First IDN top level domains hit the web.
Today was a historic day for domain names and internationalized domain names, as the first three non-Latin script top level domain names went live. All three are country code top level domains under the IDN ccTLD fast track program.
ICANN has provided an example of an already functioning site using an IDN ccTLD: ÙˆØ²Ø§Ø±Ø©-Ø§Ù„Ø£ØªØµØ§Ù„Ø§Øª.Ù…ØµØ±
If you’re like me, when going to that web address you’re browser will display this:
But hurdles still remain to view these new TLDs. As explained on the ICANN blog:
If your software does not have full IDN support, this might not work exactly as expected. You may see a mangled string of letters and numbers, and perhaps some percent signs or a couple of “xn--â€s mixed into the address bar. Or it may not work at all.
Making things more interesting, the first three live ccTLDs are all in Arabic scripts: e Ø§Ù„Ø³Ø¹ÙˆØ¯ÙŠØ©. (“Al-Saudiahâ€), Ø§Ù…Ø§Ø±Ø§Øª. ( “Emaratâ€) and Ù…ØµØ±. (“Misrâ€). These scripts are read right-to-left, which must be confusing given the multi-level structure of top level domain names.
Expect to see more IDN top level domain names soon. First there will be more IDN ccTLDs, followed by generic top level IDNs in a couple years.