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EPICANN Accra, Ghana, March 20021 International Domain Names facts and dilemmas Elisabeth Porteneuve ICANN Accra, Ghana 9-14 March 2002.

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Presentation on theme: "EPICANN Accra, Ghana, March 20021 International Domain Names facts and dilemmas Elisabeth Porteneuve ICANN Accra, Ghana 9-14 March 2002."— Presentation transcript:

1 EPICANN Accra, Ghana, March International Domain Names facts and dilemmas Elisabeth Porteneuve ICANN Accra, Ghana 9-14 March 2002

2 EPICANN Accra, Ghana, March IDN - why we are there Competition by gTLD registries towards new customers Natural need of people from the worldwide Internet to facilitate their access to the Internet domain names General dissatisfaction of the worldwide Internet with ICANN and its incapability to became international body, triggering off a strog reactions from various horizons

3 EPICANN Accra, Ghana, March Background to IDN 1.ASCII subset « LDH » 2.Unicode 3.CJK languages and the Traditional Chinese vs Simplified Chinese issue 4.IETF works

4 EPICANN Accra, Ghana, March ASCII subset « LDH » 26 letters, a-z, upper and lowercase alike 10 digits, 0-9 Hyphen-minus « - » Label separating period «. » Additional rules: 1.no minus at the beggining or at the end of a label 2.no empty label, …

5 EPICANN Accra, Ghana, March ASCII subset « LDH » (cont) Necessity to have something to communicate, small and easy to remember, practical –Postal address (cannot have all postmen in the world to speak all languages) –Airlines, airports and landing strips indications (security) –Lingua franca for international gatherings

6 EPICANN Accra, Ghana, March Unicode The only existing table of all international characters, developed for printer’s industry in late 1980’s, at the time when computer memory and processing were slow and requested for a lot of ingenuity to allow new features The origins of Unicode are rooted in works on unified Han

7 EPICANN Accra, Ghana, March Unicode – unified Han Subset of Chinese, Japanese and Korean (CJK) characters, which –Have identical internal computer point –Print in Chinese, Japanese or Korean design, according to a language context –May have a similar meaning or not, according to a language context –abc abc abc

8 EPICANN Accra, Ghana, March CJK languages Not alphabet-based Ideographs –More than 100 thousand –Each of ideographs is a concept or a word

9 EPICANN Accra, Ghana, March Unicode v.s. ISO Unicode Consortium ISO Working Group responsible for ISO/IEC is JTC1/SC2/WG2 Unicode and ISO tables are equivalent

10 EPICANN Accra, Ghana, March Simplified vs Traditional Chinese People’s Republic of China works on simplification of characters, starting in 1950’s, very complex and long –Simplified Chinese used by one billion people nation –Traditional still exstensively exist in the social life, for its long history and artistic value –Development of standardized translation to Latin (cf. Pekin  Beijing)

11 EPICANN Accra, Ghana, March The IETF works on IDN Based on Unicode (there is nothing else) Technical scope – expand today « LDH » 38 characters set into several tens of thousand of code points Discovery of many problems –Combinatory effects (none will be able to use printer information without knowing which labguage script is used) –Mutual incompatibility in Unicode between Unified Han and Chinese language including Simplified Chinese

12 EPICANN Accra, Ghana, March Summary of problems and political dilemmas Chinese Japanese Korean (CJK) Latin Cyrillic Grek … others but still unknown

13 EPICANN Accra, Ghana, March Problems If the usage of mixed letters (code points) is allowed – the IETF works on Unicode cannot exlude it – there will be no more any unambigous printed URL –Consumers confusion –Many doubts for safe electronic commerce –Combinatory possibilities will increase by factor of hundred or thousand a domain name cost to those companies willing to have complete protection

14 EPICANN Accra, Ghana, March More problems The « language » for IDN is undefined The printed (paper or screen) information is undefined without knowing which script has been used –A printed information does not provide for unilateral guessing of company –How consumer will be able to contact a company if the only information he has is printed ?

15 EPICANN Accra, Ghana, March Political problem Mutually inpossible to satisfy TC/SC and unified Han. Chinese are signatories to ISO10646 – does it means they give advantage to unified Han over TC/SC ? No The IETF work on Unicode demonstrate there is a clash between Chinese language on one side and Korean and Japanese on another –Accepting Unicode is equivalent to take position against Chinese language –Only Chinese may solve it asking for Unicode changes ?

16 EPICANN Accra, Ghana, March Not enough works on languages Unicode is a recent pot pourri, initially defined for printer’s industry, gathering not only languages, but anything which may be printed But there is nothing else

17 EPICANN Accra, Ghana, March Questions Do we agree the Unicode is unsuitable for Internet Domain Names ? If yes, what to do now ?


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