It's not about registering domain names on the slopes of Vesuvius

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2007/02/09 03:01 -05:00, original URI:

As the battle for the right subset of Unicode to be allowed in International Domain Names continues, I was struck by an interesting issue.

It is all political. Every damn bit of it.

You see, there is a huge push to include the Runic Alphabet in the list of allowable scripts, basically because there are countries that are pushing hard for it with TLD (top level domain) sponsors who are willing to support the idea.

Now no one is claiming that there are people walking around using runes as their communication method (though I suppose if cavemen are still around then why not people who use Runic?).

What about the rest of the historic scripts? Is there no one to champion them?

I was thinking maybe there needed to be a new TLD (Top Level Domain), specifically for historic scripts. Michael Everson could be the registrar and the one to champion the need for including any of the historic scripts that people might want to have new domain names for.

And none of the other registrars would have to get into it, as they could to defer to the guy who was the registrar for the dead scripts. Easy!

Of course what to call the TLD would be important. Anyone have any ideas? :-)


This post brought to you by  (U+1f5b, a.k.a. GREEK CAPITAL LETTER UPSILON WITH DASIA AND VARIA)

Bruce Rusk on 9 Feb 2007 7:37 AM:

Two suggestions:

.anc (for "ancient", but also because it sounds like the Egyptian symbol "ankh")

.zom (for "zombie", since these languages/scripts are "living dead")

pc on 9 Feb 2007 9:57 AM:

Mihai on 9 Feb 2007 11:43 AM:

I have some ideas, but I cannot write them here, because they use the Runic alphabet :-)

Mihai on 9 Feb 2007 12:31 PM:

This is what happens when you don't think twice :-)

Since Runic is in Unicode, nothing prevents me from posting something here that uses it. Let's give it a try: ᛗᛙᚺᚣᛙ

Michael S. Kaplan on 9 Feb 2007 12:45 PM:

That seems to have worked! :-)

Skip on 9 Feb 2007 3:22 PM:

How about 3 repeated Greek Digammas (U+03DC)?   That has the benefit of both being an archaic letter in an archaic language, and in Greek mathematical texts and on coins it was used for the numeral 6, so it would be a .666 extension.

Maurits [MSFT] on 9 Feb 2007 4:51 PM:


ReallyEvilCanine on 10 Feb 2007 8:24 PM:

Which countries are pushing? Sweden and Norway? And they really want all 6400+ characters to fit in the range 16A0–16FF?  What's wrong with just developing extensive Runic fonts for use in the private area which was set aside for just such specialised purposes?!

Michael S. Kaplan on 10 Feb 2007 9:12 PM:

Not sure I understand what you mean here -- the characters ARE in Unicode now, so it is a bit late to argue that they shouldn't be?

The question here is whether, once an ancient script is in Unicode, it is the right of a citizen of earth to have it in a domain name....

Mar on 12 Feb 2007 8:35 AM:

The political entites involved likely include Iceland, Denmark and Sweden. It is probably easy for people in America to underestimate the cultural and religious significance the runes retain for some Germanic people. The number of followers of traditional religious beliefs like Asatru which revere them is not small. The runes are not a "dead" script in the sense nobody cares about them anymore, which is why there are people pushing for them to be allowed in domain names.

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