MozillaZine

Mozilla Ready to Navigate to Internationalised Domain Names

Monday March 8th, 2004

A week ago, the German registry for .de names started accepting applications for internationalised domain names (IDNs), which can feature characters such as umlauted letters. Germany's DENIC follows in the footsteps of registries such as the Japan Registry Service, which has been operating IDNs since last July.

chofmann writes: "Recent Mozilla milestone releases have the support needed to support these domain names thanks to the efforts of Katsuhiko 'Kat' Momoi and others that worked towards getting this support integrated in advance of the rollout."

Meanwhile, Marcel van Beurden pointed us towards DENIC's page of browsers that support IDNs, noting that the first half of the list is made up entirely of Mozilla-based programs. Microsoft Internet Explorer requires a third-party add-on such as VeriSign's i-Nav to understand IDNs.


#1 Sweden already use those

by Jugalator

Monday March 8th, 2004 11:01 PM

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We already use those in Sweden.

Examples you can try (and compare with in IE, hehe) is for example:

www.räksmörgås.se www.örebro.se

#2 First half of the list

by buba

Tuesday March 9th, 2004 1:13 AM

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> noting that the first half of the list is made up entirely of Mozilla-based programs. That's nothing special, it's sorted in alphabethical order ;)

#7 Re: First half of the list

by brother

Tuesday March 9th, 2004 2:46 AM

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afaik comes K before M and Mi before Mo, but I''m a swede and we do use umlauts here =)

#3 Re: Looks okay to me

by Konrad

Tuesday March 9th, 2004 1:24 AM

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So maybe somebody will be interested in enhancment which i proposed ;)

<http://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=218461>

#10 Re: Re: Looks okay to me

by redmars

Tuesday March 9th, 2004 5:18 AM

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That's really better left to an extension. Or to external programs with copy and paste.

#14 Re: Re: Looks okay to me

by Jugalator

Tuesday March 9th, 2004 7:32 AM

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A workaround that should be available in most operating systems (I suppose?) would be to switch to a keyboard layout that supports dead keys. The swedish layout do this and I can type characters with ¨ ´ ` ^ ~, like ñ, with two keystrokes in the Mozilla address bar.

#4 Poland already does it, too.

by marcoos

Tuesday March 9th, 2004 1:33 AM

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Polish NASK (<http://www.dns.pl>) already registers international domain names for some time now. http://www.&#380;ó&#322;w.pl/ http://www.&#380;ó&#322;&#263;.pl/ <http://www.bro>&#324;.pl/

#5 Whoops

by marcoos

Tuesday March 9th, 2004 1:34 AM

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Seems that MozillaZine's comment system doesn't like international characters :)

#6 Potential problems

by jss <jeremy+mozillazine@jeremysanders.net>

Tuesday March 9th, 2004 2:41 AM

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What happened about the possibility of registering domain names that look the same, even though they have different international characters? e.g. saying micr&#959;soft.com rather than microsoft.com?

#9 Re: Potential problems

by jgraham

Tuesday March 9th, 2004 5:10 AM

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What happened to that possibility when domain names could only be registered in ascii (users are unlikely to notice subsitutions e.g O->0 vv for w and so on. They are also unlikely to notice single letters missing e.g. radio.webogs.com)? Nothing. Why should the rest of the world suffer from domain names characters that don't match their local character set just because it makes an already-existing problem slightly worse.

#12 Re: Re: Potential problems

by jss <jeremy+mozillazine@jeremysanders.net>

Tuesday March 9th, 2004 5:55 AM

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Because some unicode characters look /exactly/ the same as other unicode characters, for example the one I showed (if mozillazine hadn't done something horrible to it). Most people can tell the difference betwee 0 and O, or o and 0.

#18 Re: Re: Re: Potential problems

by jgraham

Tuesday March 9th, 2004 3:28 PM

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Sure. It makes an existing problem slightly worse (I hope you agree this problem *does* already exist). But I consider it more important that people be allowed to use their local character-set for domain names. It's a pretty sucky situation if you're trying to set up a website for your business and have to explain to your customers that they have to use some bastardised ASCII form of the company name to access your site, especially given that all the missing characters are right there on their keyboard.

The point is that there is nothing intrinsically special about US-ASCII that isn't historical. If the standard language for computing was Thai rather than English, you wouldn't be complaining about internationalising the domain name system. The problems exist already and can be solved (e.g. by displaying all characters outside the local character set in escaped form in the URL bar).

#19 Re: Re: Re: Re: Potential problems

by jgraham

Tuesday March 9th, 2004 3:33 PM

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Apologies if the above message seems unusually incoherent or argumentative; I shouldn't post when I'm so tired.

#8 They JUST added Firefox

by peterlairo <Peter@Lairo.com>

Tuesday March 9th, 2004 3:15 AM

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Initially, they only mentioned "Mozilla FireBIRD" on their site. I e-mailed them last week, telling them that the new version is "Mozilla FireFOX", and then they updated the site.

The more often users see the name "Mozilla", the better. That is why i would like to see the program and profile directory names be /MozillaFirefox/ and /MozillaThunderbird/.

I just noticed that their fireBIRD link goes back to the same page (circular link). :-( Anyone care to let them know?

It seems that the only mozilla link that doesn't go to the "devedge" web page is Firefox. Too bad.

#11 Re: They JUST added Firefox

by redmars

Tuesday March 9th, 2004 5:20 AM

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"I just noticed that their fireBIRD link goes back to the same page (circular link). :-( Anyone care to let them know?"

I guess that's because they added "... replaced by Firefox" -- nobody should have any reason to click the FireBIRD link. mozilla.org/products/firebird redirects to ../firefox anyway, so there would be no reason to link to mozilla.org.

#13 I remember...

by MTO

Tuesday March 9th, 2004 7:09 AM

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I remember about two years ago these internatinal characters in domain names were anounced to start working very soon. Most domain registrars started selling these for all domains, including .com, .net. Even networksolutions was selling them. I myself bought one, and so far nothing has happened, only lost money. Interesting to note that some countries are using them, didnt know.

#15 Reply

by Dizzle

Tuesday March 9th, 2004 9:09 AM

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for those of you in Sweden or China, do you have the 26 english letters on your keyboard?

Do you have the extra characters mentioned above on your keyboard?

#16 Re: Reply

by Rasbelin

Tuesday March 9th, 2004 11:38 AM

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Silly questions, IMO.

"do you have the 26 english letters on your keyboard?"

Yes, of course. Swedish only differs from English with three letters; Å (A with ring/dot), Ä (A with dots) and Ö (O with dots). The Chinese keyboard layouts have Western characters as a secondary function, IIRC.

"Do you have the extra characters mentioned above on your keyboard?"

Uhmm. You mean the ones I listed above for Swedish or ones supported by IDNs? Yes, of course I have the three additional letters too, as I have a Finnish/Swedish keyboard layout (FYI: the Finnish and Swedish keyboard layouts are the same).

#23 Re: Re: Reply

by Jugalator

Tuesday March 9th, 2004 11:31 PM

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"Uhmm. You mean the ones I listed above for Swedish or ones supported by IDNs? Yes, of course I have the three additional letters too, as I have a Finnish/Swedish keyboard layout"

However, don't misunderstand this as there are *extra* keys on the keyboard. Maybe the parent was asking that. The keyboard layout is just having some keys changed:

<http://gamma.nic.fi/~point/images/rufin-fi.gif>

#17 Re: Reply

by eiseli

Tuesday March 9th, 2004 11:40 AM

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Dizzle, if you are interested, this page <http://users.linuxbourg.ch/ricky/korean.html> has images of a korean keyboard. Basically, it's an American keyboard, with the Korean letters on each key and some additional keys which allow to switch between the Korean and English keys. Korean basically has 24 letters in its alphabet, so the keys are no problem. The only thing you might wonder is how they can make all those weird signs with just 24 letters? just by combining several letters in one sign. I think the same applies to chinese where they can in a way type the pronounciation of the sign and are then presented with a popup with a choice of signs which might apply.

For other european keyboard layouts, check out this: <http://www.zxplus3e.plus.…orever/international.html>

#24 Reply

by Dizzle

Thursday March 11th, 2004 8:15 AM

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thanks.

#20 For those who can use Micrsoft-style DHTML

by Mook

Tuesday March 9th, 2004 4:21 PM

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If you have a copy of IE (or other browser that has document.all support), there's a page on Microsoft's site that lists the layouts as shipped in XP: <http://www.microsoft.com/…/reference/keyboards.aspx>

(There probably is a Free equivalent somewhere, I just don't know where that is)

#21 All fine and dandy

by brianmurphy

Tuesday March 9th, 2004 5:09 PM

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But is this going to screw up english for the rest of us? The last thing that I need is untypeable characters all over my computer.

#22 Re: All fine and dandy

by Gnu

Tuesday March 9th, 2004 5:35 PM

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The hostnames basically translate to an ASCII equivalent -- that's why it still works with existing DNS structures. Besides, if you <i>really</i> want to type in a URL named with a character set you can't understand (much less type), cut-and-paste will still work just fine on most Unicode-enabled systems.