WWW : worldwide, but not universal… so far!

If the World Wide Web is a worldwide and global information system, so far it was all but universal.  People could only write in Latin alphabet whatever language they used and whatever writing system they were taught in.

Egypt just put an end to the Western writing system domination by publishing the first domain name in Arabic.

Learning arabic writing

Learning Arabic writing

As the ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) opened registration for non-Latin domain names, Information Technology Minister Tarek Kamel said at a U.N. sponsored Internet conference that his government had filed an application to register the domain “.masr” – or “.Egypt” — written entirely in Arabic.

It took six years of discussions and technical work to get ICANN to the point of approval, even if most than half of the 1.6 billion Internet users don’t write a Latin alphabet based language…  The Chinese are the most numerous Internet surfers outside the Latin realm.

This opening towards non-Western writing systems is meant to allow many Eastern languages speakers to surf on the Net in their own idiom, but, in the same time, it will close access to Westerners.  So the big Internet Ocean will look more like real world with its geographic and cultural diversities…

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s