Web Addresses: Not Just For Whitey Anymore

Ah, the interwebs: the technology that brings us all together so that people of all stripes and shades can share photographs of cats.

But holed-up in our comfortable North American lives, we can sometimes forget that some web technology still caters to the countries in which it was first developed.

Case in point: web addresses have historically always been written in latin script – ya’ know, the letters you’re reading right now.

But not anymore! Today ICANN, the body that regulates top-level domains like .com or .org, switched on a system that allows countries to create web addresses in non-latin script. So far, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have signed up, and more than 20 other countries have requested approval for their own TLD’s.

What this means is that people across the web will be able to type and memorize web addresses in the language most comfortable to them – which I think we can all agree is a  good thing. Right now, however, it appears that may be some compatibility issues with the addresses, such as working with URL shortener bit.ly. Hopefully, they’ll get these issues sorted out so that the open, free-flowing nature of the web isn’t affected.

[Source: BBC]

By navneetalang

Navneet Alang is a technology-culture writer based in Toronto. You can find him on Twitter at @navalang

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