Hmmm . . no comments and we're well on into the 3rd day after the initial post.
I wonder if in retrospect this "ho-hum, nothing much happened today" moment will prove to be a date that will go down in history as a tide change?
The DotComWorld: "What's the big deal? We don't need no stinkin IDNs!"
The LargerWorld: "Hello? There's about 2 billion of us and we're moving onine en masse.
Or maybe it's just that we've become so cynical or indifferent to news coming from ICANN? I haven't seen too many happy reviews, 'cept maybe from certain registries that were given the green light to raise their profits . . err fees . . and the domain taster-kiters who've had their way with ICANN for 2 years or more . .
ICANN: Do we care?
WE: ICANN, do WE care?
Seems the ICANN dialogue only livens up when, as Mario Puzo put in in the book "The Godfather", "we're goin' to the mattresses". (Heading for a shoot-out for control of the business.)
[edited by: Webwork at 7:11 pm (utc) on Nov. 17, 2007]
All the software that currently valides domain names using latin characters, numbers etc will have to be changed.
Most people these days find sites using search engines using keywords, rather than type domain name in location bar (unless it is very short and popular, ie: google.com), there is absolutely no serious need to introduce such domains, but registries certainly want to increase their sales.
Your argument works both ways. A considerable number of people search using keywords in languages other than English. And in many of these languages a Latin-character domain name is meaningless.
If ICANN doesn't sort it out, it's possible that certain areas of the world would go it alone.
I have a few IDN sites & Japanese are searching for one of them by name because it's easy, no possible misspelling etc, it's in Japanese.
ICANN is promoting the speed up of making IDN extensions but IDNs already exist with dot com, jp, net, cn, tw & local services are already adapting to it.
Already here locally the Japan post office has launched a campaign for their New Years Post Card service which is only advertised using the IDN domain. As time goes on younger entrepreneurs might not have the option of getting a simple ASCII dot com(too expensive & already gone), these present a choice for future businesses.
I suspect that China will be pushing for own-language domain names. Currently there is no option other than having a meaningless English name, or a transliteration of the characters (which is again meaningless for Chinese who do not speak Mandarin), or just a sequence of letters that are the initial letters of the transliterated characters. Whereas if the domain name was in Chinese characters it would be meaningfull to anyone who spoke any Chinese dialect and (depending on the characters) also to the Japanese.
This might be part of a process. Chinese is a much more efficient language for data processing. Most words are represented by one or two characters, and all characters are represented by two bytes. Also there are no spaces between characters so no bytes are wasted to represent the spaces, and text wraps at the character level. The result is a chunk of Chinese text consists of far fewer bytes, is less of a load on the network, and can be displayed on a hand-held device usually without having to scroll. At a guess a text message or web page in Chinese can be read by about two billion people.