What is IDN?
IDN stands for Internationalized Domain Name also called a multilingual domain name. IDN is a domain name which is represented by national (diacritical) characters typical for particular language, for instance różyczka.dns.pl (polish script). IDN consists of two forms: the Unicode form (represented by characters derived from the Unicode character repertoire) e.g. różyczka.dns.pl and the form encoded, by means of special algorithm (Punycode, RFC 3492), into ASCII characters e.g. xn--ryczka-bxa01i.dns.pl (see the picture). ASCII form (also known as ACE form - ACE stands for ASCII Compatible Encoding) is stored in DNS resources (e.g. in configuration files of DNS servers). Both forms are equivalent. [top]
What languages are supported?
A number of languages which can be used to compose an IDN depends on the Unicode character repertoire. At present an IDN can be created by means of characters defined in 39 Unicode scripts. It gives the ability to write an IDN in over 350 languages. [top]
How does IDN work?
When you put a web address into the address bar of an internet browser, for instance https://www.dns.pl, and press enter then the application (internet browser) asks a resolver (built into an OS) to look up an IP address of desirable WWW server in DNS reosurces. The resolver sends a request to a nearest domain name server to return an IP address that corresponds to the host name which serves desirable web page. Having received the IP address, the internet browser connects with the corresponding web server and downloads the web page to display.
When you put a web address, that contains at least one non-ASCII character, into the address bar of the internet browser then the "idn aware application" convert, with special algorithm called Punycode (RFC 3492), non-ASCII host/domain name into corresponding and aquivalent ASCII form of the IDN, and next acts accordingly like with a normal domain name.[top]
Do IDNs work everywhere in the world?
Yes, but the manner of maintenance depends on software - whether an application is the "idn aware one" or not. The "IDN unaware software" support only ASCII (ACE) form of IDN. It means that such applications treat domain names with the "xn--" prefix as a normal domain name and do not try to convert it. [top]
What is Unicode?
Unicode is a modern method of coding embracing characters used all over the world (e.g.: polish diacritics, hieroglyphs, cyrillic), musical, technical and phonetic symbols and many more. Unicode assign the unique number - code point (independent from an OS, application or language) - to each character. Essential feature of Unicode is that the first 128 characters are equivalent to ASCII characters (range 00..7F). More about Unicode on www.unicode.org. [top]
What is ASCII?
ASCII stands for American Standard Code for Information Interchange. It is the system of coding characters by means of digits. Alpha numeric character are ordered in ASCII characters array/table. Each character was assigned a numeric value called a code point. There are two types of ASCII code: 7-bit (128 characters) and 8-bit (256 characters, allows to allocate for instance polish script). [top]
How to register an IDN?
In order to register an IDN please contact one of the Registrars accredited by NASK. NASK provides the opportunity to register IDNs only in an ASCII (ACE) form of your IDN domain name (with the "xn--" prefix). Only such form of the IDN is accepted for registration by NASK. [top]
How to convert an IDN to it's ASCII form?
In order to obtain ASCII form of an IDN, which is accepted for registration by NASK, transform your IDN using our "IDN Translator" or prepare it as described in the Registering Internationalized Domain Names under .PL document. [top]
What characters may an IDN contain in order to be accepted for registration by NASK?
A domain name with the "xn--" prefix submitted for registration, after it has been transformed into the unicode form, can include merely code points from one of the sets defined in the allowed_character_sets.pdf document. A combination of characters from different sets is not allowed. [top]
Why NASK accepts only an ASCII (ACE) form of an IDN for registration?
In accordance with IDNA standard (RFC 3490) NASK stores on its main name server only domain names with the "xn--" prefix (ACE form) and charge for registration and maintenance of such domain name. NASK does not provide the IDN conversion service and is not responsilbe for correct operation of IDNs in the user's applications. Conversion of the IDN from one form to the other should be completely supported by the user's application.[top]
What is the subject of cooperation agreement with NASK, concerning the service of registration and maintenance of domain names?
The subject of cooperation agreement between NASK and a registrant of an IDN is the ASCII (ACE) form of the IDN that is the domain name with the "xn--" prefix. [top]
How is an IDN stored in DNS resources?
Only the ASCII (ACE) form of an IDN is stored in DNS resources. The following example depicts an IDN delegation on the primary name server for .pl:
xn--<ascii-characters>.pl NS dns1.this-is-only-the-example.pl.
xn--<ascii-characters>.pl NS dns2. this-is-only-the-example.pl.
How does an IDN appear in WHOIS?
Our Whois allows you to check only the ASCII (ACE) form of an IDN. In reply to your query the ASCII (ACE) form of desirable IDN will be displayed. [top]
How is an IDN displayed on an invoice?
You will be invoiced for registration and maintenance of a domain name with the "xn--" prefix. Therefore the ASCII (ACE) form of the IDN will be desplayed on the invoice. [top]
What is the registration cost of an IDN?
The cost of registration of an IDN (domain name with the "xn--" prefix) at NASK is the same like in case of normal ASCII domain names. The prices for registration and maintenace of domain names you may find at the following address.[top]
How to perform name servers change of an IDN?
In order to change name servers of an IDN, basically, of its ASCII (ACE) form, act just like in case of a normal domain name. In the first stage of the on-line name servers change form enter the ASCII (ACE) form of your IDN and follow the instructions. If you do not remember the ACE form of your IDN then contact our Call Center and provide registration ID number your IDN. You can as well translate your IDN to it's ASCII (ACE) form with our IDN Translator. [top]
Does every program, being in interaction with domain names, support IDNs?
What shall I do to make my application support IDNs?
In order to make your application support IDNs you have to upgrade your program to a newer version, which has a built-in support of IDNs or install a special plug-in, if such exist for your application, which enables your application to work properly with IDNs. In case of any questions and doubts conctact your software provider. [top]