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3-2 Multilingual Domain Name Japanese Page

Internationalized Domain Name Task Force (iDN-TF)

What is a Multilingual Domain Name?

Up to now, only alphanumerical characters and some symbols (such as "-") have been used for domain names. In the multilingual domain name system, it will be possible to use the character sets of other languages, including Japanese characters. For example, the following will be possible:
http://ウェブ.東京大学.jp/ info@français.fr

The major advantages of multilingual domain names are that (1) it will be easy for someone to remember if the character sets are in their #native language (2) it will be helpful for people not familiar with English, and (3) the marketing effectiveness of a domain name will be increased. As for a disadvantage, it will not be useful for those computers without input and display capabilities for each language.

Search and Resolution from Multilingual Name

Several methods have been proposed to implement a multilingual search function, including multilingual domain names. They can be roughly separated into two categories, as follows.

Keyword search

A domain name is a name space that has a tree structure under a Top Level Domain such as .jp or .com. However, a search method that does not have such structure has been proposed. This is generally known as a keyword search.

A keyword search is based on keywords that have been registered with certain registries.

There are several methods of conducting a keyword search. One is to enter a keyword in the entry field on the web page of search server; another is to enter a keyword in the browser's address field, which will automatically connect to the keyword search server and the search result will be displayed. Unlike domain names, a keyword search may provide plural results. Moreover, the search results will differ depending on each keyword search server.

Multilingualized of Domain Names

The other type of name search method is to multiligualize #the domain name itself. With this method, it is necessary that the applications be capable of display and input of the multilingual domain names. The major advantage of this method over the keyword search is that such a method can be used not only on web browsers, but also on various other applications such as E-mail. JPNIC calls this "Multilingual Domain Name," and is promoting its standardization.

[draft-ietf-idn-requirements-03.txt]
A document prepared by the IDN Working Group of IETF summarizes various requirements with respect to multi-internationalized domain names.
[draft-ietf-idn-compare-01.txt]
A document prepared by the IDN Working Group of IETF that compares some currently proposed methods.
[draft-ietf-idn-race-00.txt]
A proposal for the RACE encoding system for internationalized domain names.
[draft-jseng-utf5-01.txt]
A proposal for the UTF-5 encoding system for internationalized domain names.
[draft-oscarsson-i18ndns-01.txt]
A proposal of a method for implementing method of internationalized domain names (changes DNS protocol,encoding scheme, and others.). UTF-8 is basically used to encode domain names.
[draft-skwan-utf8-dns-03.txt]
A proposal of a method for implementing of internationalized domain names. UTF-8 is basically used to encode domain names.
[draft-duerst-i18n-norm-03.txt]
A document with respect to the Unicode normalization form which was referenced in some of the proposals as the method to normalize the internationalized domain names.

JPNIC believes that multiligual domain names must be implemented in accordance with standards.

Multilingual Domain Name Evaluation Kit (mDNkit)

On July 13, JPNIC began distributing a beta version of what it calls the "Multilingual Domain Name Evaluation Kit (mDNkit)". The mDNkit is a software application that has been being developed primarily by the Internationalized Domain Name Task Force (iDN-TF), for such purposes as evaluation of various technologies that have been proposed with respect to multilingual domain names, promotion of standardization, and contribution to technologies designed to propagate multilingual domain names. For JPNIC's approach to the iDN and details of iDN-TF activities, please refer to the Multilingual Domain Name pages in the following section.

Please access the following URL for details on how to obtain and use the mDNkit. http://www.nic.ad.jp/en/research/idn/index.html#mdnkit

Information/Contact Information

Multilingual Domain Name Page
http://www.nic.ad.jp/en/research/idn/
E-mail Address for Comments on Multilingual Domain Name
idn-cmt@nic.ad.jp

We can not answer individual questions related to the mDNkit, as we are currently concentrating on system development. We are planning to summarize the submitted opinions and questions in the form of a FAQ, upon the formal release of the kit.

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