SL to get Top Level Domain in the vernacular soon | Sunday Observer

SL to get Top Level Domain in the vernacular soon

ICANN and local panel of expertise at the media briefing.
ICANN and local panel of expertise at the media briefing.

‘IDNs are domain names represented by letters or characters from different scripts and writing systems. They offer the possibility of using the domain names in languages across the globe, including Sinhala, Tamil, Thai, Chinese, Hindi and others

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) and a panel of local language experts will discuss the evolution of the Internet’s Domain Name System (DNS) and its potential implications for Sri Lanka, a top official of ICANN said.

ICANN is currently overseeing one of the major changes in the history of the Internet with its New Generic Top Level Domain Names (gTLD) program.

Sri Lanka has received two strings similar to every country which has a country code .lk is the Top Level Domain (TLD) of Sri Lanka. The other TLD are .com, .org and .net.

ICANN, Regional Manager Security, Stability and Resilience, Champika Wijayatunga said there are over 1,200 TLD strings that have been developed across the world and that this number will increase further. Sri Lanka will get its TLD in the vernacular soon as work on the project will kick off shortly.

However, there should be a process and proper rules and regulations in using the domains.

“We will seek the knowledge of various experts in carrying out the project,” Wijayatunga said.

Citing an example such as www.cafe.123.com, the ICANN team said www. represents the third level domain, café.123 is the second level domain and .com is the TLD.

The ICANN team along with local experts in policy, technical and linguistic fields introduced the Internationalised Domain Name (IDN) program and the Sinhala Generation Panel (GP).

The launch signifies an exciting future where the local community contributes towards developing secure and stable access to the Internet in Sinhala, an ICANN official said.

The Asia Pacific region is linguistically diverse. The region accounts for nearly half of the over 6,800 languages in the world. Twenty one of the 30 most widely spoken languages in the world are used in the region. The diversity is a challenge to the Internet domain name space.

ICANN IDN Program Director Samad Hussain said IDNs are domain names represented by letters or characters from different scripts and writing systems. They offer the possibility of using the domain names in languages across the globe, including Sinhala, Tamil, Thai, Chinese, Hindi and others.

Thus providing a multilingual Internet with greater flexibility and opportunities for billions of users.

The Sinhala GP comprises two co-chairs and a number of local community representatives from policy, linguistic fields and those with technical expertise in Sinhala language computing, Unicode and Internet’s domain name system.

Co-Chair, Sinhala GP, Harsha Wijeyawardhana said the Sinhala GP will work on developing root zone label generation rules for the Sinhala script. There will be technical work involved such as developing the rules for computers to understand how to form correct top level domain names in Sinhala script. Our efforts will help to form the basis for enabling complete domain names in Sinhala. - LF 

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