7diggsdigg ICANN decided late last year that URLs would finally be allowed with non-Latin characters, but it wasn’t until this week that the first one was set free onto the world wide web. The new hot place to visit is http://موقع.وزارة-الأتصالات.مصر/, and while you’ll need to know a bit of Arabic to actually pronounce it, you don’t have to have any foreign language skills to click the link and see what happens. As of now, the site loads as http://xn--4gbrim.xn—-rmckbbajlc6dj7bxne2c.xn--wgbh1c/ in pretty much every browser we’ve tried here in the US, but all of the site content seems to populate just fine. Remember that URL gold rush from last century? Round two is officially on.

I am not very sure about this, the ability for people to completely localize their content down to the URL does not seem like a very good idea to me. Imagine somebody wanting to read up about stuff in Saudi Arabia but is unable to get into the proper link due to their inability to read Arabic.

While it is true that search engines mitigate this but I would rather have a single language to index all the locations of the world’s information. Perhaps now is the time for guys like Google or Mozilla to integrate translators into the URL bars themselves?

One thing for sure though, as the author of the Engadget article pointed out, there is going to be another gold rush for these new non latin URLs.

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