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Language community TLD proposal

  • To: idn-tld-comments@xxxxxxxxx
  • Subject: Language community TLD proposal
  • From: yangwoo ko <newcat@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 30 Nov 2005 14:58:13 +0900

The ultimate goal of introducing IDNs at top level of DNS would be to allow a group of people sharing a common language script to be able to communicate with each other via names written in their own languages. Any language is being shared by those people living scattered out over the world. (Please note that the existence of a language community is not exclusively limited to one country's national territory.) In a sense, the request for IDN implies that in global internet, language community itself rather than nation state should be taken into account as more significant unit or category for its use particularly for its communication function. I believe that this perception would be more and more deeply recognized as the development and expansion of the Internet over the globe.

Therefore, the use of IDN is not necessarily or primarilty tightly coupled with any country or any group of entities such as "com"panies or "biz"nesses. In line with this thinking, I believe, in principle, IDN TLDs should be allocated to appropriate language or language script community.

In considering IDN TLDs, the highest priority should be given to the goal whether it will provide a group of people sharing a common language script with a name space in which they can put their names in its native form.

From a variety of proposals, I have seen that there are too many concerns to carefully avoid (or reduce) conflicts of interests among relevant entities such as existing registries. This level of concerns seems to be inevitable as long as we stick to the current categories of gTLD and ccTLD.

We need to understand that IDN provides a completely new chance to review the existing name space structure. Even though IDNs are represented as (ugly looking) ASCII strings within machines and on-the-wire, they have rich semantics when presented to end users through properly working user interfaces. It is not only possible to extend existing TLDs to translated TLDs (as is done in most proposals made so far), but also to define new category of TLDs. Language community is the most evident case of the latter.

For example, we may have ".xn--oy2b11v" TLD for Korean language community. (When correctly rendered, the TLD string is read "wooree" and its meaning is "we" or "us.") There are several advantages of language community TLD compared to the existing approaches.

(1) No conflicts with existing TLDs.
(2) Effectively create a new name space in a completely different way from alias-based approaches.
(3) Allocation/addition of new IDN TLD can be conducted mechanically without any political intervention. More concretely, each language community can be defined by reference to ISO-639 and/or ISO-639-2. And appointment of appropriate registry can apply the procedure how Unicode character set was completed. These possibilities would be very helpful for avoiding the danger of politicization of this technical issue. Determination of appropriate TLD string for each language community should be based upon the consensus of the corresponding language community.
(4) If necessary and appropriate, translated versions of existing TLDs can be added as second level domain under the corresponding language community TLD.
(5) Language community TLD would open up new possibility of more effective use of specific language based information resources over the Internet particularly for those language community people by the help of new searching application services.

Of course, this proposal doesn't exclude any possibility to add up new IDN TLD depending on ccTLDs. My point is that such a work is not pinpointing the core value of IDN and IDN TLD. And I underline that any specific country doesn't always have an absolutely exclusive rights for some specific language if some other group of people sharing the same language exist over the network and aspire to use the language script.

In the registry selection process for language community TLDs, corresponding language community group must be given the most significant role.

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