Monday, October 30, 2006

new babel

Either they will fail, or they will break the Internet.

Web daddy Vinton Cerf, who is also the chariman of Icann, commenting at the Internet Governance Forum near Athens, on the factions who are unhappy with the progress of the work performed to date by the Internet Engineering Task Force, which is trying to internationalize the accepted character set for Internet addresses. As quoted in today's New York Times.

The article continues:

At present, 37 characters can be used for Internet addresses; Icann is gradually adopting a plan that would expand that set to tens of thousands of characters from all of the world’s languages. Already, several Asian character sets have been approved, but Icann has not yet signed off on a system for using international symbols for the part of the Internet address that represents the top-level domain, such as .com or .net or .jp.

The Internet Engineering Task Force as well as an independent group of private-sector experts are involved in the process. “It is turning out to be quite difficult to integrate this very large character set in a way that is safe and stable and will work with many applications for many decades to come — to future-proof it,” Mr. Cerf said.

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