Why It’s Important
ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) explains–
“Universal Acceptance (UA) is the concept of removing all technical barriers that might hinder a– user from accessing any name in any TLD from any web browser, email client, or other Internet application on any computer or electronic device.”
DNA (Domain Name Association) explains–
“The goal of Universal Acceptance is twofold: Every valid domain name should deliver the user to the intended location, and every valid email address should deliver mail to the intended recipient.”
Universal Acceptance Steering Group (UASG) explains–
“Universal Acceptance is the concept that all domain names should be treated equally. Domain names and e-mail addresses should be Accepted, Stored, Processed and Displayed in a consistent and effective manner. Many systems still assume that domain names (and associated e-mail addresses) are only available in ASCII and that Top Level Domain names are restricted to a well-defined and constant two or three characters. Since the introduction of IDN ccTLDs in 2010 and the most recent wave of new gTLDs in 2013, this is no longer the case.”
4 Elements of Universal Acceptance
Domain names in a TLD must be useable in applications regardless of the written script, length or newness of the TLD, as illustrated by these 4 elements:
- Longer TLD Names: TLDs with names longer than 3 characters, such as .network or .bible.
- Non-Latin based TLDs: TLDs with names written in scripts other than ASCII, such as Hindi, Japanese and Greek.
- Rapid addition of TLDs: The New gTLD Program spurring very rapid additions of new gTLDs delegated to the root zone.
- International Email: The introduction of non-ASCII names in email. While IDNs solved part of the ability to have non-ASCII names for servers, it doesn’t solve the ability to have non-ASCII names for mailboxes.
Best Resources for Universal Acceptance
- Official website at ICANN – icann.org/universalacceptance
- Universal Acceptance Steering Group (UASG) – www.uasg.tech
- UA-discuss: Universal Acceptance initiative mailing list – https://mm.icann.org/mailman/listinfo/ua-discuss
- Universal Acceptance Toolkit (C, C#, Java, Perl, Python) – github.com/icann
- Google’s Domain Test service for new gTLDs – github.com/google/domaintest
- [defunct] supportthenew.domains – Support The New Domains campaign
- [defunct] Universal Acceptance Repository – ua.thedna.org had Technical Details for Developers
Complete List of New gTLDs
- IANA’s Root Zone Database, the authoritative record of the operators of various top-level domains;
alphabetic listing of TLDs in root zone data.iana.org/TLD/tlds-alpha-by-domain.txt (plain text format)
- publicsuffix.org The Public Suffix List (PSL) = current database of Top-Level Domains (TLDs)
- Wikipedia entry for List of Internet top-level domains
- notcom.domains and notcoms.website and thenotcomrevolution.guide by New Dot Media
Examples of New gTLDs in Use
- Top Websites using New gTLDs by DJ Chuang
- Domains in the Wild (inthewild.domains)- showcase of innovative and creative domain names seen “in the wild” (i.e. on a billboard in Manhattan, in an Austrian McDonald’s or a YouTube video)
- Name.Kitchen – Donuts’ website with tools, tips & inspiration about leveraging domain names: naming, identity, branding (also clever.domains)
- Why (Almost) Every App Requires an Upgrade for the New Internet (.BIBLE blog)
- New gTLDs and Universal Acceptance (Jean Guillon, April 2015)
- Group Forms Universal Acceptance Initiative for New gTLDs / Group forms to stop new gTLDs breaking stuff (DomainIncite, Feb.2015)
- Universal Acceptance of All TLDs Now! (Stéphane Van Gelder, May 2014)
- More Problems Crop Up With Universal Acceptance of Top Level Domains (Ram Mohan, Feb.2014)
For more information, here’s a slide from a 2015 presentation by the Universal Acceptance Steering Group.