Internationalized, Non-Latin Domain Names Officially Approved

We didn't doubt that they would, but the ICANN has officially approved non-Latin character domain names. The pleasant surprise is that the system and guidelines for these internationalized domain names (IDNs) look pretty solid, even if hiccups are expected.

One of the key parts of the IDN system renders all those fears about our precious dot coms being invaded by shady, foreign characters for naught, because only country-specific domain names, those with two letter designations such as .cn or .ae, are affected by the approval. There are also some very specific restrictions on which languages can be used:

ICANN has set some language restrictions for IDNs: they must be in an official language of a country or territory and have legal status or at minimum "serve as a language of administration."

While that means we won't see Sindarin domain names anytime soon, the application process for IDNs will begin mid-November and documentation is being flung out to developers now. I look forward to seeing the changes internationalized domain names can bring to the internet, but in the end, everything will hinge on those developers supporting them. [Network World via Slashdot]