Two weeks ago was the pandemic-distanced rendition of the Internationalization and Unicode Conference. This year is the 44th conference, or IUC44.  In addition to a presentation (to be blogged later), I delivered a tutorial: Email addresses and domain names are NON-latin! Now what? Here are my slides, and a video of me talking through my slides.

My abstract was:

Email addresses, and domain names, are no longer limited to ASCII Latin script. They can now be
http://普遍接受-测试。世界 or مانيش@أشوكا.الهند or données@fuß .
Software, frameworks, and workflows will need to change to accommodate. What are Internationalized Domain Names (IDN) and Email Address Internationalization (EAI)? What do you need to know? What do you do next? This tutorial brings you up to speed. It explains IDN and EAI. It shows you the implications. It connects you to sources of information. It helps you understand what this will mean for you. Suitable for software developers, QA, marketers, system administrators, and management.

You can find the slides at (PDF, 602KB). You can find a video of the lecture at (MP4, 124MB) In contrast to presentations, IUC tutorials are allotted 1.5 hours (in the virtual format; 2-5 hours in person). They are intended to help non-specialists from a standing start learn enough to be able to engage with the, presumably more advanced, content in the rest of the conference.

I think that Internationalised Domain Names and Email Address Internationalisation are on the growing edge of the Internationalisation and Unicode Conference’s domain, and that not enough people have adopted them for serious work yet. A tutorial on the subject is very apt. This tutorial was an opportunity to highlight Universal Acceptance, the principle that all domain names, email addresses and URLs should be fully accepted by software, no matter what scripts they use. In other words, Internet names and addresses which use non-Latin characters should be as well handled as those which use the legacy Latin characters. Universal acceptance is fundamental to a truly multilingual Internet, and to supporting the next billion Internet users.

I have been volunteering with the Universal Acceptance Steering Group (UASG), a community-led initiative to raise awareness about Universal Acceptance, identify obstacles, and overcome them. It is a project of ICANN, the domain name system organisation. You can find out about their work and their resources for developers at

IUC44 was 14-16 October, 2020, and was held virtually, by web conference. Plans for 2021 have not been announced yet, but the expectation is that, pandemic willing, IUC45 will be held in October 2021, in person, in Santa Clara, California.