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Internationalized Domain Names (IDN) in .museum  - Introduction


Until recently, domain names could only contain the 26 letters of the Latin alphabet, the ten digits, and the hyphen. In mid-2003, new standards made it possible to use a large number of new characters in domain names. In principle, these include all current written languages.

So-called "IDN characters" are encoded using the initial letters, digits and hyphen. Software that understands this system displays the new characters as a user expects to see them. The opposite encoding is required for a domain name containing IDN characters, for example, when entered into the address line of a Web browser. Recent versions of many Web browsers can do both conversions. Support for IDN in other applications, such as e-mail programs, is in an earlier stage of development.

It is now possible to register names that contain IDN characters in .museum. Although the formal documentation of this process is complex, it is not necessary to understand more than a few basic principles to begin using IDN.

Basic information:

Policy documents:

Further information:

Latest update: 2004-04-06