Friday, 31 May 2013

gTLD is the new Y2K

Change is coming to a feature of the internet that has previously been stable, predictable and mostly secure. In an environment where services, sites and content changes at light speed having a core infrastructure protocol change is unsettling for many.

The top level naming system of the internet is expanding to include non-roman characters and a multitude of new suffixes. The familiar .edu, .net, .com, .countrycodes will be joined by

as well as
and lots and lots of others.

 Assumptions about the format of domain, website names and email addresses will have to be updated.

The smaller new domain suffixes will be set up with a specific registrar possibly making the hunting of rogue domains even harder.

IT departments and software companies are scrabbling to ensure compatibility and reliability of internet services. Looking forward to an inevitable change that shifts the foundations within a hugely diverse set of infrastructure is as nerve racking as the Y2K episode all over again.  Lets hope the preparation work gets done and the new gTLDs have the same minimal impact as Y2K. Somehow I doubt it.

Addition ..
Domain names now contain non-roman characters. These would have to be processed into equivalent but unique ascii before regex/applications could work reliably. See RFC 3490 Internationalizing Domain Names in Applications (IDNA) ... See  which has 
Until now, there has been no standard method for domain names to use 
characters outside the ASCII repertoire. This document defines 
internationalized domain names (IDNs) and a mechanism called 
Internationalizing Domain Names in Applications (IDNA) for handling 
them in a standard fashion. IDNs use characters drawn from a large 
repertoire (Unicode), but IDNA allows the non-ASCII characters to be 
represented using only the ASCII characters already allowed in so- 
called host names today. This backward-compatible representation is 
required in existing protocols like DNS, so that IDNs can be 
introduced with no changes to the existing infrastructure. IDNA is 
only meant for processing domain names, not free text.

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