (made in China of course).

Do they resolve to cn or are they seperate? (2, Interesting)

pavon (30274) | more than 4 years ago | (#32789770)

I have heard conflicting information about this. I know the new ccTLDs for China (they approved two - traditional and simplified) are aliases for each other (resolve to the same sites), but are they also both aliases for the existing cn ccTLD or do they resolve to an entirely new domain? If they are separate, why did they choose to do it this way? It seems like it would only cause confusion.

Oh, and damn slashdot and it's lack of unicode support. It would be nice to be able to type the damn things when talking about them.

Re:Do they resolve to cn or are they seperate? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32789826)

More registrations = more money!

Re:Do they resolve to cn or are they seperate? (2, Insightful)

diakka (2281) | more than 4 years ago | (#32790212)

I would assume that deciding to do it separately would be the only logical decision. Traditional to Simplified mapping is not 1:1. There are a decent number of cases where two or more Traditional characters map to 1 simplified character. There are also other cases that are 2:2. Managing the transformations centrally would likely be a nightmare.

Re:Do they resolve to cn or are they seperate? (1)

OolimPhon (1120895) | more than 4 years ago | (#32790992)

Managing the transformations centrally would likely be a nightmare.

I thought that managing things centrally was what the Chinese did these days.

Re:Do they resolve to cn or are they seperate? (1)

tokul (682258) | more than 4 years ago | (#32791312)

I know the new ccTLDs for China (they approved two - traditional and simplified) are aliases for each other (resolve to the same sites), but are they also both aliases for the existing cn ccTLD or do they resolve to an entirely new domain? If they are separate, why did they choose to do it this way? It seems like it would only cause confusion.

those ccTLDs work and there is no commercial money sucking rush to register new ccTLD domains. Looks like really good reason to me. Introduction of new internationalized TLD is done right way.

Re:Do they resolve to cn or are they seperate? (1)

matmota (238500) | more than 4 years ago | (#32793680)

Before the Hanzi Chinese CCTLDs were approved by ICANN, when the only way to use them was to install CNNIC's "Official Client-end CDN Software" in your computer, the registration of a .cn domain name with Chinese characters automatically gave you the version with the Hanzi Chinese CCTLD.

You can read it here in English: http://cnnic.cn/html/Dir/2005/10/11/3218.htm [cnnic.cn]
It's in the answer to the third question.

I don't have any confirmation, but I don't see why they would change their policy.

It's all Greek to me. (1)

jd (1658) | more than 4 years ago | (#32789816)

Does this mean I can pester ICANN for a TLD using the ancient Nordic Futhark? Or does the board have members that would be opposed to the casting of runes?

Re:It's all Greek to me. (1)

russlar (1122455) | more than 4 years ago | (#32790132)

Does this mean I can pester ICANN for a TLD using the ancient Nordic Futhark?

You'd have to figure out how to translate Futhark first.

Re:It's all Greek to me. (1)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 4 years ago | (#32790162)

Or does the board have members that would be opposed to the casting of runes?

I suspect you would have to be authorized by your guild. Most likely have a minimum intelligence level. Probably a save or skill check is involved too. Ohhh, and don't pray to Thor before hand. He does not listen.

Time to revisit oldschool phishing attacks (5, Insightful)

Mattpw (1777544) | more than 4 years ago | (#32789954)

With all the non latin address character sets being approved I imagine there is a world of new opportunities which completely void all the "inspect the address bar" education which was pushed on the general public for so many years. ICANN has managed to turn the net into a pretty much anything goes place, almost every major company is practically extorted into buying the new extension flavour of the month to prevent spammers and fraudsters sending seemingly legitimate email and the general public is left completely confused with no guiding address principals.

Re:Time to revisit oldschool phishing attacks (5, Interesting)

Trepidity (597) | more than 4 years ago | (#32790070)

There are some attempts to mitigate the problem, though you're right that it can be one. Some registrars are limiting the characters that can appear in their domain, and there's a push to make that more widespread. One approach is to limit to "local" scripts only, so e.g. Cyrillic or Latin in .ru, but no Telegu or CJK in .ru. That greatly limits the number of clashing pairs compared to allowing all of Unicode. Some registers also have policies on not permitting certain known clashes, such as allowing two domains to be registered that are identical, except for one having a Latin 'a' where the other has a Cyrillic 'a' (which look identical in most fonts).

Firefox and Opera will only display the internationalized Unicode name for TLDs that are whitelisted as having a "safe" policy on the subject, and will display the punycode for other domains. Here [mozilla.org] is Mozilla's current policy.

Re:Time to revisit oldschool phishing attacks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32790124)

I'm cynical... am waiting for a TLD to pop up that uses the Cyrillic letters for "s", "t", and "o" to make something that looks like .com for users not versed on things. Perfect for phishers.

Re:Time to revisit oldschool phishing attacks (2, Insightful)

LambdaWolf (1561517) | more than 4 years ago | (#32790450)

With all the non latin address character sets being approved I imagine there is a world of new opportunities which completely void all the "inspect the address bar" education which was pushed on the general public for so many years.

Seems like a good browser feature would be to highlight any non-ASCII characters in the address bar in a contrasting color, such as red or bright green. Then it would take only a minimal amount of additional education to understand that it means something is amiss, unless you're clearly expecting an address composed of foreign characters.

Re:Time to revisit oldschool phishing attacks (1)

Jafafa Hots (580169) | more than 4 years ago | (#32790708)

ICANN has managed to turn the net into a pretty much anything goes place

Good. Because it was either "anything goes," or it was "only what we say goes goes," with the "we" inevitably being someone with a different set of values or agenda than a substantial percentage of the human population.

left-to-right-top-to-bottom-you-silly-foreigners (1)

pushing-robot (1037830) | more than 4 years ago | (#32789956)

So will browsers start supporting vertical address bars, [wikipedia.org] in addition to left-to-right and right-to-left?

Sorry to editorialize, but it's amazing how worked up the Americans and French get over the intrusion of foreign languages, considering they've done more than anyone to change how the rest of the world speaks and writes.

Re:left-to-right-top-to-bottom-you-silly-foreigner (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32789992)

Americans don't get worked up over the intrusion of other languages, we just thing that everyone in the world should speak English as a 2nd language.

Sure, there'll be some Americans who will get worked up, but for the most part it is not a deep held belief.Its not like we require people to speak English; many government forms are available in many, many languages. Its not uncommon for larger cities to have areas where advertising is in Spanish or on of the many Asian languages.

Re:left-to-right-top-to-bottom-you-silly-foreigner (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32790940)

That's the British attitude, and indeed the very reason why you speak English!

Re:left-to-right-top-to-bottom-you-silly-foreigner (2, Informative)

Mashiki (184564) | more than 4 years ago | (#32790050)

You might have missed it for the last little while, but English is pretty much the defacto trade language anywhere you go. But no, people don't get worked up over the intrusion of foreign languages into English. English in itself is highly mailable, which is why it's considered a trade language. French on the other hand, gets bent out of shape because they see it as pollution of the language. They're all about purity.

Re:left-to-right-top-to-bottom-you-silly-foreigner (4, Funny)

Trepidity (597) | more than 4 years ago | (#32790594)

While I don't like to raise too much sturm und drang about it, as a native English speaker I must still take some affront at the chutzpah with which these dirty foreigners waltz into our tongue, thinking they have carte blanche to sully our language.

Re:left-to-right-top-to-bottom-you-silly-foreigner (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#32790764)

That's a scenario at which given language (or its speakers, et al) should take affront before "exporting" itself throughout the world. After that it's no longer "our"...

It was a joke (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 4 years ago | (#32791178)

Notice that everything he wrote in there was understandable to an English speaker. However many of those terms are straight from foriegn languages and have been adopted in to English. Strum und drang is German (means storm and stress), chutzpah is Hewbrew (means audacity more or less), waltz is Italian, as are most musical terms in English, and carte blanche is French (means blank check).

He's showing how English takes on new words from other languages all the time. There is no effort made to keep it "pure" whatever that would mean. Non English phrases enter the language and are accepted readily. It is a highly adaptable language.

As a recent, non-main stream example, take qq. You've probalby see it online, people saying "qq more" or "Less qq more pew pew." It means crying. Well how'd that come about? Came from Hong Kong, actually. In online games, gamers from HK liked to use QQ to indicate sadness because to them, Q's in many fonts looked like sad eyes and side-by-side is pretty normal for Asian similes. Well, English speakers took to pronouncing it, and thus it lost the capitalization and "qq" entered online lingo to mean you are crying about something. I see it all the time in games being played by Americans.

There is no ministry devoted to English purity. It is a dynamic, evolving language with no pretensions of being special or pure. It just happens to be the world's most spoken second language (partially because of British imperialism, partially because of American media dominance). Why it is doesn't matter, just that because it is such a prevalent thing, we should encourage it. English should be pushed as the International language that everyone learns. That way, you can communicate with anyone.

Re:It was a joke (1)

Ash-Fox (726320) | more than 4 years ago | (#32791616)

Wrong. QQ actually means rage quit, it's from battlenet when ALT+Q+Q immediately quited the match and program. It is a form of telling people to rage quit. It's origin is unfortunately usually mistaken as crying eyes by what people on battlenet call 'noobs'.

Re:It was a joke (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 4 years ago | (#32792052)

I'm just telling you what was relayed to me by the HK players in Everquest. They'd see an item and link it and sometimes say "QQ" on the end. This was generally when it was an item they couldn't use or something. When I got a hold of one of them who spoke English well enough to understand the somewhat odd question, he told me it was sad eyes. As in "I like this item but I can't have it."

In current usage in games, people say it to mean crying or bitching. The phrase "Less qq more pew pew," is popular, meaning "Stop bitching and kill the enemy."

Re:It was a joke (1)

sabernet (751826) | more than 4 years ago | (#32792284)

Being pedantic here, "Carte Blanche" actually means "white card" which was used to indicate a card with a royal seal but nothing else on it; allowing the bearer to get what he/she wanted from the royalty(sort of like a blank cheque on crack).

Re:left-to-right-top-to-bottom-you-silly-foreigner (1)

shikaisi (1816846) | more than 4 years ago | (#32791986)

Don't keep using French expressions like "carte blanche". That's just so passé.

Re:left-to-right-top-to-bottom-you-silly-foreigner (1)

royallthefourth (1564389) | more than 4 years ago | (#32790054)

But in China nobody actually reads top to bottom anymore. What's more, they use the same punctuation marks and numbers that we do in general.

Re:left-to-right-top-to-bottom-you-silly-foreigner (1)

Jesus IS the Devil (317662) | more than 4 years ago | (#32790714)

"Americans and French" "worked up" about "the intrusion of foreign languages"?

I'm looking up and down this whole thread and I don't see any evidence of what you're saying. Or maybe you're just anti-American/French and are projecting your own opinions onto others?

Besides, language is about communication. It doesn't matter how it gets done, just that it gets done. Sure the world has hundreds of languages around, but in today's world, english is the common language that binds the world together. If that hurts some people's egos, well then tough luck. Go ahead and try speaking insisting in speaking Thai in, say Africa and see how far that gets you.

Re:left-to-right-top-to-bottom-you-silly-foreigner (2, Insightful)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#32790798)

Hm, there was some of it ("what for / useless / why those people won't just learn our script") on the occasion of last such ICANN news (regarding TLDs in, among others, Arabic script IIRC)

Yeah, the language is about communication. And in todays world, there are lots of people for whom even Latin alphabet itself looks like, say, Georgian alphabet to you. Accidentally, they are often amongst those with most to gain, if they had less roadblocks in communication.

Re:left-to-right-top-to-bottom-you-silly-foreigner (1)

Richard Dick Head (803293) | more than 4 years ago | (#32793280)

yeah most our writin look like chicken scratch but our alfabet's just fine, boy

Re:left-to-right-top-to-bottom-you-silly-foreigner (1)

pushing-robot (1037830) | more than 4 years ago | (#32791638)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English-only_movement [wikipedia.org]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toubon_Law [wikipedia.org]

I am an American, and I can't seem to go two weeks without hearing some blowhard blaming the country's problems on "lazy immigrants who refuse to learn our national language". If anyone points out that most other countries aren't trying to enforce a sole national language, they usually claim that America is in a unique situation; that no other country on the planet has to deal with job-seeking immigrants "the way we do", and the discussion goes downhill from there.

I'm not against America, just against the far-right American Exceptionalists [wikipedia.org] whose chauvinism and fear-mongering seem to prevent any social progress or reasoned debate.

Regarding the expressiveness of Chinese characters (3, Interesting)

tenchikaibyaku (1847212) | more than 4 years ago | (#32790000)

This looks like a perfect opportunity to highlight this [pinyin.info] recent post at the Pinyin News blog, closely related to the issue at hand! (Disclaimer: I'm not affiliated with the blog in any way, but as a former student of Japanese I can relate to the general message.)

Re:Regarding the expressiveness of Chinese charact (1)

macshit (157376) | more than 4 years ago | (#32790504)

Wow, I'm surprised he managed to make to the end of that rant without drowning in his own spittle!

Re:Regarding the expressiveness of Chinese charact (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32791464)

Wow, I'm suprised that he PENIS! BIG PENIS! Hah hah yea man. That's 100% cockin'.

compromise idea to prevent regional isolation (3, Interesting)

ad454 (325846) | more than 4 years ago | (#32790120)

Looks like the domain names will be encoded using punycode instead of the cleaner UTF8 encoding:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internationalized_domain_name
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Punycode

However, my biggest concern is that the use of non-ascii characters in domain names breaks the whole International nature of the web, and imposes regional barriers. Your mail client and mail server software might not be too happy with you trying to send an e-mail to "joe@.jp" or "joe@.jp-r14k153opxc" in punycode. (Crap, it looks like slashdot does not accept international characters in comment submission, so you can't read this: "日本人".)

Remember that very few people have rendering and fonts for every written language on the planet, so most people will be cut off from many websites.) With the current IPv4 shortage, one can no longer reliable just use an IP address to access a specific website, e-mail address, etc., since a single IP address can host many domain names.

Personally I think that the best compromise solution would be to only allow non-ascii characters for domain names in different languages if there are submitted with a paired up romainization version that can be equally accepted for the same domain. So using my previous example, one could equally specify ".jp" in Japanese Kanji, ".jp-yn9d427hcvb" in punycode, or "nihonjin .jp" in Romanji. That way you can still cater to a local/regional audience, and still allow everyone else in the planet to reach you.

For those that argue that it does not matter if a domain name is only specified in a foreign language, if all of the hosted content is in the same foreign language forget about all of current International collaboration in Mathematical, Scientific, Engineering, Programming, and other fields. (You can write an entire math proof or software program using only symbols without a single human word.)

Even for individual one-on-one e-mail communications between people in different countries that are able to communicate in a common language this would still be a problem, since a large percentage of e-mail accounts are hosted with a user's local ISP, that in future may leave them stuck with a non-ASCII e-mail address that would cut them off from the rest of the world.

Re:compromise idea to prevent regional isolation (5, Insightful)

_merlin (160982) | more than 4 years ago | (#32790170)

However, my biggest concern is that the use of non-ascii characters in domain names breaks the whole International nature of the web

Requiring everything to be ASCII breaks with the whole international nature of the web by forcing everyone to use English alphabet characters.

Re:compromise idea to prevent regional isolation (2, Insightful)

ad454 (325846) | more than 4 years ago | (#32790306)

Requiring everything to be ASCII breaks with the whole international nature of the web by forcing everyone to use English alphabet characters.

Everyone has to use English ASCII characters for top level domains (*.com, *.jp, *.cn, ...) and protocols (http, https, ftp, ...), so everyone online in every country has to continue to use ASCII whether they want to or not, even after these International domain names are in common use.

BTW, I never said that everything had to be in English ASCII, just something like a domain name or e-mail address that is used to identify a website or person should be.

The postal system in most countries allow one to mail a letter using romainized characters in addition to local language characters. For example, in Japan I can send a letter from one city to another (locally) using an address like "Akihabara 1-2-3-567, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, 111-1111", in addition to Japanese.

Re:compromise idea to prevent regional isolation (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32790488)

Circular reasoning. One could just as easily say that TLDs should be allowed to be non-ASCII as well (and who says they won't be?), which resolves the current dependencies on English. But that wouldn't make you happy because you use English and you want everyone else to use it too. Only for the domain or email address, you say... but those just happen to be the most important parts, right?

Your postal system example is just further evidence of systemic bias. Yes, you can send mail in Japan using addresses written in English. Can you send mail in the US using katakana? The point is that DNS is equally important to nearly every country that uses it. Forcing everyone to use a de facto trade language is not good enough. Why isn't it good enough? Because people and businesses end up with transliterations like this: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0852721/ [imdb.com] and they may not even realize that their product, business, or name is being filtered because they're not native English speakers, trade language or no.

The correct solution if you want to get in contact with a foreign domain? Use a translator.

Re:compromise idea to prevent regional isolation (4, Informative)

ashenden (1586069) | more than 4 years ago | (#32791118)

You don't get it: gTLDs and ccTLDs are being translated (aliased) as well. When this is done, for, say, the Japanese user, there will be no need for any ASCII, whatsoever. As for mapping to ASCII, all IDNs are mapped to punycode, which is ASCII, but it will be invisible. And mixed scripts aren't allowed, so phishing fears are overblown; it won't be any worse than it is today. IDNs should have been a part of the original DN structure, but better late than never. It's simply idiotic to have an entire website in Japanese, except for the DN.

And for programming (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 4 years ago | (#32791150)

All of the major programming languages I'm aware of use ASCII and have English overtones.

Perhaps it is time to accept that something useful to world communication is to pick a standard in terms of character set and so on and use that. That doesn't mean other characters can't be used locally, just that for global communication having a standard is a good thing.

I'd argue the same thing with language. I think it is a useful idea for everyone to learn a second language that everyone else speaks. Trying to get everyone to learn everyone else's language is impossible. So how about we have a second, international language.

In the real world, English largely functions this way. It is the world's most spoken second language. You can have a chat room with someone from Egypt, Japan, China, and Spain and there's a real good chance none of them speak each other's native language, but a reasonable chance they all speak English and can use that to communicate.

I don't see what the problem with saying we are going to use English and ASCII for worldwide communications is. Is it the best choice from a theoretical language standpoint? Probably not, but it is what's already in place and what people know. It is a working standard, let's stick with it and continue to push it.

Re:compromise idea to prevent regional isolation (2, Interesting)

Trepidity (597) | more than 4 years ago | (#32790598)

In practice, everyone does anyway. I don't know of any country where the people who use the internet haven't already developed at least some informal way of writing in the Latin alphabet, at least for short snippets like addresses. Many seem to prefer it even when alternatives are available--- for example, Facebook supports UTF-8 status updates, but my Greek cousins use Greek transliterated into ASCII more often than they use the Greek alphabet.

Re:compromise idea to prevent regional isolation (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32791350)

A huge number of people with non-Latin character sets will have access to the internet through their mobile phones, and they should not have to learn Latin letters to access local information, or have to switch input language to go to another site. Delivery of accurate information to farmers about the price of produce, for example, should not be restricted to those who know English, even if it was good enough for Jesus.

There is more to the internet than updating your facebook status and chat rooms.

Re:compromise idea to prevent regional isolation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32792658)

You sir, are completely missing the issue.

For addressing, you need one common characterset. Period.
It used to be IP. That no longer works.
Then it was DNS using the latin charset. Now that won't work.
Ok, so what is the common basis by which others can input URLs?

Re:compromise idea to prevent regional isolation (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32792082)

Both yes and no.

Let me give you Afrikaans as a very simple example that I can type in /.:

There are far more than 5 vowels, so the rest are written using diacritics (such as ê) and pairs of vowels (such as ou).

In order to distinguish between (for example) oe as a single vowel and oe as two separate vowels, we indicate the syllabic breaks with yet more diacritics. So "hoër" means higher, while "hoer" means "whore". There is absolutely no other way to write it, because unlike the Germans we cannot just add another e to indicate diacritics (forming a different vowel/combination of vowels/diphthong).

Around here, you can only buy American English keyboards. (Try to teach the idiot on the street how to use US-international settings, I dare you.) People usually drop the diacritics, because they don't know how to type them. (When they are used, it's because someone has memorised those stupid alt-### codes.) Of course, context can usually make up for the ambiguity.

This means, however, that no Afrikaans high school can have a website URL that a) uses its correct name b) can be typed by those who wish to visit it and c) will not be read as "whore school" by giggling kids.

This is a language already using the Latin alphabet. Now imagine what happens in the rest of the world, when they are forced to romanise their writing.

Standarts. (1)

DrYak (748999) | more than 4 years ago | (#32791874)

Yeah and requiring XHTML & HTML breaks the ability of people to setup web site formated in PDF (or Flash :-P ).
Standards aren't necessarily here to help every single crazy idea around.

Currently, the roman alphabet is the single common thing that you are bound to see on every single computer and other input-equiped machine connecting to the net.
If you want to be still accessible by everyone else, and not only the people having the proper font/keyboard layout/etc. combination installed, you need to support a standart input method which currently is roman alphabet. (English, BTW, isn't the only language which can be written with unaccented latin characters).

Imagine situation where a Chinese is abroad (student, tourist) and would like to read news online in chinese. The font part of the equation can be solved by embed fonts. But what about input ? If he lands in a country where only latin or cyrillic alphabet is available, he's out of luck if he wants to type the domain name. If the domain has a latin-equivalent alias, the Chinese could still type that one when no Chinese input methods are available.

Same reasoning goes for any other language using non-latin alphabet (cyrillic, japanese, arabic, herbew, etc.) roman alphabet is the only thing someone is sure to find on any foreign keyboard.

So we have to keep latin aliases for any situation where no specific input method is available. Otherwise we're going to piss of all tourists/students travelling abroad, or any person who just don't have the input method to begin with (I speak Bulgarian fluently, but never owned a cyrillic keyboard, having entirely grown up in countries using latin alphabet. I would really be pissed if suddenly I couldn't type the domains of my family members' e-mail adresses because suddenly cyrillic-only domains became the latest craze)

Re:Standarts. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32793166)

You're just not used to it:
  • Domain names can always be typed in Punycode, which is ASCII.
  • Many computers have the software to input lots of languages, and if they don't they're usually easy to install.
  • Use a site like InputKing.com, an online IME, to input Chinese anywhere.
  • Use a site like Nciku.com to draw the characters you need.
  • Use URL shortening services to prepare the domain names you use before you visit abroad.
  • Store the URLs you need in Unicode on a flash drive before you travel abroad.
  • Learn the IP addresses before you travel abroad.
  • Find the website you want via Google, or Baidu.

If you don't want to piss off foreigners by not accommodating them, install the IMEs they'll need. Even if that's a serious problem (which I don't think it is), then what good is it if they can visit Chinese websites but can't send any email in Chinese?

Re:compromise idea to prevent regional isolation (1)

grmoc (57943) | more than 4 years ago | (#32792638)

So long as ONE character set is required, then it works.
It was the latin charset, it may as well have stayed that.
Now, we'll have places where you simply cannot type in the domain name. Hurrah for allowing china's censors another easy way to cut off access to anything else!

Re:compromise idea to prevent regional isolation (1)

Tim C (15259) | more than 4 years ago | (#32790694)

Remember that very few people have rendering and fonts for every written language on the planet, so most people will be cut off from many websites.

If they don't have the rendering capabilities for the URL, they almost certainly can't read the content on the site anyway.

Re:compromise idea to prevent regional isolation (1)

tokul (682258) | more than 4 years ago | (#32791354)

日本人.jp is xn--gmqr87cb2a.jp. Ever block between periods is encoded individually.

Re:compromise idea to prevent regional isolation (1)

jonbryce (703250) | more than 4 years ago | (#32792166)

Websites probably aren't so much of a problem because if you can't read the script the URL is written in, you probably can't read the rest of the site either. If they want an English language version of the site, they will probably put it on a site with a Roman URL.

For example if you want to visit Cardiff City Council's website, you can visit either www.cardiff.gov.uk (english) or www.caerdydd.gov.uk (welsh).

Simplified or Traditional Chinese? (1)

korean.ian (1264578) | more than 4 years ago | (#32790276)

Will ICANN accept both simplified and traditional Chinese scripts?

Re:Simplified or Traditional Chinese? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32790518)

Short answer: yes.
The long answer, also for the benefit of those of us who thought that we already had Chinese (and other non-ASCII) domain names: ICANN decided to accept the following top level domains: xn--fiqs8s (China, simplified), xn--fiqz9s (China, traditional), xn--j6w193g (Hong Kong), xn--kpry57d (Taiwan, traditional) and xn--kprw13d (Taiwan, simplified), as well as xxx for porn. Apart from xxx all of these already have a corresponding ASCII tld and shouldn't be controversial. Note also that these aren't the first non-ASCII tlds, as Russia (Cyrillic), Egypt, UAE and Saudi-Arabia (Arabic) already have theirs. Which leaves us with only one question: when will /. finally support Unicode?

Why? (1)

xenobyte (446878) | more than 4 years ago | (#32790512)

Everything that's even remotely interesting on the Internet is either blocked in China or English language. Native Chinese sites is nothing but censored propaganda anyway.

Re:Why? (2, Interesting)

BiggerIsBetter (682164) | more than 4 years ago | (#32790768)

Everything that's even remotely interesting on the Internet is either blocked in China or English language. Native Chinese sites is nothing but censored propaganda anyway.

There are plenty of Chinese folks all around the world who would like to use this. It's not just the mainland.

Re:Why? (1)

KiloByte (825081) | more than 4 years ago | (#32790860)

But the domains are controlled by Chinese government organizations, so dissidents and emigrants are not going to use them.

Re:Why? (1)

jonbryce (703250) | more than 4 years ago | (#32792176)

Chinese is also spoken in Singapore which isn't quite as heavily censored as mainland China and in Hong Kong & Taiwan which aren't censored any more heavily than in a typical western country.

So, it's srashdot.org now? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32790514)

You know those asians and there funny way of talking.

Ah-show, you american man, you have very big penis !!

This is a terrible idea (2, Insightful)

identity0 (77976) | more than 4 years ago | (#32790628)

As a person who can read/write Japanese(similar to, but a bit different from Chinese) characters, I don't know why ICANN thought this was a good idea. It's not like the actual contents of pages had to be in Latin characters, so "Allowing use of other languages" is not really an issue. Only the address had to be in Latin characters.

Having all internet users use the 26 (x2 for capitals) letters of the Latin charset and 10 numbers is a much, much simpler than having everyone try to learn all the letters of all the character sets out there.

This is going to make administration harder.

If you started getting hacking attacks from .com, would you even know how to type that into your firewall? If you got an email from @.com, do you think you could describe the address over the phone to a colleague? From the preview, it appears Slashdot is filtering out Japanese characters I used for the addresses. The above examples would be tokyo.com and shujin@osaka.com if they were forced to be in latin. And that's something that's usable by both Japanese and foreigners, whereas the Japanese-character addresses are for 'Japanese only'.

I hope ICANN reconsiders and returns to latin+numbers only addresses.

Greed (1)

CuteSteveJobs (1343851) | more than 4 years ago | (#32791146)

> I hope ICANN reconsiders and returns to latin+numbers only addresses.

ICANN is in the business of hyping domain name sales and cashing in on it. Look at their TLD selloff. Applying needs a $185K non-refundable "application fee" which ICANN claim they need to cover their oveheads. Justified if they read applications while drinking Dom Pérignon from a gold slipper. The only way to convince ICANN not to do something is to convince them it won't make them money. Speculators and squatters are still out there, so no chance!

http://www.mindsandmachines.com/2010/01/icanns-credibility-in-the-balance-are-new-tlds-going-to-happen/ [mindsandmachines.com]
http://www.domainnamenews.com/up-to-the-minute/businesses-urge-icann-initiate-gtlds-delay/6121 [domainnamenews.com]
http://domainnamewire.com/2009/02/25/icann-to-study-price-caps-on-domain-registrations/ [domainnamewire.com]
http://www.dnforum.com/f17/icann-irt-final-report-abomination-wholly-unbalanced-thread-369416.html [dnforum.com]

TFA:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/10432404.stm [bbc.co.uk]

Re:Greed (1)

htdrifter (1392761) | more than 4 years ago | (#32792372)

ICANN is in the business of hyping domain name sales and cashing in on it. Look at their TLD selloff.

Spot on.
It's just another way to sell air.

Re:This is a terrible idea (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 4 years ago | (#32791220)

Ya. To me this just smacks of people whining about their language and culture in a rather meaningless way. The French are known to do this, they want to have French words for everything, don't want to adopt foreign terms. Very silly, and it happens despite their efforts. This is just more of the same like that.

I think people forget that using ASCII isn't only because computers were invented in English speaking countries. It is also because it is a reasonably small and distinct character set. You get languages, like Japanese and Chinese, that have a massive number of characters. That is problematic in all kinds of ways when you talk about computers. It can very much needlessly complicate communication. So there's something to be said for using a more simple system. The transliteration you demonstrated is a good way of going about things.

To me this would be like crying that we have to use Arabic numerals, rather than another system. Why do we use that system? Well because they were the first people to get it right and spread it around. It works and works well. You are first to do it well, you get to have it.

At some point, you have to start dealing with some standards around the world to make things useful. As a different example would be the Metric system. While the US is still heavily imperial units internally, they've had to accept that Metric is what is used internationally and that is dealt with. You order things in meters, they can be resold in feet, etc. All science in the US is conducted metric to make the results easy to share.

Same deal with character sets. Nobody (at least nobody reasonable) is saying "Just give up your native language and all the culture that comes with it." However maybe for international domain names we should stick with a simple system that people know and works well. As you said, the Japanese domains might be wonderful for Japanese speakers, but they don't help English, Chinese, Arabic, Russian, French, and so on speakers.

Re:This is a terrible idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32791622)

Yeah people might realise potential problems when they get DDoSed from hostnames they cant even pronounce...

Re:This is a terrible idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32792750)

That reminds me of something that happened in MMOs. People would use crazy characters in their names knowing that they could spam and most people wouldn't be able to type them into an automated complaint form... which only stopped being effective when the interface was changed to make the names right-clickable with menus for ignore and file complaint.

It'll likewise happen on the internet, especially if different characters don't copy and paste correctly between programs.

What exactly was approved? (1)

ygslash (893445) | more than 4 years ago | (#32790776)

This slashdot article and TFA provide absolutely no technical details, and no link to them.

Could someone please provide that? Thanks.

I don't like it. (1)

MaWeiTao (908546) | more than 4 years ago | (#32791890)

I have to say I don't like this one bit. It pretty much guarantees that sites with Chinese domains are essentially blocked off to the rest of the world. With Pinyin, at least a non-Chinese can visit a Chinese site without too much difficulty. Good luck trying to enter an address for a Chinese site given that you wont even have a clue how type in the address. And I'm curious to know how they will deal Japanese or Korean input. I mean, if someone in Japan uses Japanese input methods to enter the same characters, will the address work?

I'm also curious to know how they're going deal with the matter of names which are phonetically the same but use different characters. In writing it's not an issue, but if I tell someone a web address, at least in some cases, I'm going to have to point out which character I'm using.

I have to say, and this comes from years of living in Asia and having studied Chinese, that the written language is just not all that practical on a computer. Certainly it works reasonably well but it's not ideal. That's why they've got so many input methods. China's Pinyin, and Taiwan's vastly superior Zhuyin Fuhao are easy to pick up because they're phonetic. But they're also inefficient; you've still got tone to deal with and you're choosing from a list of a good 10-20 characters. There are better input methods which are much harder for people, even many Chinese to use. But these other methods let you narrow down the character you want more quickly. My wife, who's Taiwanese, finds it much quicker to use the Latin alphabet than to type in Chinese. She sees this is a big inconvenience.

Then there's the matter of Traditional and Simplified Chinese characters. It wont be so bad for someone coming from Traditional as the simplifications are fairly standard. But for someone coming from simplified they're going to have a harder time. Aesthetically China made a mess of a lot of characters in trying to simplify things, and the push was mostly political, but that's another story.

I can't help but feel that this approval was also political. ICANN wanted to show that they were culturally sensitive at the expense of global accessibility. Anyone using a computer in China can obviously the Latin alphabet. It's a necessity and will continue to be so even with this change. So there shouldn't be any Chinese unable to get online because of the inability to use Chinese addresses. This is ICANN trying to show that they're culturally sensitive and China taking advantage to get what they want for their own ends.

Re:I don't like it. (1)

butlerm (3112) | more than 4 years ago | (#32792184)

I believe for practical reasons nearly all of these internationalized domains will be aliases for romanized domain names that can easily be used by anyone from anywhere.

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