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Russia Weighs Going Cyrillic For DNS

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the ru-serious dept.

The Internet 223

An anonymous reader writes "The Guardian reports that the Kremlin may start an alternate top-level domain, .rf. According to the story, .ru in Cyrillic translates to .py, the top-level domain for Paraguay, which the Russian government claims leads to confusion. This is similar to a move by China, which has their own .net and .com top-level domains in their native character set along with .cn, .com, and .net in ASCII." Hindering Paraguayan hackers may matter less to the Russian government than establishing greater control over a walled-off Internet.

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223 comments

ASCII PROUD WORLD ROUND (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21897468)

You read that right.

Why is /. always late with stories? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21897650)

Every time I see a story that remotely interests me, I've already read about it [contactlog.net] on the ContactLog Blog. Is a scrawny little upstart going to upstage the /.?

Re:Why is /. always late with stories? (2, Informative)

jacquesm (154384) | more than 6 years ago | (#21897974)

minicity spam

Re:Why is /. always late with stories? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21898422)

jacquesm the myminicity police. fuck off cop.

The end of the DNS as we know it (0, Redundant)

loadrunner (254519) | more than 6 years ago | (#21897478)

It was only a matter of time...

Redundant? Strange (1)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 6 years ago | (#21898812)

This could bring an end to DNS. Fine by me. The system, like email, is very fragile. But it shouldn't hurt the internet at all. Only the commercial aspect would suffer any real disruption, and even that should be temporary. Just fix a permanent address to every device. And create your own hosts file. Could make spoofing a bit more difficult, and it could make tracking a bit easier for you government bureaucrats out there.

Great!!! (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21897488)

It's great that nations can use their own languages instead of being forced to use alien Latin-English characters.

Re:Great!!! (1, Informative)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 6 years ago | (#21897584)

It's great that nations can use their own languages instead of being forced to use alien Latin-English characters.

In this case, the characters are exactly the same. It's just that 'p' (pronounced 'pee' in English) is the letter 'er' in Russian, and 'y' (pronouced 'why' in English) is the letter 'oo' in Russian. So .ru to us is literally .py to them.

Cyrillics has a number of Greek letters sprinkled in, but in this instance it is of no help.

Re:Great!!! (2, Interesting)

Arthur B. (806360) | more than 6 years ago | (#21897824)

they are not the same, they just look very similar
  != py

Re:Great!!! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21898056)

Slashdot is lame like U**x in 1980 and ate the characters you typed. Actually one of big advantages of Microsoft was internalization. I could use national characters without any problem in 1994 on NT. Good luck with Linux or most of Unices then.

Re:Great!!! (5, Funny)

Dogtanian (588974) | more than 6 years ago | (#21898448)

Actually one of big advantages of Microsoft was internalization.
You mean that it was possible to shove them up your ass?

Re:Great!!! (2, Informative)

ajs (35943) | more than 6 years ago | (#21898986)

Slashdot is lame like U**x in 1980 and ate the characters you typed.
Actually, Slash (the engine behind Slashdot) does exactly the right thing, converting any out-of-latin-1 characters into HTML-encoded characters such as &#041F;

However, it also eliminates these from display because of the confusion that people use them to inject (e.g. mis-spelling a domain name with Cyrillic characters so that when someone cuts-and-pastes it, their session can be hijacked). It's a specific security feature used on MANY sites which are intended for English-language discussion.

Actually one of big advantages of Microsoft was internalization.
MS jumped on the internationalization bandwagon VERY late in the game, but they were the first to incorporate Unicode into the filesystem which made up for a lot of their delays... better late than never, I guess. Prior to Unicode the approach was typically to have multiple versions of the text associated with an application, in multiple character sets which would be loaded on-demand. These features worked in Unixes that I was using as early as 1987.,

I could use national characters without any problem in 1994 on NT.
"Use" is an interesting term. Most uses of Unicode outside of a Word Processor in vintage NT would result in system crashes and/or corruption.

Good luck with Linux or most of Unices then.
Well... Linux didn't really exist as a commercial OS at that time, so I guess you're right by default. What's more, the Unicode standard had JUST been published in 1991. It took years for most software to adapt to using Unicode, and even longer for the interoperability features to be worked out. Even today, new releases of, for example, Gnome continue to adapt to the ways other cultures use the desktop and OS with their native characters (e.g. with vertical or RtL script).

You seem to have this rosy view of the world that involves Microsoft products solving the hard problem of internationalization from day one, and everyone else staring dumbly... this is far from the case.

Re:Great!!! (1)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 6 years ago | (#21898498)

I don't think you understand what I mean. I'm not saying that they are the same computer code. I'm saying that they are literally the same characters. Just used differently between Cyrillics and English. The fact that computers have different character codes for the languages is beside the point. In an international environment py is going to equal py. Which can create a bit of a problem. Did I just receive a legitimate email from bankofrussia.py [google.com] or a phishing attempt from bankofrussia.py [google.com] ?

Can you tell the difference? I sure as hell can't. The only clue I have is that the browser encoded ErOo in the URL, while PY was spelled out in the URL. Otherwise I'd need to start looking for subtle differences that some character sets provide over others. (Sorry, in Arial they are the same pixel for pixel. Try Courier New.)

Re:Great!!! (1, Informative)

Arthur B. (806360) | more than 6 years ago | (#21898642)

The characters are not displayed in the same way, I cannot paste cyrillic in slashdot, but the difference between the y and the russian u is visible, the tail of the y is rounder.

Of course, it leaves room for phishing attack, but they are not the same character. Not historically, not linguistically, not in encoding, not in display.

Re:Great!!! (2, Informative)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 6 years ago | (#21898896)

The characters are not displayed in the same way

As I said, it depends on your font. In Arial, they are pixel for pixel. In Courier, they have slightly different shapes. Either way, it doesn't really matter. Very few people will notice the font differences. Why? Because they are the same characters. The fact that a computer provides two copies of the same character, actually causes as many problems as it solves.

Re:Great!!! (2, Interesting)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 6 years ago | (#21899044)

they are not the same character. Not historically

And yes, they are the same character, historically speaking. Both characters were borrowed from a common Greek/Semitic ancestry. Cross pollination of Latin and Cyrillic languages have lead to Cyrillic renderings of the letter that are more or less the same as the Latin rendering.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Y [wikipedia.org]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D0%A3 [wikipedia.org]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P [wikipedia.org]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D0%A0 [wikipedia.org]

Re:Great!!! (1)

Arthur B. (806360) | more than 6 years ago | (#21899144)

The fact that they share ancestry does not mean they are historically the same character. Historically French and Spanish have always been distinct, although they both come from latin.

Re:Great!!! (3, Informative)

Maimun (631984) | more than 6 years ago | (#21899060)

They ARE the same. Trust me, I am Bulgarian and we also use the Cyrillic alphabet. The Cyrillic alphabet was created in the 9th century by Constantine, a Byzantine friar (I dunno if this is the correct term) serving the emperor in Constantinopol. The church name of Constatine was Cyrill, that is where the name of the alphabet came from. At that time, both Rome and Constantinopol were trying to convert the Slavic states to Christianity. The Eastern Roman Empire, a.k.a. Byzantia, was more flexible than the Catholics: she offered Christianity in the native Slavic languages, while the Catholics insisted on using Latin. The Cyrillic alphabet was introduced precisely for that purpose. It was modified Greek alphabet (Greek was, of course, was the language of the East Roman Empire) with symbols added for those Slavic sounds that had no Greek equivalent. Intially it was adopted in Bulgaria and after about a century or two it was adopted by the Russian proto-state -- in contrast to the Russian myths that the Cyrillic alphabet was first introduced in Russia and even invented in Russia.

The initial Cyrillic alphabet looked quite different from what is used today in Russia and Bulgaria; the appearance of the modern Cyrillic alphabet is due to a reform by Tzar Peter I of Russia. Peter I imposed visual style similar to the one of the Roman font.

BTW, the Cyrillic alphabet was not the only creation of Constantine-Cyrill. He had invented another alphabet to be used by the Slavs which was called "glagolitsa" and visually was totally different from the Cyrillic one. This radical design was not very successful, although I've heard it had been used in Croatia until 2-3 centuries ago.

Here is a four-column table of the original Cyrillic alphabet [wikimedia.org] and the Glagolic one ("glagolitsa"). The first column is the name of each letter (yes, each one had a name; if the names are read sequentially they form a saying, quite deep and meaningful at that), the second is the cyrillic glyph, the third is the glagolic glyph, the fourth is the numeric value.

Re:Great!!! (1)

Arthur B. (806360) | more than 6 years ago | (#21899308)

The initial Cyrillic alphabet looked quite different from what is used today in Russia and Bulgaria; the appearance of the modern Cyrillic alphabet is due to a reform by Tzar Peter I of Russia. Peter I imposed visual style similar to the one of the Roman font.

You just proved my point. If he needed to impose a visual style *similar* to the one of the Roman font, it means precisely that the characters are different. A character is more than it's different representation with different fonts, a character is a logical unit and the cyrilic er is not the latin p, although they may have similar and sometimes identical representation.

Re:Great!!! (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21897900)

No, the characters only look the same to a human eye. To a computer they would look quite different:

English "py" is keycode U+0070, U+0079
Russian "py" is keycode U+0440, U+0443

Of course, the whole internationalization issue wouldn't be an issue if ICANN didn't have their head up their collective ass.

Re:Great!!! (4, Interesting)

Maimun (631984) | more than 6 years ago | (#21899248)

No, the characters only look the same to a human eye. To a computer they would look quite different:
This is precisely why Cyrillic symbols are not used in DNS. It is possible to have two URLs, one having latin letters only, the other one latin and cyrillic, that look exactly the same in most fonts but are completely different as strings, so if they are resolved by DNS they'd resolve to distinct IP addresses. This is just perfect for phishing attacks: you can't tell whether www.mybank.com is the URL of your bank "MyBank", or it has a Cyrillic "a" and is registered by the attacker, by simply lookong at it. To tell if the URL is genuine one must examine it with hex editor ro something...

Re:Great!!! (5, Interesting)

Sigismundo (192183) | more than 6 years ago | (#21898042)

Not sure why the parent has been modded flamebait. It's probably the phrase "alien Latin-English characters", but it's actually an accurate description of how a domain name might appear to speakers of non-European languages.

I wasn't aware that China had already began experimenting with Chinese characters in domain names, so I did some Googling. Here is a link [cnnic.cn] (in English) that describes how to register a Chinese Domain Name (CDN). It makes for a pretty interesting read. It includes the predictable clause that you can't register CDNs that "harm the glory of the state." Users of CDNs are encouraged to use "Official Client-end CDN Software" to make access more convenient. I wonder exactly what this does.

In general I think it's pretty cool to be able to have non-ASCII characters in domain names, but it seems to introduce a lot of extra compexity into DNS. Also, it seems like it could open the door for more governmental control of the internet, as TFA mentions.

Re:Great!!! (1)

adrianbaugh (696007) | more than 6 years ago | (#21898176)

I take it there is some good reason why a new but backwards-compatible version of DNS can't be released that uses unicode? Never mind Cyrillic, or Chinese characters, I want a domain name in Tengwar!

Re:Great!!! (1)

saforrest (184929) | more than 6 years ago | (#21898676)

I take it there is some good reason why a new but backwards-compatible version of DNS can't be released that uses unicode? Never mind Cyrillic, or Chinese characters, I want a domain name in Tengwar!

And you can get it [wikipedia.org] if you can get Tengwar in Unicode, with the exception of the top-level domain. Unicode characters are already supported and used [b] , but no top-level domains using non-Latin Unicode characters yet exist. Russia is proposing a new top-level domain.

Thinking about it, there's no need to reinvent the wheel here, is there? The existing IDNA system can be used: if Russia wants "" (or some other abbreviation of the Cyrillic ) as a top-level domain, just give them whatever that maps to in the ToASCII conversion (described in the article I linked). Then the existing software that supports international domain names will work without trouble.

Of course then Japan will want , and China (maybe Taiwan will want it too), and this may make the top-level domain system balloon out of proportions. But these sorts of top-level domains make a hell of lot more sense to me than dot-biz or dot-museum!

Re:Great!!! (1)

saforrest (184929) | more than 6 years ago | (#21898988)

Unicode characters are already supported and used, but no top-level domains using non-Latin Unicode characters yet exist

Apparently top-level domains support Unicode characters in URLs, but Slashdot chokes on them! (In links, anyway). Here are some attempts, all failing:

bücher.de [b] (UTF-8 or ISO 8859-1)

bücher.de [buumlcher.de] (HTML entity u-uml)

bücher.de [b] (Unicode character 00FC as entity)

Re:Great!!! (1)

argiedot (1035754) | more than 6 years ago | (#21899150)

As far as I know, the top level domain is the .de part.

It's not really translation (4, Informative)

mr_mischief (456295) | more than 6 years ago | (#21897528)

You can't really translate between 'r' and rho. It's a character set issue. It's a straight equivalency of sounds. Cyrillic is based on the Greek alphabet and the English alphabet is based on the Latin alphabet. It could be confused with Paraguay because of the character encoding, but it's not really the same letters.

And THAT's the problem Einstein (2, Informative)

El Lobo (994537) | more than 6 years ago | (#21897918)

The problem is not that they are not the same or even different charsets. The problem is that they are near enough for the naked eye to confuse a russian user. Lets say they have a real bank with the address www.baHk.py (baHk = bank in russian but I'm not using cyrillics here so use your imagination). A pisher could easily setup a domain www.bahk.py (using latins py = paraguay) and this should be very difficult for a naormal user to catch the error.... This is a phishers wet dream, actually.

Re:And THAT's the problem Einstein (1)

KinkoBlast (922676) | more than 6 years ago | (#21899556)

of course, if it displays as .ru, it's not a problem, now is it?

Re:It's not really translation (1)

lb746 (721699) | more than 6 years ago | (#21897950)

I'm not sure if translation is just used due to the lack of a word to describe the process. Maybe more like transcribing?

This whole process makes sense to me at least with my familiarity from browsing Chinese websites. They can 'translate' or transcribe the characters into the pinyin system of roman characters, but this in no way really explains the character or definition. It actually forces people to learn a middle language that helps make it easier to translate between the Chinese character set and the Roman character set.

As a quick example with link to graphic of Chinese characters:

Ni Hao [galatours.nl] == ni2 hao3 == Hello
So while putting in the characters with a dot com at the end makes sense to Chinese speaking individuals, it makes no sense to those that use the roman system. Thus we find websites translated to pinyin first(with the tone numbers removed).

Personally I would much rather type in Chinese characters to go to a specific Chinese website than typing in pinyin that doesn't really do the translation justice

Re:It's not really translation (2, Informative)

Cctoide (923843) | more than 6 years ago | (#21898200)

I'm not sure what you're asking, but I've always heard of conversion between scripts (i.e. writing systems) being called transliteration.

Re:It's not really translation (1)

lb746 (721699) | more than 6 years ago | (#21898272)

Yeah thats the word I was looking for. I knew it wasn't really translating or transcribing but I just couldn't remember. Thanks!

Re:It's not really translation (1)

_|()|\| (159991) | more than 6 years ago | (#21898358)

From the user standpoint, it's a distinction without a difference. In most fonts, Latin "py" is not readily distinguishable from Cyrillic "ru." However, I would argue that confusion is more likely with the proposed Cyrillic domain names than with the current all-ASCII system. I am sympathetic to the desire for more localization, but the ramifications of a change like this should be considered very carefully.

Re:It's not really translation (1)

mr_mischief (456295) | more than 6 years ago | (#21899470)

If there's no difference in the words we use, then we should stick to just one word. I propose "Oof". ;-)

Seriously, though, I think you've struck on the right issue here. It's not a problem caused by the current system. It's a problem encountered when expanding the current system to include other character sets. For the people designing the DNS had considered this change way back when they designed the initial system and assigned the ccTLDs, it would have been nice but would've required an extreme case of forethought.

These are the types of snags extending a system beyond its original design will encounter. As for the proper ccTLD, perhaps .ru should be replaced entirely with .rf in the standard and current domain holders grandfathered into the new system. It seems like a good fix for this specific problem.

soviet russia bait (3, Funny)

savuporo (658486) | more than 6 years ago | (#21897532)

i think this is a specially engineered news post to bring out the lamest "in soviet russia" jokes of slashdot. bring it on!

In Soviet Russia ... (4, Funny)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#21897890)

In Soviet Russia, py ("pie") is confusing to ru ("roo")!

Re:soviet russia bait (1)

Avohir (889832) | more than 6 years ago | (#21899388)

In Soviet Russia, you may have slight confusion over the proper TLD!...

... I dont think i get this game :(

cyrillic("ru") != "py" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21897554)

While "ru" written with cyrillic letters may look confusingly similar to "py", it is not the same.

Re:cyrillic("ru") != "py" (1)

David Chappell (671429) | more than 6 years ago | (#21898530)

>While "ru" written with cyrillic letters may look confusingly similar to "py", it is not the same.

Confusingly similar is an understatement. In many fonts the same glyphs are used. Yes, the same glyph is printed for both latin p and cyrillic r and the same glyph is printed for both latin y and cyrillic ew.

Scammers could exploit the fact that people in Russia pronounce the domain "ru" as "rew". If they see the glyphs "py" and do not remember that the glyphs should be interpreted according the the latin alphabet, they will pronounce them as "rew" as well. Thus, one could easily fail to notice the difference between "rambler.ru" and "rambler.py".

In Soviet Russia ... (5, Funny)

trolltalk.com (1108067) | more than 6 years ago | (#21897598)

In Soviet Russia, DNS blocks YOU.

... which is the whole point of "greater control".

Re:In Soviet Russia ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21898032)

Funnily enough, there is no slashdot.ro ... but guess what there is? A slashdot.cn!

Re:In Soviet Russia ... (1)

trolltalk.com (1108067) | more than 6 years ago | (#21898116)

If they can block links to myminicity, I for one would welcome our new Russian DNS Overlords!

Better yet, lets give them myminicity.ro or rf, or whatever, and let let them build their own gulags.

Domain names (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21897606)

The desire to have national domains might be understandable, but way too many tools depend on fairly strict domain name validity checking and having non-Latin/non-numeric/non-dash/non-dot chars is going to make all those tools barf. Hardly a consideration for the Govt that presided over murder of millions of its own citizens.

Well... (2, Funny)

gibbdog (551209) | more than 6 years ago | (#21897636)

In Soviet Russia, the domains name you!

Just to spike the ball..... (5, Funny)

edwardpickman (965122) | more than 6 years ago | (#21897692)

and prevent foreign outsourcing of Russian web site construction they plan to launch a version of HTML in Cyrillic. Soon to be followed by C++ in Cyrillic. Microsoft decided it was a niffty idea so they plan to start a Pig Latin based coding language called "Squeal Like".

Re:Just to spike the ball..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21897896)

The sad thing is, this has already happened. If you bought a localized version of Microsoft Office you used to get a localized version of the macro language as well. Honestly. I've had to work with it. (And I derived a lot of humor from it.) On the bright side, it was interoperable with English Office; if you opened it you saw the English names instead of the localized statements, or vice versa. Nowadays Microsoft just seems to ship the English macro language.

Re:Just to spike the ball..... (1)

Animats (122034) | more than 6 years ago | (#21898028)

HTML in Cyrillic...

You can write XML with Cyrillic tags. XML with tags in Mandarin Chinese shows up now and then.

Re:Just to spike the ball..... (2, Interesting)

techpawn (969834) | more than 6 years ago | (#21898098)

This is why we need "common" as a language choice! Go ahead and keep your individual languages (English, French, Goblin) but also have a "Common" language for all people. Like in Firefly everyone spoke a little English and a little Chinese to create a language of the people...

I fear that it would create more and bloodier Wars than ever before though.

Language in Star Wars. (1)

UseTheSource (66510) | more than 6 years ago | (#21898292)

Or, like in Star Wars, everyone should learn to understand everyone else's language. Then, in conversation, one would speak their own language regardless of what the other person is speaking. Han's exchange with Greedo comes to mind.

Re:Just to spike the ball..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21898488)

Like in Firefly everyone spoke a little English and a little really badly spoken Chinese to create a language of the people...

I fixed that for you. They might as well of used a made up language instead of speaking pretend Chinese.

Re:Just to spike the ball..... (1)

megaditto (982598) | more than 6 years ago | (#21898184)

Funny you should mention outsourcing. Last time I checked, Russia annually issues about 7,000,000 work visas for foreigners.

Now compare that to all the bitching about 60k H1Bs...

Re:Just to spike the ball..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21898258)

Would the Microsoft Pig Latin Database be called C Squeal?

Re:Just to spike the ball..... (2, Funny)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 6 years ago | (#21898836)

The database oriented variation would be called "SQL Like a Pig".

Programming in Russian (2, Funny)

mi (197448) | more than 6 years ago | (#21899096)

Soon to be followed by C++ in Cyrillic.

When we studied programming in high school, we used a language called "Ershov" (last name of the textbook's author), which was really Pascal translated to Russian.

I don't think, there was an actual compiler, though — nor did we have (enough) computers. Our little code-snippets were checked by the teacher by hand...

"One laptop per child"? Right...

In the American college, our professor was quite fond of (then brand new) Java. Among the advantages, he listed the ability of using non-ASCII characters. The poor man had to read my programs with variable-names in Ukrainian for the rest of the semester...

Re:Just to spike the ball..... (1)

Cyberax (705495) | more than 6 years ago | (#21899534)

Actually, the most-used programming language in Russia is the language of 1C:Enterprise (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1C_Company), it has Russian keywords and system variable names - it's the only sane way, because some terms of Russian accounting do not translate well into English (and transliterated Russian is _ugly_).

Though, Russian text in computer programs looks very weird.

Make the damn furiners learn English! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21897696)

Translations just slow everybody down.

It's time we get our tongues in order and build a tower to the heavens!

Further Proof (0, Troll)

Urger (817972) | more than 6 years ago | (#21897708)

This is further proof that everyone should just speak English.

Re:Further Proof (5, Insightful)

jacquesm (154384) | more than 6 years ago | (#21898136)

Hm, troll ? Maybe, maybe not. When I was 14 or so one of my main motivations in learning english was to be able to work better with computers, all the books I could find where in english. In the early 80's when everybody was too busy solving problems instead of customizing their desktop and putting the right accents on letters that are unambiguous anyway.

The PC, the web and the laser printer changed all that. Mainframe printers were mostly 'chain' printers with a very limited (EBCDIC) character set, not much chance to get your fancy local script there, so people worked around it and on the whole were ok with the solutions.

Now we get top level domains with all kinds of accents in them and completely local scripts. This 'internationalization' of computing is a good thing for many people because they can now access the digital world in their own language, but at the same time it removes us one step from having a universal language, and the web could have easily given us that holy grail. Because not to be part of the cyber community or learning English ? It would have been an easy choice for most, one or two generations and English would have become a de-facto world standard.

The situation we have right now will long term probably mean that the amount of content on the net will be proportionally spread out over the various languages, with English only being a (slightly) disproportionally high fraction.

That universal language window of opportunity is probably lost for a long time, whether it ever was a serious possibility if of course open to debate, I for one had some hope that it was.

Re:Further Proof (1)

SQLGuru (980662) | more than 6 years ago | (#21898442)

I agree.....granted, I speak English natively (and have no secondary language), I would have liked to see a universal language (not required to be English, but it is sort of the de facto standard) emerge and the web would have been the perfect vehicle for forcing it.

Layne

Re:Further Proof (1)

Sigismundo (192183) | more than 6 years ago | (#21898638)

I agree that having a universal language is a nice idea. But I don't see how the web was a missed opportunity in this respect. Do you think that early on the web should have been restricted to English-only content?

Re:Further Proof (1)

SQLGuru (980662) | more than 6 years ago | (#21899254)

I don't think that it should have been a rule, but in the early stages of development, it was dominated by the English language (most of the participants were either native English speakers or those like the parent who learned English in order to participate). Even today, there is a large English influence in "things Internet".....just less so percentage wise compared to those early days. If, instead of easing the restrictions in place, they remained as they were, I think English would have dominated the web to such a point that it would have become that universal language.

Layne

Re:Further Proof (1)

MMC Monster (602931) | more than 6 years ago | (#21899404)

Can you even do HTML markup in anything other than English?

Not that I think that a single language is good for the world in general. (Reminds me of how the Babel fish removed the barriers to communication and became the cause of more wars as people began to understand one another.)

hackers (1)

zyzzx0 (935520) | more than 6 years ago | (#21897722)

Hindering Paraguayan hackers may matter less to the Russian government than establishing greater control over a walled-off Internet.

That was my first thought. Lookout for a flood of new registrants for the equivalent of sites like alfabank.ru. (maybe?)

Another attempt (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 6 years ago | (#21897760)

to put a wall up across the internet.
Also the reason I do not want changes to how the internet 'works'.
It seems every change someone comes up with is designed to put a wall up someplace.

Re:Another attempt (1)

kwerle (39371) | more than 6 years ago | (#21897972)

How?
It is just a nameservice. If russia decides they want a top level .manyspecialcharacters, google will buy/register the domain name google.manyspecialcharacters, just like they bought/registered google.ru. Russia will get some money, and everyone is happy - especially Russia. You can still call it google.com, or just 72.14.207.99.

How long? (5, Funny)

A beautiful mind (821714) | more than 6 years ago | (#21897798)

How long until someon registers rm.rf ?

Re:How long? (1)

ScotlynHatt (764928) | more than 6 years ago | (#21898976)

Done. Internet squatters picked up your post with domain text and have it in their perpetual registration pipeline.

Re:How long? (2, Funny)

sootman (158191) | more than 6 years ago | (#21899484)

My first thought was 'tm.rf'--in Soviet Russia, The Manual, um, Reads... wait...

Just me (3, Interesting)

Rinisari (521266) | more than 6 years ago | (#21897814)

Is it just me, or does it seem like the article is really blowing this out of proportion? From my understanding, the Russian government just wants to add a .rf (well, . if I'm remembering Cyrillic correctly). That's it. Users with Cyrillic keyboards will be able to access those sites without a problem, and those of us with non-Cyrillic keyboards will have to either use a character map program or temporarily switch keyboard layouts (as I just did).

Is that it, or am I missing something?

Re:Just me (1)

Rinisari (521266) | more than 6 years ago | (#21897910)

Well, I did have the fancy Cyrillic characters there, but apparently, Slashdot hates UTF-8.

Re:Just me (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#21898160)

I thought they wanted .ру

why not .po? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21897828)

It's true that the cyrillic .(.py) looks very similar to .py, but as someone else pointed out, they are different character sets.

Also, why did they want . in the first place? that's just "roo" in cyrillic, which is the English spelling for Russia. Wouldn't the Russians themselves rather have .? A .po-equivalent makes more sense for them, since in Russian they call their country Rossiya.

(sorry if you can't see the Russian chars)

Re:why not .po? (1)

Zontar_Thing_From_Ve (949321) | more than 6 years ago | (#21898894)

Also, why did they want . in the first place? that's just "roo" in cyrillic, which is the English spelling for Russia. Wouldn't the Russians themselves rather have .? A .po-equivalent makes more sense for them, since in Russian they call their country Rossiya.

For those who don't understand this point, "Russia" spelled in Cyrillic is written something like "POCCIR" with the "R" being backwards. I can tell you that .ru has been in use for so long that EVERYBODY there on the internet knows about it, so they just transliterated it to ".py" in Cyrillic, even though you can make a case that it might not be the 2 letter code that a native speaker would have chosen.

Lost in translation (1)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 6 years ago | (#21897842)

Why not impliment a babelfish [altavista.com] translation across domains?

*Ducks*

In 20 years... (1)

wysiwig3 (549566) | more than 6 years ago | (#21897894)

"Mr. Putin, tear down your digital wall!"

Re:In 20 years... (1)

skoaldipper (752281) | more than 6 years ago | (#21898248)

"My fellow Americans, I'm pleased to tell you today that I've signed legislation that will outlaw .py forever. We begin google bombing in five minutes."

A big issue for the rest of us ... (3, Insightful)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 6 years ago | (#21897940)

As it is I see spam which has Chinese characters embedded in what appears to be a google URL, but which I strongly suspect isn't.

I fear the more we see unicode bytes in URLs the more it will open up people to vulnerabilities as they click on very innocent looking links.

Hopefully the browsers can keep up with this.

Cheers

Re:A big issue for the rest of us ... (1)

cnettel (836611) | more than 6 years ago | (#21898174)

There have already been some browser fixes, mainly triggering cases where characters from different scripts appear next to each other. That certainly breaks some valid cases as well, but I guess it's bearable. (So you can't just switch a single o in some domain name to a Cyrillic o and get it to show almost indistinguishably... or at least that's the idea.)

Re:A big issue for the rest of us ... (1)

lofoforabr (751004) | more than 6 years ago | (#21898474)

That's something to be thought, even more if you can mix character sets on domain registrations. Don't the URLs below all seem the same?

http://www.google.com/ [google.com]
http://www.google.com/ [google.com]
http://www.g/#1086;&%231086;gle.com/ [www.g]

Cyrillic and latin alphabets have a few letters that overlap:

a and
c and
e and
H and
k and
m and (ok, almost, but upper-case still goes: M and )
n and (kinda)
o and
p and
T and
x and

I hope they take this into account when making other characters encodings into dns.

Re:A big issue for the rest of us ... (1)

lofoforabr (751004) | more than 6 years ago | (#21898524)

And how nice... just noticed slashdot is ISO8859-1 encoded, so my previous post won't display correctly.
Hey, Slashdot, why not use UTF-8?? Being a (mostly) english site wouldn't show a problem, since US-ASCII and UTF-8 overlaps nicely.

Re:A big issue for the rest of us ... (1)

TheNarrator (200498) | more than 6 years ago | (#21898848)

How about putting a big hammer and sickle soviet flag icon next to the URL if the url is encoded in cryllic. :)

Re:A big issue for the rest of us ... (1)

RealGrouchy (943109) | more than 6 years ago | (#21899560)

If a link has the text "www.google.com", but actually links to "www.g00g1e.com", then what stops the browser from being able to compare the two and take effective action to warn/protect the user?

- RG>

Politically speaking (5, Insightful)

athloi (1075845) | more than 6 years ago | (#21897960)

It's a smart move. Russia has already demonstrated that it wants to be a superpower again, which means that its main competition is China and the USA.

It has to keep up with China's level of control, and not leave the internet in the hands of the USA, if it can.

Again Putin demonstrates a smart interpretation of Machiavellian Realpolitik while no one else yet realizes the Cold War is back on.

Re:Politically speaking (3, Insightful)

dusanv (256645) | more than 6 years ago | (#21899208)

Or maybe, just maybe, they only want Cyrillic characters in URLS. ASCII isn't suitable for majority of the world so brace yourself for more of this in future.

The article is loaded with bs like this brownish pearl:
Kleinwachter says the speculation is that people will need a password authorised by government agencies to use the global internet.

How the fsck did he deduce that from introduction of Cyrillic DNS?

Re:Politically speaking (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21899338)

Nonsense.

Russia will **NEVER** be a superpower again. Russia needs to worry about its existence, let alone any delusions of superpower status. Its demographics and geography doom it. Russia had the lowest birthrate in Europe and one of the largest Muslim populations. More importantly, it's a resource rich nation that shares a 4,000 mile border with a country that has a insatiable appetitie for said resources and a 60 million boy surplus.

Once Islam gets a sizable minority in European Russia, they'll take over, as the actual Russians will be too few and too old to stop the imposition of Sharia. At trhe same time, the Chicoms' 60 million young men will blitz Siberia in about 2 weeks.

Again Putin demonstrates a smart interpretation of Machiavellian Realpolitik while no one else yet realizes the Cold War is back on.

Putin has the IQ of a piece of toast; he is Russia's Jimmy Carter. Ignorant of his own country's history, He has signed another mutual nonaggresion pact. This time with Islam (Iran) and China. He is blind to the fact that he gets to be Poland this time around.

Icons for Victory (3, Interesting)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 6 years ago | (#21898196)

I'd like the URLs in my GUIs to be displayed in their frame with an icon indicating their character set, and colored if in a character set different from my GUI default. If I had that, I'd like to see "native" glyphs without fear that they're decoys. Even though such a system would no longer force most content publishers to deliver content in my own privileged native character set.

I've got an idea (-1, Troll)

ILuvRamen (1026668) | more than 6 years ago | (#21898218)

if they ever want to improve their crappy economy, they should all just learn english. In case you haven't noticed, every country that does international business has like 50% of the people know fluent english. Plus who the heck else in the world uses cyrillic?

Solution to all of this is real simple (-1, Troll)

InsaneProcessor (869563) | more than 6 years ago | (#21898224)

The Internet is an invention of the United States. We read and write in English using ASCII. If you want to connect to our Internet, then use our rules. If you want to do different, then, use your own but don't call it the Internet because that is our invention.

If you don't like this solution....tough. This is our Internet.

Re:Solution to all of this is real simple (1)

spaceyhackerlady (462530) | more than 6 years ago | (#21898330)

While the TCP/IP protocol suite was largely developed by DARPA, much of what the Internet is today (WWW) started at CERN [www.cern.ch] in Switzerland.

So there.

...laura

Re:Solution to all of this is real simple (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21899270)

except for the fact that much of what the internet is today was actually developed here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/University_of_Illinois_at_Urbana-Champaign [wikipedia.org]

What got started in Switzerland doesn't really conCERN us that much.

Re:Solution to all of this is real simple (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21898824)

The Internet is an invention of the United States.
True.

We read and write in English using ASCII. If you want to connect to our Internet, then use our rules.
Too late! At best, you can disconnect your *part* of the (now worldwide) Internet from the rest of the world. And that's not going to happen.

If you want to do different, then, use your own but don't call it the Internet because that is our invention. If you don't like this solution....tough. This is our Internet.
No; on the contrary, you foolish person. If people don't like your "solution" and ignore it, there's precisely *nothing* you can do about it :-P

And if you don't like that... tough. :)

internet walls (2, Insightful)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 6 years ago | (#21898280)

Hindering Paraguayan hackers may matter less to the Russian government than establishing greater control over a walled-off Internet.

I don't really have a problem with government's filtering the internet of their own citizens -- let their citizens deal with that. When I don't like it is when a government want to control/monitor the the internet usage of other citizens.

Trouble ahead? (2, Interesting)

Duncan Blackthorne (1095849) | more than 6 years ago | (#21898390)

I may not be looking at the whole picture here, but isn't this sort of decision going to have a tower-of-babel-like effect? Are search engines going to be able to index sites using the alternative character sets? Isn't there at least some risk of two different sites at least appearing to have identical URLs? Or is this really an attempt by countries like Russia and China to selectively cut their populations off from the public internet while not in actuality doing so? Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that American English should be imposed on the rest of the world (I'm not that guy!), but the system in place was founded on such and I see this really mucking up the works..

More control? Doesn't seem like the Russian M.O. (0, Flamebait)

damburger (981828) | more than 6 years ago | (#21898538)

The Russian government is quite openly murdering critics of the government, both at home and in foreign countries. Sneakily playing with TLDs to censor the internet doesn't seem like their style. If they want to clamp down on the internet, there won't be much doubt what they are doing. The fucking psychos will probably just bomb uncooperative ISPs or something.

Re:More control? Doesn't seem like the Russian M.O (1)

BattleCat (244240) | more than 6 years ago | (#21899580)

Care to back your statement with facts ? Not Western media hype akin to Iraqi WMD, but cols hard facts ? Censoring the Internet ? What a joke. No need to - information exchange is harmless contrary to popular belief.

That does it! (4, Funny)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 6 years ago | (#21898564)

I'm registering my next domain in Klingon.

Re:That does it! (1)

Ster (556540) | more than 6 years ago | (#21899528)

I'm registering my next domain in Klingon.

Please! I'm registering mine in Betacrypt 3 [wikipedia.org] !

-Ster

Oblig (1)

Elenthalion (854567) | more than 6 years ago | (#21899314)

In Soviet Russia, Paraguay hacks you.

.su (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21899386)

Soooo unfair. They already have .su (soviet union) and .ru. One more?
And why not a cyrillic TLD?
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