draft-ietf-idn-vidn-00.txt   draft-ietf-idn-vidn-01.txt 
IETF IDN Working Group Sung Jae Shim IETF IDN Working Group Sung Jae Shim
Internet Draft DualName, Inc. Internet Draft DualName, Inc.
Document: draft-ietf-idn-vidn-00.txt 14 November 2000
Expires: 2 September 2001
Virtually Internationalized Domain Names (VIDN) Virtually Internationalized Domain Names (VIDN)
Status of this Memo Status of this Memo
This document is an Internet-Draft and is in full conformance with This document is an Internet-Draft and is in full conformance with all
all provisions of Section 10 of RFC2026. provisions of Section 10 of RFC2026.
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1. Abstract 1. Abstract
This document describes a method that internationalizes existing as This document proposes a method that enables domain names to be used in both
well as future domain names in English, not making any change to the local and English scripts, as a directory-search solution at an upper layer
current DNS, not requiring separate name server or resolver, and not above the DNS. The method first converts virtual domain names typed in local
creating domain names in non-English languages. Based upon the scripts into the corresponding domain names in English scripts that comply with
knowledge of transliteration between a local language and English, the DNS, using the knowledge of transliteration between local and English
the method allows a user to use virtual domain names in the user's scripts. Then, the method searches for and displays domain names in English
preferred local language by converting them into the corresponding scripts that are active on the Internet so that the user can choose any of them.
actual domain names in English that comply with the current DNS. The The conversion takes place automatically and transparently in the user's
conversion takes place automatically and transparently in the user's applications before DNS queries are sent, and so, the method does not make any
applications before DNS queries are sent. The method uses the current change to the DNS nor require separate name servers.
DNS as it is and meets all the requirements of internationalized
domain names as described in Wenzel and Seng [2].
2. Conventions and definitions used in this document 2. Conventions and definitions used in this document
The key words "REQUIRED" and "MAY" in this document are to be The key words "REQUIRED" and "MAY" in this document are to be interpreted as
interpreted as described in RFC-2119 [1]. described in RFC-2119 [1].
A "host" is a computer or device attached to the Internet. A "user
host" is a computer or device with which a user is connected to the
Virtually Internationalized Domain Names November 2000
Internet, and a "user" is a person who uses a user host. A "server A "host" is a computer or device attached to the Internet. A "user host" is a
host" is a computer or device that provides services to user hosts. computer or device with which a user is connected to the Internet, and a "user"
is a person who uses a user host. A "server host" is a computer or device that
provides services to user hosts.
An "entity" is an organization or individual that has a domain name An "entity" is an organization or individual that has a domain name registered
registered with the DNS. with the DNS.
A "local language" is a language other than English that a user A "local language" is a language other than English language that a user prefers
prefers to use in a local context. to use in a local context. "Local scripts" are scripts of a local language and
"English scripts" are scripts of English language.
A "virtual domain name" is a domain name in a local language, and it A "virtual domain name" is a domain name in local scripts, and it is not
is not registered with the DNS but used for the convenience of a registered with the DNS but used for the convenience of users. An "English
user. An "actual domain name" is a domain name in English, and it is domain name" is a domain name in English scripts. A "domain name" refers to an
actually used in the DNS. A "domain name" refers to an actual domain English domain name that complies with the DNS, unless specified otherwise.
name in English that complies with the DNS, unless specified
otherwise.
A "coded portion" is a pre-coded portion of a domain name (e.g., A "coded portion" is a pre-coded portion of a domain name (e.g., generic codes
generic organization codes including `com', `edu', `gov', `int', including 'com', 'edu', 'gov', 'int', 'mil', 'net', 'org', and country codes
`mil', `net', `org', and country codes such as `kr', `jp', and so such as 'kr', 'jp', 'cn', and so on). An "entity-defined portion" is a portion
on). An "entity-defined portion" is a portion of a domain name, which of a domain name, which is defined by the entity that holds the domain name
is defined by the entity that holds the domain name (e.g., (e.g., host name, organization name, server name, and so on).
organization name, server name, and so on).
The method proposed in this document is called "virtually The method proposed in this document is called "virtually internationalized
internationalized domain names (VIDN)" because it uses virtual domain domain names (VIDN)," as it enables domain names in English scripts to be used
names in local languages to internationalize actual domain names in virtually in local scripts.
English that comply with the DNS.
A number of Korean-language characters are used in the original of A number of Korean-language characters are used in the original of this document
this document for examples, which is available from the author upon for examples, which is available from the author upon request. The software used
request. The software used for Internet-Drafts does not allow using for Internet-Drafts does not allow using multilingual characters other than
multilingual characters other than ASCII characters. Thus, this ASCII characters. Thus, this document may not display Korean-language characters
document may not display Korean-language characters properly, properly, although it may be comprehensible without the examples using Korean-
although it may be comprehensible without the examples using Korean- language characters. Also, when you open the original of this document, please
language characters. Also, when you open the original of this select your view encoding type to Korean for Korean-language characters to be
document, please select your view encoding type to Korean for Korean- displayed properly.
language characters to be displayed properly.
3. Introduction 3. Introduction
Domain names are valuable to Internet users as a main identifier of Domain names are valuable to Internet users as a main identifier of entities and
hosts on the Internet. The current DNS allows using only English resources on the Internet. The DNS allows using only English scripts in naming
characters in naming hosts or clusters of hosts on the Internet. More hosts or clusters of hosts on the Internet. More specifically, the DNS uses only
specifically, the DNS uses only the basic Latin alphabets (case- the basic Latin alphabets (case-insensitive), the decimal digits (0-9) and the
insensitive), the decimal digits (0-9) and the hyphen (-) in domain hyphen (-) in domain names. But there is a growing need for internationalized
names. But there is a growing need for internationalized or non- domain names in local scripts. Recognizing this need, various methods have been
English domain names. Recognizing this need, various methods have proposed to use local scripts in domain names. But to date, no method appears to
been proposed to use non-English characters in domain names. But to meet all the requirements of internationalized domain names as described in
date, it seems that no method has met all the requirements of Wenzel and Seng [2].
internationalized domain names as described in Wenzel and Seng [2].
A group of earlier methods has tried to put internationalized domain
names inside some parts of the overall DNS system, using UCS encoding
Virtually Internationalized Domain Names November 2000
schemes. But these methods put too much of a burden on the DNS, A group of earlier methods tries to put internationalized domain names in local
requiring a great deal of work for transition and update of the DNS scripts inside some parts of the overall DNS, using special encoding schemes of
components. Another group of earlier methods has tried to build Universal Character Set (UCS). But these methods put too much of a burden on the
separate directory services for internationalized domain names or DNS, requiring a great deal of work for transition and update of the DNS
internationalized keywords. But these methods also require complex components and the applications working with the DNS. Another group of earlier
implementation efforts, duplicating much of the work already done for methods tries to build separate directory services for internationalized domain
the DNS. Both the groups of earlier methods have tried to build some names or keywords in local scripts. But these methods also require complex
mechanisms inside or outside the DNS and put internationalized domain implementation efforts, duplicating much of the work already done for the DNS.
names or internationalized keywords there in addition to existing Both the groups of earlier methods require creating internationalized domain
domain names in English. names or keywords in local scripts from scratch, which is a costly and lengthy
process on the parts of the DNS and Internet users. Further, domain names or
keywords created in local scripts are usable only by those who know the local
scripts, and so, they may segregate the Internet into many groups of different
sets of local scripts that are less universal than English scripts.
Unlike earlier methods that involve a lengthy and costly process of VIDN intends to provide a more immediate and less costly solution to
implementation, VIDN provides a more immediate and less costly internationalized domain names than earlier methods. VIDN does not make any
solution to internationalized domain names by focusing on change to the DNS nor require creating additional domain names in local scripts.
internationalizing existing as well as future domain names in English VIDN takes notice of the fact that many domain names currently used in regions
that comply with the current DNS, without actually creating domain where English scripts are not widely used have their entity-defined portions
names in local languages. VIDN takes notice of the fact that most consisting of English scripts as transliterated from the respective local
domain names used in regions where English is not widely spoken, have scripts. Using this knowledge of transliteration between local and English
their entity-defined portions consisting of characters or words in scripts, VIDN converts virtual domain names typed in local scripts into the
English as transliterated from characters and words in the respective corresponding domain names in English scripts that comply with the DNS. In this
local languages. Based upon the knowledge of transliteration between way, VIDN enables the same domain names to be used not only in English scripts
a local language and English, VIDN allows using virtual domain names as usual but also in local scripts, without creating additional domain names in
in a local language by converting them into the corresponding actual local scripts.
domain names in English that comply with the current DNS. VIDN allows
the same domain names to be used not only in English as usual but
also in local languages, without creating additional domain names in
local languages.
4. VIDN method 4. VIDN method
4.1. Objectives 4.1. Objectives
To date, the methods for internationalized domain names have tried to Earlier methods of internationalized domain names try to create domain names or
create domain names or keywords in local languages one way or another keywords in local scripts one way or another in addition to existing domain
in addition to existing domain names in English, and put them inside names in English scripts, and put them inside or outside the DNS, using special
or outside the DNS, using special encoding schemes or lookup encoding schemes or lookup services. These methods require a lengthy and costly
services. These methods require a lengthy and costly process of process of creating domain names in local scripts and updating the DNS
implementation. Even when they are successfully implemented, these components and applications. Even when they are successfully implemented, these
methods may localize the Internet by separating it into groups of methods have a risk of localizing the Internet by segregating it into groups of
local languages that are less universal than English. Further, these different sets of local scripts that are less universal than English scripts and
methods may cause disputes on copyrights, trademarks, and so on in so diminishing the international scope of the Internet. Further, these methods
local contexts, in addition to all those disputes we observe with may cause more problems and disputes on copyrights, trademarks, and so on, in
current domain names in English. VIDN intends to provide a solution local contexts than those that we experience with current domain names in
to the problems of earlier methods, by (1) allowing the same domain English scripts.
names to be used both in English and local languages, without
creating domain names in local languages, (2) working in applications VIDN intends to provide a solution to the problems of earlier methods of
at user hosts automatically and transparently before DNS requests are internationalized domain names. VIDN enables the same domain names to be used in
sent, (3) using the current DNS as it is, without requiring any both English scripts as usual and local scripts, and so, there is no need to
additional name server or resolver, and (4) being implemented create domain names in local scripts in addition to domain names in English
immediately with little cost. scripts. VIDN works automatically and transparently in applications at user
hosts before DNS requests are sent, and so, there is no need to make any change
to the DNS or to have additional name servers. For these reasons as well as
others, VIDN can be implemented more immediately with less cost than other
methods of internationalized domain names.
4.2. Description 4.2. Description
Virtually Internationalized Domain Names November 2000 It is important to note that most domain names used in regions where English
scripts are not widely used have their entity-defined portions consisting of
English scripts as transliterated from local scripts. Of course, there are many
domain names in those regions that do not follow this kind of transliteration
between local and English scripts. In such case, new domain names in English
scripts need to be created following this transliteration, but the number would
be minimal, compared to the number of internationalized domain names in local
scripts to be created and registered under other methods.
It is important to note that most domain names used in regions where The English scripts transliterated from local scripts do not have any meanings
English is not widely spoken have their entity-defined portions in English language, but their originals in local scripts before the
consisting of characters or words in English as transliterated from transliteration have some meanings in the respective local language, usually
characters or words in local languages. These transliterated indicating organization names, brand names, trademarks, and so on. VIDN enables
characters or words in English do not have any meanings in English, to use these original local scripts as the entity-defined portions of virtual
but their originals in local languages before the transliteration domain names in local scripts, by transliterating them into the corresponding
into English have some meanings in local contexts, usually indicating entity-defined portions of actual domain names in English scripts. In this way,
organization names, brand names, trademarks, and so on. VIDN allows VIDN enables the same domain names in English scripts to be used virtually in
using these original characters or words in local languages as the local scripts without actually creating domain names in local scripts.
entity-defined portions of virtual domain names in local languages,
by transliterating them into the corresponding entity-defined
portions of actual domain names in English. In this way, VIDN allows
the same domain names in English to be also used virtually in local
languages without actually creating domain names in local languages.
As domain names overlay IP addresses, so virtual domain names in As domain names in English scripts overlay IP addresses, so virtual domain names
local languages do actual domain names in English. The relationship in local scripts do actual domain names in English scripts. The relationship
between virtual domain names in a local language and actual domain between virtual domain names in local scripts and actual domain names in English
names in English can be depicted as: scripts can be depicted as:
+---------------------------------+ +---------------------------------+
| User | | User |
+---------------------------------+ +---------------------------------+
| | | |
+----------------|-----------------------|------------------+ +----------------|-----------------------|------------------+
| v (Transliteration) v | | v (Transliteration) v |
| +---------------------+ | +-----------------------+ | | +---------------------+ | +-----------------------+ |
| | Virtual domain name | | | Actual domain name | | | | Virtual domain name | | | Actual domain name | |
| | in a local language |--+->| in English | | | | in local scripts |--+->| in English scripts | |
| +---------------------+ +-----------------------+ | | +---------------------+ +-----------------------+ |
| User application | | | User application | |
+----------------------------------------|------------------+ +----------------------------------------|------------------+
v v
DNS request DNS requests
VIDN uses the phonemes of a local language and English as a medium in VIDN uses the phonemes of local and English scripts as a medium in
transliterating the entity-defined portions of virtual domain names transliterating the entity-defined portions of virtual domain names in local
in the local language into those of actual domain names in English. scripts into those of actual domain names in English scripts. This process of
This process of transliteration can be depicted as: transliteration can be depicted as:
Local language English Local scripts English scripts
+----------------------------+ +-----------------------------+ +----------------------------+ +-----------------------------+
| Characters ----> Phonemes -----------> Phonemes ----> Characters | | Characters ----> Phonemes -----------> Phonemes ----> Characters |
| | | | | | | | | | | | | |
| | | | | | | | | | | | | |
| (Inverse of transcription) | Match | (Transcription) | | (Inverse of transcription) | Match | (Transcription) |
+----------------------------+ +-----------------------------+ +----------------------------+ +-----------------------------+
| ^ | ^
| (Transliteration) | | (Transliteration) |
+------------------------------------+ +------------------------------------+
First, each entity-defined portion of a virtual domain name in the First, each entity-defined portion of a virtual domain name typed in local
local language is decomposed into individual characters or sets of scripts is decomposed into individual characters or sets of characters so that
each individual character or set of characters can represent an individual
Virtually Internationalized Domain Names November 2000 phoneme of the local language. This is the inverse of transcription of phonemes
into characters. Second, each individual phoneme of the local language is
matched with an equivalent phoneme of English language that has the same or most
proximate sound. Third, each phoneme of English language is transcribed into the
corresponding character or set of characters in English language. Finally, all
the characters or sets of characters converted into English scripts are united
to compose the corresponding entity-defined portion of an actual domain name in
English scripts.
characters so that each individual character or set of characters can For example, a word in Korean language, '' that means 'century' in English
represent an individual phoneme of the local language, which is the language, is transliterated into 'segi' in English scripts, and so, the entity
inverse of transcription of phonemes into characters. Second, each whose name contains '' in Korean language may have an entity-defined portion
individual phoneme of the local language is matched with an of its domain name as 'segi' in English scripts. VIDN enables to use '' as
equivalent phoneme of English that has the same or most proximate an entity-defined portion of a virtual domain name in Korean scripts, which is
sound. Third, each phoneme of English is transcribed into the converted into 'segi,' the corresponding entity-defined portion of an actual
corresponding character or set of characters in English. Finally, all domain name in English scripts. In other words, the phonemes represented by the
the characters or sets of characters converted into English are characters consisting of '' in Korean scripts have the same sounds as the
united to compose the corresponding entity-defined portion of an phonemes represented by the characters consisting of 'segi' in English scripts.
actual domain name in English. In the local context, '' in Korean scripts is clearly easier to remember and
type and more intuitive and meaningful than 'segi' in English scripts.
For example, a word in Korean, `??' that means `century' in English, An entity-defined portion of a virtual domain name in Korean scripts, '', is
is transliterated into `segi' in English, and so, the entity whose transliterated into 'yahoo' in English scripts, since the phonemes represented
name contains `??' in Korean may have an entity-defined portion of by the characters consisting of '' in Korean scripts have the same sounds as
its domain name as `segi' in English. VIDN allows using `??' in the phonemes represented by the characters consisting of 'yahoo' in English
Korean as an entity-defined portion of a virtual domain name in scripts. That is, '' in Korean scripts is pronounced as the same as 'yahoo'
Korean, which is converted into `segi' in English, the corresponding in English scripts, and so, it is easy for Korean-speaking people to deduce '
entity-defined portion of an actual domain name in English. More ' in Korean scripts as the virtual equivalent of 'yahoo' in English scripts.
specifically, the phonemes represented by the characters consisting VIDN enables to use virtual domain names in local scripts for domain names whose
of `??' in Korean have the same sounds as the phonemes represented originals are in local scripts, e.g., '' in Korean scripts, as well as
by the characters consisting of `segi' in English. In the local domain names whose originals are in English scripts, e.g., '' in Korean
context, `??' in Korean is clearly easier to remember and type and scripts. In this way, VIDN is able to make domain names truly international,
more intuitive and meaningful than `segi' in English. allowing the same domain names to be used both in English and local scripts.
An entity-defined portion of a virtual domain name in Korean, `??', The coded portions of domain names such as generic codes and country codes can
is transliterated into `yahoo' in English, since the phonemes also be transliterated from local scripts into English scripts, using their
represented by the characters consisting of `??' in Korean have the phonemes as a medium. For example, seven generic codes in English scripts, 'com',
same sounds as the phonemes represented by the characters consisting 'edu', 'gov', 'int', 'mil', 'net', and 'org', can be transliterated from '', '
of `yahoo' in English. That is, `??' in Korean is pronounced as the ', '', '˫', '', '˫', '' in Korean scripts, respectively,
same as `yahoo' in English, and so, it is easy for Korean-speaking which can be used as the corresponding generic codes of virtual domain names in
people to deduce `??' in Korean as the virtual equivalent of Korean scripts. Based upon its meaning in English language, each coded portion
`yahoo' in English. VIDN allows using virtual domain names in a local of actual domain names also can be pre-assigned a virtual equivalent word or
language for domain names whose originals are in the local language, code in local scripts. For example, seven generic codes in English scripts,
e.g., `??' in Korean, as well as domain names whose originals are 'com', 'edu', 'gov', 'int', 'mil', 'net', and 'org', can be pre-assigned ''
in English, e.g., `??' in Korean. In this way, VIDN can make domain (meaning 'commercial' in Korean language), 'Ϙ' (meaning 'education' in Korean
names truly international, allowing the same domain names to be used language), '' (meaning 'government' in Korean language), 'ª' (meaning
both in English and local languages. 'international' in Korean language), '' (meaning 'military' in Korean
language), '˫' (meaning 'network' in Korean language), and 'ȭ' (meaning
'organization' in Korean language), respectively, which can be used as the
corresponding generic codes of virtual domain names in Korean scripts.
The coded portions of domain names such as organization codes, VIDN does not create such complexities as other conversion methods based upon
geographic codes and country codes, can also be transliterated from a semantics do, since it uses phonemes as a medium of transliteration between
local language into English, using the phonemes of the two languages local and English scripts. Further, most languages have a small number of
as a medium. For example, seven generic organization codes in English, phonemes. For example, Korean language has nineteen consonant phonemes and
`com', `edu', `gov', `int', `mil', `net', and `org', can be twenty-one vowel phonemes, and English language has twenty-four consonant
transliterated from `?', `??', `??', `??', `?', `??', `??' in phonemes and twenty vowel phonemes. Each phoneme of Korean language can be
Korean, respectively, which can be used as the corresponding matched with a phoneme of English language that has the same or proximate sound,
organization codes of virtual domain names in Korean. Based upon its and vice versa.
meaning in English, each coded portion of actual domain names also
can be pre-assigned a virtual equivalent word or code in a local
language. For example, seven generic organization codes in English,
`com', `edu', `gov', `int', `mil', `net', and `org', can be pre-
assigned `??' (meaning `commercial' in Korean), `??' (meaning
`education' in Korean), `??' (meaning `government' in Korean),
`??' (meaning `international' in Korean), `??' (meaning `military'
in Korean), `??' (meaning `network' in Korean), and `??' (meaning
Virtually Internationalized Domain Names November 2000 Some characters or sets of characters may represent more than one phoneme. Some
phonemes may be represented by more than one character or set of characters.
Also, not every character or set of characters in local scripts may be neatly
transliterated into only one character or set of characters in English scripts.
In practice, people often transliterate the same local scripts differently into
English scripts or vice versa. VIDN incorporates the provisions to deal with
those variations that usually occur in particular situations as well as those
variations that are caused by common usage or idiomatic expressions. More
fundamentally, VIDN uses phonemes, which are very universal across different
languages, as a medium of transliteration rather than following a certain set of
transliteration rules that does not exist in many non-English-speaking countries
nor is followed by many non-English-speaking people.
`organization' in Korean), respectively, which can be used as the One virtual domain name typed in local scripts may be converted into more than
corresponding organization codes of virtual domain names in Korean. one possible domain name in English scripts. In such case, VIDN can search for
and displays only those domain names in English scripts that are active on the
Internet, so that the user can choose any of them. Further, VIDN can be used as
a directory-search solution at an upper layer above the DNS. That is, the user
can use VIDN to query a phoneme-based domain name request in local scripts,
receive one or more corresponding domain names in English or ASCII-compatible
scripts preferably, choose one based upon the results of that search, and make
the final DNS request using any protocol or method to be chosen for
internationalized domain names. In this regard of directory search, VIDN uses
one-to-many map between virtual domain names in local scripts and actual domain
names in English scripts.
Since VIDN uses the phonemes of a local language and English as a VIDN needs the one-to-many mapping and subsequent multiple DNS lookups only at
medium of the transliteration, it does not create such complexities the first query of each virtual domain name typed in local scripts at the user
as other conversion methods based upon semantics do. Further, most host. After the first query, the virtual domain name is set to the domain name
languages have a small number of phonemes. For example, Korean in English scripts that has been chosen at the first query. Any subsequent
language has nineteen consonant phonemes and twenty-one vowel queries with the same virtual domain name generate only one query with the
phonemes, and English language has twenty-four consonant phonemes and selected domain name in English scripts. Once the use selects one possible
twenty vowel phonemes. Each phoneme of Korean language can be matched domain name in English scripts from the list, VIDN remembers the user's
with a phoneme of English language that has the same or proximate selection and directs the user to the same domain name at his or her subsequent
sound, and vice versa. queries with that virtual domain name. In this way, VIDN can generate less
traffic on the DNS, while providing faster, easier, and simpler navigation on
the Internet to the user, using local scripts.
Some characters or sets of characters of a language may represent Utilizing a coding scheme, VIDN is also capable of making each virtual domain
more than one phoneme. Also, some phonemes of a language may be name typed in local scripts correspond to exactly one actual domain name in
represented by more than one character or set of characters. But English scripts. In this coding scheme, a unique code such as the Unicode or
these variations usually occur in particular situations, and so, VIDN hexadecimal code represented by the virtual domain name, is pre-assigned to one
incorporates the special provisions to deal with such variations. In of the corresponding domain names in English scripts and stored in the
addition, not every character or set of characters in a local respective server host, so that both the user host and the server host can
language may be neatly transliterated into only one character or set support and understand the code. Then, VIDN checks whether the code at each
of characters in English. In practice, people often transliterate the server host matches with the code generated at the user host. If one of the
same word in a local language differently into English or vice versa. servers stores the code that matches with the code generated at the user host,
VIDN also incorporates the provisions to deal with such variations the virtual domain name typed at the user host is recognized as corresponding
caused by common usages or idiomatic expressions. Because of these only to the domain name of that server host, and the user host is connected to
variations, however, it is probable for one virtual domain name the server host. The domain names of the remaining server hosts that do not have
entered in a local language to result in more than one actual domain the matching code are also displayed at the user host as alternative sites.
name in English.
VIDN includes a coding scheme in order to make each virtual domain Because a unique code is assigned to only one of the domain names in English
name entered in a local language correspond to exactly one actual scripts, it does not cause any domain name squatting problem beyond what we
domain name in English. In this coding scheme, a unique code is pre- experience with current domain names in English scripts. Unique codes do not
assigned to one of the corresponding actual domain names in English need to be stored in any specific format, that is, they can be embedded in HTML,
for each virtual domain name to be entered in a local language. The XML, WML, and so on, so that the user host can interpret the retrieved code
code is kept somewhere at the server host that has the actual domain correctly. Likewise, unique codes do not require any specific intermediate
name in English, for example, in the main HTML document at the server transport protocol such as TCP/IP. The only requirement is that the protocol
host, so that VIDN can check the code. VIDN also generates the same must be understood among all participating user hosts and server hosts. For
unique code whenever the corresponding virtual domain name is entered
in user applications. Then, VIDN checks whether the code at each
server host matches with the code generated in user applications. If
one of the server hosts has the code that matches with the code
generated in user applications, VIDN recognizes that the virtual
domain name entered by the user corresponds only to the actual domain
name of that server host, and connects the user host to the server
host. The domain names of the remaining server hosts that do not have
the matching code may be listed to the user as alternative sites. For
security purpose, this coding scheme may use an encryption technique. security purpose, this coding scheme may use an encryption technique.
For example, `??.?', a virtual domain name entered in Korean, may For example, 'ž.', a virtual domain name typed in Korean scripts, may
result in four corresponding domain names in English including result in four corresponding domain names in English scripts, including
`jungang.com', `joongang.com,' `chungang.com', and `choongang.com', 'jungang.com', 'joongang.com,' 'chungang.com', and 'choongang.com', since the
since the phonemes represented by characters consisting of `??.?' phonemes represented by characters consisting of 'ž.' in Korean scripts can
in Korean can have the same or almost the same sounds as the phonemes have the same or almost the same sounds as the phonemes represented by
represented by characters consisting of `jungang.com', characters consisting of 'jungang.com', 'joongang.com,' 'chungang.com', or
`joongang.com,' `chungang.com', or `choongang.com' in English. In 'choongang.com' in English scripts. In this case, we assume that the server host
with its domain name 'jungang.com' has the pre-assigned code that matches with
Virtually Internationalized Domain Names November 2000 the code generated when 'ž.' in Korean scripts is entered in user
applications. Then, the user host is connected to this server host, and the
this case, we assume that the server host with its domain name other server hosts may be listed to the user as alternative sites so that the
`jungang.com' has the pre-assigned code that matches with the code user can try them.
generated when `??.?' in Korean is entered in user applications.
Then, the user host is connected to this server host, and the other
server hosts may be listed to the user as alternative sites so that
the user can try them.
The process of this coding scheme that makes each virtual domain name The process of this coding scheme that makes each virtual domain name in local
in a local language correspond to only one actual domain name in scripts correspond to only one actual domain name in English scripts, can be
English, can be depicted as: depicted as:
+---------------------------------+ +---------------------------------+
| User | | User |
+---------------------------------+ +---------------------------------+
| | | |
+----------------|-----------------------|------------------+ +----------------|-----------------------|------------------+
| v v | | v v |
| +---------------------+ +-----------------------+ | | +---------------------+ +-----------------------+ |
| | Virtual domain name | | Potential domain names| | | | Virtual domain name | | Potential domain names| |
| | in a local language |---->| in English | | | | in a local language |---->| in English | |
| | e.g., `??.?' | | e.g., `jungang.com' | | | | e.g., 'ž.' | | e.g., 'jungang.com' | |
| | (code: 297437)| | `joongang.com' | | | | (code: 297437)| | 'joongang.com' | |
| | | | `chungang.com' | | | | | | 'chungang.com' | |
| | | | `choongang.com' | | | | | | 'choongang.com' | |
| +---------------------+ +-----------------------+ | | +---------------------+ +-----------------------+ |
| User application | | | User application | |
+----------------------------------------|------------------+ +----------------------------------------|------------------+
^ | ^ |
| | Code check by VIDN | | Code check by VIDN
Connection to | | +-- `jungang.com' Connection to | | +-- 'jungang.com'
the server host | | | (code: 297437) the server host | | | (code: 297437)
`jungang.com' | | |-- `joongang.com' 'jungang.com' | | |-- 'joongang.com'
| |----+ (not active) | |----+ (not active)
| | |-- `chungang.com' | | |-- 'chungang.com'
| | | (code: 381274) | | | (code: 381274)
| DNS request and | +-- `choongang.com' | DNS request and | +-- 'choongang.com'
| response | (not active) | response | (not active)
+-----------------------+ +-----------------------+
Since VIDN converts separately the entity-defined portions and the Since VIDN converts separately the entity-defined portions and the coded
coded portions of a virtual domain name, it preserves the current portions of a virtual domain name, it preserves the current syntax of domain
syntax of domain names, that is, the hierarchical dotted notation, names, that is, the hierarchical dotted notation, which Internet users are
which Internet users are familiar with. Also, VIDN allows using a familiar with. Also, VIDN allows using a virtual domain name mixed with local
virtual domain name mixed with characters in a local language and and English scripts as the user wishes to, since the conversion takes place on
English as the user wishes to, since the conversion takes place on each individual portion of the domain name and each individual character or set
each individual portion of the domain name and each individual of characters of the portion.
character or set of characters of the portion.
While VIDN preserves the hierarchical dotted notation of current
domain names, the principles of VIDN are also applicable to domain
names in other possible notations such as those in a natural language
(e.g., `microsoft windows' rather than `windows.microsoft.com'). Also,
the principles of VIDN can be applied into other identifiers used on
the Internet, such as user IDs of e-mail addresses, names of
Virtually Internationalized Domain Names November 2000 While VIDN preserves the hierarchical dotted notation of current domain names,
the principles of VIDN are applicable to domain names in other possible
notations such as those in a natural language (e.g., 'microsoft windows' rather
than 'windows.microsoft.com'). Also, the principles of VIDN can be applied into
other identifiers used on the Internet, such as user IDs of e-mail addresses,
names of directories and folders, names of web pages and files, keywords used in
search engines and directory services, and so on, allowing them to be used
interchangeably in local and English scripts, without creating additional
identifiers in local scripts. The conversion of VIDN can be done between any two
sets of scripts interchangeably. Thus, even when the DNS accepts and registers
domain names in other local scripts in addition to English, VIDN can allow using
the same domain names in any two sets of scripts by converting virtual domain
names in one set of scripts into actual domain names in another set of scripts.
directories and folders, names of web pages and files, keywords used 4.3. Development and implementation
in search engines and directory services, and so on, allowing them to
be used interchangeably in a local language and English, without
creating additional identifiers in the local language. The conversion
of VIDN can be done between any two languages interchangeably. Thus,
even when the DNS accepts and registers domain names in other
languages in addition to English, VIDN can allow using the same
domain names in any two languages by converting virtual domain names
in one language into actual domain names in another language.
4.3. Implementation In a preferred arrangement, the development of VIDN for each set of local
scripts may be administered by one or more local standard bodies in regions
where the local scripts are widely used, for example, Korean Network Information
Center for Korean scripts, Japan Network Information Center for Japanese scripts,
and China, Hong Kong and Taiwan Network Information Centers for Chinese scripts,
with consultation with experts on phonemics and linguistics of the respective
local language and English language. Also, the unique codes for one-to-one
mapping between virtual domain names in local scripts and actual domain names in
English scripts can be administered by a central standard body like IANA.
Alternatively, the unique codes for each set of local scripts may be
administered by one or more local standard bodies in regions where the local
scripts are widely used, as with the development of VIDN.
In a preferred arrangement, VIDN is implemented in applications at VIDN is implemented in applications at the user host. That is, the conversion of
the user host. That is, the conversion of virtual domain names in a virtual domain names in local scripts into the corresponding actual domain names
local language into the corresponding actual domain names in English in English scripts takes place at the user host before DNS requests are sent.
takes place at the user host before DNS requests are sent. Thus, Thus, neither a special encoding nor a separate lookup service is needed to
neither a special encoding nor a separate lookup service is needed to implement VIDN. VIDN is also modularized with each module being used for
implement VIDN. VIDN is also modularized with each module being used conversion of virtual domain names in one set of local scripts into the
for conversion of virtual domain names in one local language into the corresponding actual domain names in English scripts. A user needs only the
corresponding actual domain names in English. A user needs only the module for conversion of his or her preferred set of local scripts into English
module for conversion of his or her preferred local language into scripts. Alternatively, VIDN can be implemented at a central server host or a
English. Also, VIDN can be implemented at a central server host or a cluster of local server hosts. A central server can provide the conversion
cluster of local server hosts. A central server with all the language service for all sets of local scripts, or a cluster of local server hosts can
modules of VIDN can provide the conversion service for all local share the conversion service. In the latter case, each local server host can
languages, or a cluster of local server hosts can share the provide the conversion service for one or more sets of local scripts used in a
conversion service. In the latter case, each local server host with a certain region.
language module or a set of language modules can provide the
conversion service for the respective local language or set of local
languages used in a certain region.
Because of its small size, VIDN can be easily embedded into Because of its small size, VIDN can be easily embedded into applications
applications software such as web browser, e-mail software, ftp software such as web browser, e-mail software, ftp system, and so on at the user
system, and so on at the user host, or it can work as an add-on host, or it can work as an add-on program to such software. In either case, the
program to such software. In either case, the only requirement on the only requirement on the part of the user is to install VIDN or software
part of the user is to install VIDN or software embedding VIDN at the embedding VIDN at the user host. Using virtual domain names in local scripts in
user host. Using virtual domain names in a local language in accordance with the principles of VIDN is very intuitive to those who use the
accordance with the principles of VIDN is very intuitive to those who local scripts. The only requirement on the part of the entity whose server host
speak the local language. The only requirement on the part of the provides Internet services to user hosts is to have an actual domain name in
entity whose server host provides Internet services to user hosts is English scripts into which virtual domain names in local scripts are neatly
to have an actual domain name in English into which a virtual domain transliterated in accordance with the principles of VIDN. Most entities in
name in a local language is neatly transliterated in accordance with regions where English scripts are not widely used already have such domain names
the principles of VIDN, and to have a pre-assigned code kept at its in English scripts. Finally, there is nothing to change on the part of the DNS,
server host for one-to-one matching of its actual domain name and a
virtual domain name to be used by users. Most entities in regions
where English is not widely spoken already have such domain names in
English. Finally, there is nothing to change on the part of the DNS,
since VIDN uses the current DNS as it is. since VIDN uses the current DNS as it is.
Taken together, the features of VIDN can meet all the requirement of Taken together, the features of VIDN can meet all the requirement of
internationalized domain names as described in Wenzel and Seng [2], internationalized domain names as described in Wenzel and Seng [2], with respect
with respect to compatibility and interoperability, to compatibility and interoperability, internationalization, canonicalization,
internationalization, canonicalization, and operating issues. Given and operating issues. Given the fact that different methods toward
the fact that different methods toward internationalized domain names internationalized domain names confuse users, as already observed in some
regions where some of these methods have already been commercialized, e.g.,
Virtually Internationalized Domain Names November 2000 Korea, Japan and China, it is important to find and implement the most effective
solution to internationalized domain names as soon as possible.
confuse users, as already observed in some regions where some of
these methods have already been commercialized, e.g., Korea, it is
important to find and implement the most effective solution to
internationalized domain names as soon as possible.
4.4. Testing results 4.4. Current status
A testing version of VIDN has been developed for Korean-English VIDN has been developed for Korean-English conversion as a web browser add-on
conversion as a web browser add-on program. The program contains all program. The program contains all the features described in this document and is
the features described in this document except the coding scheme. capable of listing all the domain names in English scripts that correspond to a
While the final version of the program is planned to include the virtual domain name typed in Korean scripts so that a user can choose any of
coding scheme, the testing version lists all the domain names in them. The program can cover more than ninety percent of the sample. That is, the
English that correspond to a virtual domain name entered in Korean so results of testing indicate that more than ninety percent of web sites in Korea
that a user can choose one. The testing results of a sample of can be accessed using virtual domain names in Korean scripts without creating
randomly selected domain names used in Korea show that the program additional domain names in Korean scripts. The remaining ten percent of domain
can cover more than ninety percent of the sample. The results names are mostly those that contain acronyms, abbreviations or initials. With
indicate that more than ninety percent of web sites in Korea can be improvement of its knowledge of transliteration, the program is expected to
accessed using virtual domain names in Korean without creating cover more domain names used in Korea.
additional domain names in Korean. The remaining ten percent of
domain names are mostly those that contain acronyms, abbreviations or
initials. With improvement of its knowledge of transliteration, the
final version of the program is expected to cover most domain names
used in Korea.
5. Security considerations 5. Security considerations
Because VIDN uses the DNS as it is, it inherits the same security Because VIDN uses the DNS as it is, it inherits the same security considerations
considerations as the DNS. as the DNS.
6. Intellectual property considerations 6. Intellectual property considerations
It is the intention of DualName, Inc. to submit the VIDN method and It is the intention of DualName, Inc. to submit the VIDN method and other
other elements of VIDN software to IETF for review, comment or elements of VIDN software to IETF for review, comment or standardization.
standardization.
DualName has applied for one or more patents on the technology DualName has applied for one or more patents on the technology related to
related to virtual domain name software and virtual email software. virtual domain name software and virtual email software. If a standard is
If a standard is adopted by IETF and any patents are issued to adopted by IETF and any patents are issued to DualName with claims that are
DualName with claims that are necessary for practicing the standard, necessary for practicing the standard, DualName is prepared to make available,
DualName is prepared to make available, upon written request, a non- upon written request, a non-exclusive license under fair, reasonable and non-
exclusive license under fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory terms discriminatory terms and condition, based on the principle of reciprocity,
and condition, based on the principle of reciprocity, consistent with consistent with established practice.
established practice.
7. References 7. References
1 Bradner, S., "Key words for use in RFCs to Indicate Requirement 1 Wenzel, Z. and Seng, J. (Editors), "Requirements of Internationalized Domain
Virtually Internationalized Domain Names November 2000 Names," draft-ietf-idn-requirements-03.txt, August 2000
2 Wenzel, Z. and Seng, J. (Editors), "Requirements of
Internationalized Domain Names," draft-ietf-idn-requirements-
03.txt, August 2000
8. Author's address 8. Author's address
Sung Jae Shim Sung Jae Shim
DualName, Inc. DualName, Inc.
3600 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 1814 3600 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 1814
Los Angeles, California 90010 Los Angeles, California 90010
USA USA
Email: shimsungjae@dualname.com Email: shimsungjae@dualname.com
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