A Tangled Web: Issues of I18N, Domain Names, and the Other Internet protocols Status of this Memo


This memo provides information for the Internet community. It does not specify an Internet standard of any kind. Distribution of this memo is unlimited. Copyright Notice Copyright (C) The Internet Society (2000). All Rights Reserved. The goals of the work to "internationalize " Internet protocols include providing all users of the Internet with the capability of using their own language and its standard character set to express themselves, write names, and to navigate the network. This impacts the domain names visible in e-mail addresses and so many of today’s URLs used to locate information on the World Wide Web, etc. However, domain names are used by Internet protocols that are used across national boundaries. These services must interoperate worldwide, or we risk isolating components of the network from each other along locale boundaries. This type of isolation could impede not only communications among people, but opportunities of the areas involved to participate effectively in e-commerce, distance learning, and other activities at an international scale, thereby retarding economic development. There are several proposals for internationalizing domain names, however it it is still to be determined whether any of them will ensure this interoperability and global reach while addressing visible-name representation. Some of them obviously do not. This document does not attempt to review any specific proposals, as that is the work of the Internationalized Domain Name (IDN) Working Group of the IETF, which is tasked with evaluating them in consideration of the continued global network interoperation that is the deserved expectation of all Internet users. IAB Informational [Page 1] RFC 2825 Issues: I18N, Domain Names, and Internet Protocols May 2000 This document is a statement by the Internet Architecture Board. It is not a protocol specification, but an attempt to clarify the range of architectural issues that the internationalization of domain names faces

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