dead link checker - blog: 2018

Tuesday, 4 September 2018

IDN - Internationalized Domain Names

Domain Names containing International Characters

When the world wide web first came into existence it used the English language, and a limited set of characters was enough to represent the name of any location on the web. All domain names were made up from the basic letters of the English alphabet, plus the digits 0-9 and the hyphen character. The basic 7-bit ASCII character set was used to represent these characters.

Some time later, it was recognized that there was a need for domain names containing non-English characters - for example European letters with accents, letters from the Cyrillic alphabet, Arabic script, etc. Unfortunately, the use of the basic ASCII character set was by then firmly embedded in the system used for registering domain names and translating them to IP addresses, and so a method needed to be found whereby these new symbols could be used without having to change the existing infrastructure of the internet.