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Multilingual domain names couls strain corporate nets

Under pressure from non-English speaking users, the Internet engineering community is considering several proposals for supporting foreign language domain names that would all require significant network upgrades for multinational organizations.
The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) is weighing several proposals for supporting domain names written in foreign laguage characters. Some proposals require fundamental changes to the Domain name System (DNS) infrastructure. Aa alternative , which is favored by many IETF participants, requires changing the applications that use DNS but not the DNS infrastructure.
All proposals require network managers to upgrade desktop applications that use domain names, including web browsers, e-mail clients and operating systems.
"it is 150% clear that all the applications on the Internet need to be replaced to support internationalized domain names," says Patrick Faltstrom, co-chair of the IETF's applications area and co-author of the leading proposal. "We use domain names in so many places... users are going to need to all their client software to support [internationalized domain names]."
Indeed, IETF leaders warn that migrating to an internationalized domain name scheme will be more difficult than the much-debated and long-delayed move to IPV6, an upgrade to the Internet's primary communications protocol.
"If the IPv6 transition happens smoothly, users won't know,"says John Klensin, chair of the IETF's Internet Architechture Board. Internationalized domain names. on the other hand, "will affect every single user on the Internet."
The IETF is considering several proposals that would convert foreign language characters inti Unicode, a computer industry standard, and then encode them in ASCII for transmission over the Internet.But the proposals differ from there.
The most radical proposal would create a new class of the DNS to support internationalized domain names that also would repair many of the existing problems with the aging DNS infrastructure, Suggested bby Klensin, this proposal raises political questions because it places responsibility for internationalized domain names outside the scope of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers.
Another proposal from Klensin would create a massive directory with internationalized resources between the DNS and DNS-based applications. The directory approach would add new features to the Internet, but it is considered risky because no directories of this scale have ever been built or operated.
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