Universal Acceptance

Introduction

In this year’s “Universal Acceptance” section, we can see statistics and analysis of both the registration and availability of IDNs. However, a key measure of the success of IDNs is an answer to the question: “Can they be used like other domain names?”

The fundamental goal is to have IDNs behave just like other domain names and work, display and resolve correctly. In these pages, we will call this behavior “Universal Acceptance” or UA, for short. Previous studies have shown that there are significant barriers to Universal Acceptance of IDNs. This year is no different. Progress toward UA for IDNs is especially slow in applications and security-related software. While there have been significant announcements of support for IDNs in email and other applications, the pace of uptake remains very slow.

Browsers continue to be a bright spot for the use, display and resolution of IDNs. Progress in browsers has been made steadily in the last three years and the section that discusses IDNs and the World Wide Web notes promising improvements to the use of IDNs in browsers.

Those improvements cannot hide the fact that, in other parts of the Internet, Universal Acceptance is at best marginal and in some cases non-existent. Our survey of the UA landscape for IDNs includes, for the first time, a look at the implications of IDNs on the emerging Internet of Things.