It was the main projection in the last ICANN meeting (see continuation) : the IDN Committee (to Internationalized Domain Names) did again a balance of its works only some weeks later that The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) - the organism that defined almost all the Internet using protocols-, had published the official rules, these had to permit the using of stressed characters, or even ideograms on dominion names. Finally, elements joined by international dominion names have an official existence, far from testing phases and other plug-ins owners that must install them into its navigators.
However, the generalized adoption of accented domain names still has the risk of taking certain time. Registers like AFNIC in France will have to adopt a relatively complex process. In fact, stressed domain names must “translate” if they want to be included in the Index server (DNS). So “Francetélécom” results in “xn—francetlcom-hbbb”, of course, the user will never have to use this complex chain of characters but the Index will have to assume the change because the servers don’t understand accent all the time ! It is necessary that you guarantee the chain of characters that always produces the waiting result : in our example, the word France was in capital letter, since in its transformation into accented domain name “francetélécom-hbbb” then the capital letter disappeared ! For this reason the IETF has foreseen a “preparing” phase assumed by the server Register which will take into account the linguistic particularities of each country, for example, on the using of capital letters.
But, chauvinism apart, French accents are less important in this matter. IDNs represent, over all an opportunity for million Chinese, Japanese and/or Russian Internets, and the hope of using domain names in their own alphabet, without knowing “roman” alphabet that belong to us ! A way of doing Internet a real whole world net won’t come without political difficulties : will the index of a domain name “in Chinese” be possible in the .uk, for example ? After you register a domain name, will we have to register it under its form ASCII (xn) or its accented form ? And what do you say about the destiny of trade marks if we know the accent is considering like a distinctive sign ? Then, the way seems long, but it is so promising.
By the moment, Asiatic Registers seem to keep on this matter, but European Registers still say nothing officially : will the AFNIC Administrative Counsel meeting on 25 of this month be the occasion, maybe, for an announcement ? Until this moment, it is useless to run for keeping a accented domain name in .fr !
JCV & SB