History of Internationalised Domain Names

Thanks to Prof. S. Subbiah from Singapore for this excellent short history of the attempts to internationalise domain names.

There is much still to be done!

History of IDN

* 12/96: Martin Duerst’s original Internet Draft proposing UTF5 (the first incarnation of what is known today as ACE)- UTF-5 was first defined by Martin Duerst at the University of Zürich in [3] <http://tools.ietf.org/html/draft-duerst-dns-i18n-00%7Cdraft-duerst-dns-i18n-00.txt>%5B4%5D

( Subbiah comments: a precursor idea that was never implemented and would not have worked as proposed. Martin later collaborated with the Singapore team which was not aware of his previous suggestion til much later))
* 03/98: Early Research on IDN at National University of Singapore (NUS), Center for Internet Research (formerly Internet Research and Development Unit – IRDU) led by Prof. Tan Tin Wee (IDN Project team – Lim Juay Kwang and Leong Kok Yong) and subsequently continued under a team at Bioinformatrix Pte. Ltd. (BIX Pte. Ltd.)
– a NUS spin-off company led by Prof. S. Subbiah.
* July 98: Geneva INET’98 conference with a BoF discussion on iDNS and APNG General Meeting and Working Group meeting.
* 07/98: Asia Pacific Networking Group (APNG, now still in existence [6] <http://www.apng.org/&gt; and distinct from a gathering known as APSTAR
<http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=APSTAR&action=edit&gt; [7]
<http://www.apstar.org/&gt;) iDNS Working Group formed. [8]
* 10/98: James Seng <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Seng&gt; was recruited to lead further IDN development at BIX Pte. Ltd. by Prof. S. Subbiah.
* 02/99: iDNS Testbed launched by BIX Pte. Ltd. under the auspicies of APNG with participation from CNNIC
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CNNIC&gt;, JPNIC <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japan_Network_Information_Center&gt;,
KRNIC, TWNIC, THNIC, HKNIC and SGNIC led by James Seng <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Seng&gt; [9]

* 02/99: Presentation of Report on IDN at Joint APNG-APTLD meeting, at APRICOT’99
* 03/99: Endorsement of the IDN Report at APNG General Meeting 1 March 1999.
* 06/99: Grant application by APNG jointly with the Centre for Internet Research (CIR), National University of Singapore, to the International Development Research Center (IDRC), a Canadian Government funded international organisation to work on IDN for IPv6. This APNG Project was funded under the Pan Asia R&D Grant administered on behalf of IDRC by the Canadian Committee on Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS). Principal Investigator: Tan Tin Wee of National University of Singapore. [10] <http://www.apng.org/old/commission/idns/ipv6/&gt;
* 07/99 Tout, Walid R. (WALID Inc.) Filed IDNA patent application number US1999000358043 Method and system for internationalizing domain names. Published 2001-01-30 [11] <http://www.delphion.com/details?&pn=US06182148__&gt;

* 07/99: [12] <http://mirrors.isc.org/pub/www.watersprings.org/pub/id/draft-jseng-utf5-00.txt&gt;; Renewed 2000 [13]
Internet Draft on UTF5 by James Seng, Martin Duerst and Tan Tin Wee.

* 08/99: APTLD and APNG forms a working group <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Working_group&gt; to look into IDN
issues chaired by Kilnam Chon. [14] <http://www.minc.org/about/history/idns/iname/&gt;
* 10/99: BIX Pte. Ltd. and National University of Singapore together with New York Venture Capital investors, General Atlantic Partners, spun-off the IDN effort into 2 new Singapore companies – i-DNS.net International Inc. and i-Email.net Pte. Ltd. that created the first commercial implementation of an IDN Solution for both domain names and IDN email addresses respectively.
* 11/99: IETF <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IETF&gt; IDN Birds-of-Feather in Washington was initiated by i-DNS.net at the request of IETF officials.
* 12/99: i-DNS.net InternationalPte. Ltd. launched the first commercial IDN. It was in Taiwan and in Chinese characters under the top-level IDN TLD “.gongsi” (meaning loosely “.com”) with endorsement by the Minister of Communications of Taiwan and some major Taiwanese ISPs with reports of over 200 000 names sold in a week in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, China, Australia and USA.
* Late 1999: Kilnam Chon initiates Task Force on IDNS which led to formation of MINC, the Multilingual Internet Names Consortium. [15] <http://www.minc.org/oldminc/old/meetings/&gt;
* 01/2000: IETF <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IETF&gt; IDN Working Group formed chaired by James Seng
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Seng&gt; and Marc Blanchet <http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Marc_Blanchet&action=edit&gt;
* 01/2000: The second ever commercial IDN launch was IDN TLDs in the Tamil Language, corresponding to .com, .net, .org, and .edu. These were launched in India with IT Ministry support by i-DNS.net International.
* 02/2000: Multilingual Internet Names Consortium(MINC) Proposal BoF at IETF Adelaide. [16]
* 03/2000: APRICOT 2000 Multilingual DNS session [17] <http://www.apricot.net/apricot2000/index2.html&gt;
* 04/2000: WALID Inc. (with IDNA patent pending application 6182148) started Registration & Resolving Multilingual Domain Names.
* 05/2000: Interoperability Testing WG, MINC meeting. San Francisco, chaired by Bill Manning and Y.Yoneya 12 May 2000. [18] <http://www.minc.org/oldminc/old/meetings/sanfrancisco_20000512/testing_SFO.htm&gt;
* 06/2000: Inaugural Launch of the Multilingual Internet Names Consortium (MINC) in Seoul [19] <http://www.minc.org/&gt; to drive the collaborative roll-out of IDN starting from the Asia Pacific.
[20] <http://www.minc.org/about/history/&gt;
* 07/2000: Joint Engineering TaskForce (JET) initiated in Yokohama to study technical issues led by JPNIC (K.Konishi)
* 07/2000: Official Formation of CDNC Chinese Domain Name Consortium to resolve issues related to and to deploy Han Character domain names, founded by CNNIC, TWNIC, HKNIC and MONIC in May 2000. [21] <http://www.cdnc.org/english/introduction/index.html&gt; [22] <http://www.cdnc.org/english/news/index.html&gt;

* 03/01: ICANN <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ICANN&gt; Board IDN Working Group formed
* 07/01: Japanese Domain Name Association : JDNA Lauch Ceremony (July 13, 2001) in Tokyo, Japan.
* 07/01: Urdu Internet Names System (July 28, 2001) in Islamabad, Pakistan, Organised Jointly by SDNP and MINC. [23] <http://urduworkshop.sdnpk.org/&gt;
* 07/01: Presentation on IDN to the Committee Meeting of the Computer Science and Telecommunications Board, National Academies USA (JULY 11-13, 2001)at University of California School of Information Management and Systems, Berkeley, CA. [24] <http://www.nap.edu/books/0309096405/html/390.html&gt;
* 08/01: MINC presentation and outreach at the Asia Pacific Advanced Network annual conference, Penang, Malaysia 20th August 2001
* 10/01: Joint MINC-CDNC Meeting in Beijing 18-20 October 2001
* 11/01: ICANN <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ICANN&gt; IDN Committee formed
* 12/01: Joint ITU-WIPO Symposium on Multilingual Domain Names organised in association with MINC, 6-7 Dec 2001, International Conference Center, Geneva.
* 01/03: Free implementation of StringPrep, Punycode, and IDNA release in GNU Libidn.

* 03/03: Publication of RFC 3454
<http://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc3454&gt;, RFC 3490
<http://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc3490&gt;, RFC 3491
<http://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc3491&gt; and RFC 3492

* 06/03: Publication of ICANN IDN Guidelines for registries <http://www.icann.org/general/idn-guidelines-20jun03.htm&gt;
* 05/04: Publication of RFC 3743 <http://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc3743&gt;, Joint Engineering Team (JET) Guidelines for Internationalized Domain Names (IDN) Registration and Administration for Chinese, Japanese, and Korean
* March 2005: First Study Group 17 of ITU-T meeting on Internationalized Domain Names [25] <http://www.itu.int/md/T05-SG17-050330/sum/en&gt;
* April 2006: Study Group 17 meeting in Korea gave final approval to the Question on Internationalized Domain Names [26] <http://www.itu.int/ITU-T/newslog/Multilingual+Internet+Work+Progresses.aspx&gt;
* December 2006: ICANN meeting at São Paulo discusses status of lab tests of IDNs within the root.


2 Responses to “History of Internationalised Domain Names”

  1. Historia de Internet en América Latina y el Caribe Says:

    […] History of Internationalised Domain Names […]

  2. Sudipta Kumar Sarkar Says:

    Very Informative Post. You made some good points. I especially liked it. Keep up the good work.

    with regards

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