Zbigniew Jędrzejewski-Szmek wrote:
> According to ICANN , there were 8.3 mln IDN domains worldwide.
And that's presumably only second-level domains. Nobody knows how many
non-ASCII subdomains exist under ASCII second-level domains, since
domain holders define subdomains at will without telling anybody.
There are currently 153 non-ASCII top-level domains out of 1486 total,
which is 10.3%:
> Apparently .рф is fairly popular, with 1/5th of .ru registrations .
And that was eight years ago, only four years after рф was opened for
> But from what I have seen, all those internationalized domains serve
> as a redirect or backup to sites also available as ascii.
In 2013 11% of рф domains redirected to ASCII domains, 50% were in use
and not redirecting, and 39% were only registered but unused. Already
in 2011, the year after the floodgates were opened, 34% were in use and
not redirecting. This is according to page 116 of this report:
But yes, it's still often necessary to resort to ASCII, either the ACE
form (xn--gobbledygook) or a separate ASCII-only fallback domain. Email
in particular remains a major drag. Only in 2012 was there enough
consensus to publish a proposed standard for SMTPUTF8. Extensions to
IMAP and POP followed in 2013. Support in various email-handling
programs is still lacking. As long as people feel that they must have
an ASCII domain for email, some will naturally choose to use that same
domain for their website rather than using two separate domains.
> And for command-line
> tools or scripting, using those ascii versions seems quite likely…
That's another area where support for IDNA is spotty, yes. OpenSSH
still lacks support for example. So does Nmap. The Bind utils have
incomplete and inconsistent support. "dig", "host" and
look up non-ASCII domain names, but if a server to query is specified,
then they expect the server to have an ASCII-only name. "delv" lacks
This is the problem that you're about to make worse. People will find
that support for IDNA is unreliable in various programs that use Curl
under the hood. To work around the problem they'll resort to the ACE
form, or to an ASCII-only domain they have for precisely that purpose.
Thus you end up hampering the adoption of international domains even
> So I'd definitely vote to enable libidn2 in curl-minimal,
> _if_ there are people who'd actually use this for real.
People can't use it until it's consistently supported, and you won't
support it until people use it. Do you mean to wait for all the other
command line programs to support IDNA first, and then, when the whole
world is waiting for you, then you'll turn it on in Curl and people
will start using it? Guess what – everybody else is also waiting for
This is the same deadlock that hampers IPv6, encrypted email and many
other things. Everybody's waiting for everybody else to move first.
There seems to be demand for libcurl with IDN support on minimal Fedora
installations, so I created a pull request to enable it in libcurl-minimal: