Universal Acceptance : a requirement for a truly multilingual Internet

Universal Acceptance is a foundational requirement for a truly multilingual Internet, one in which users around the world can navigate entirely in local languages. It is also the key to unlocking the potential of new generic top-level domains (gTLDs) to foster competition, consumer choice and innovation in the domain name industry. To achieve Universal Acceptance, Internet applications and systems must treat all TLDs in a consistent manner, including new gTLDs and internationalized TLDs. Specifically, they must accept, validate, store, process and display all domain names.

The Universal Acceptance Steering Group is a community-based team working to share this vision for the Internet of the future with those who construct this space: coders. The group’s primary objective is to help software developers and website owners understand how to update their systems to keep pace with an evolving domain name system (DNS).

The Arab World Internet Institute has been always active in the work related to the Arabic Script and attended recently a meeting with the members of the UASG community.  During the meeting, the UASG announced that different documents are made available on the UASG website, including the Universal Acceptance Quick Guide (UASG 005)  ( Arabic Version ) that contains definitions of key terms and recommended steps for becoming Universal Acceptance-ready.

The most important part of the work of the Universal Acceptance Steering Group is getting all applications to accept all domain names and all email addresses. And this work is getting its fruits as Microsoft and Google’s cloud-based email services are both able to send to and receive from all valid email addresses. PostFix and Exim, two very popular Open Source Mail Transport Agents (MTAs), are also said to be ready. Courier, an open source email suite, says that its latest Beta version is EAI-ready. The UASG has developed some good resources for email system developers such as the UASG012, an Introduction to EAI. The UASG also developed a widget that mere mortals can use to see if an email address’ software supports EAI.

With a growing set of tools and good documentation, now is the time for organisations to work to get their own systems EAI ready, so that they can continue to communicate uninterrupted as people choose domain names and email addresses that best suit their sense of identity.