Universal acceptance

In other pages in our report we have seen that the transition from LDH (Letters, Digits and Hyphens) to truly Internationalised Domain Names has required the standardisation of a technology, the public use and deployment of that technology and finally the successful integration of IDNs with more traditional, LDH domain names.

Elsewhere in the World Report on IDNs we have seen statistics and analysis of the uptake of IDNs and the implications of IDNs on localised content and accessibility. Trends in IDN registration are an important metric for predicting accessibility and the emergence of truly localised content. However, many organisations have been simply unprepared for the expansion of the name space to include IDNs.

A key problem for IDNs is their acceptance.  In the following pages we define Universal Acceptance, look at the key issues related to acceptance and then present statistics and trends associated with the issue.

In previous years, we have discovered that browsers provide the best user experience for Universal Acceptance of IDNs.  This year is no different. The state of Universal Acceptance in the major browsers is now quite mature.  Of special note this year is the progress being made in mobile browsers targeting smartphones, tablets and other, smaller, portable devices.

In addition to browsers, social media applications do a good job of displaying non-ASCII scripts and URLs.  This year we find that several social media sites that target specific regional or national communities do allow for IDNs as part of usernames.  However, no social media service with global presence allows for IDNs to be used as part of a username for login.

The pace of improvement for Universal Acceptance is glacial. While improvements can be reported, success at the application layer, the interface for human beings, seems a long way off.