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Henceforth, Domain Names in Tamil too ......
(An exclusive interview with Prof S.Subbiah, Founder, i-DNS.net International Inc.)

India, Thozhil Ulagam, February 2000 -- Though the Internet brings the entire world into our palm, there has been a grudge with Internet - the presence of English Domain Names while 63% of the world population are non-English. Even those who know English Internet will find it easier to navigate and participate on the Internet were they allowed to go about interacting in their mother tongue.

US-based i-DNS.net International company has found a solution. The business of this company, is to devise domain Names in almost all languages of the world except English. The company that was started in October 1999 has brought the facility of providing domain names in some 55 non-English languages to the world, including Tamil, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, French, German, Russian, Thai, Hebrew etc.

This technology has filled the gap between common man and the Internet-savvy, garnering much interest and appreciation for this company and its technology. Recently Prof S.Subbiah, the founder of this company visited Chennai to inaugurate the launching of Domain Names in Tamil. He is one of the key Tamil researchers responsible for this technology. He travels the globe deploying this technology and has been kind enough to meet our team of reporters for exclusive interview for our magazine "Thozhil Ulagam".

Kindly make a brief note about this Internet company and its technology.

The company is headquartered in Silicon Valley of the United States. It caters to the needs of people who want to have domain names in their languages other than English. Though it is started very recently, it keeps a good rapport with its Registrars, Internet bodies, Internet commercial establishments, etc. This has enabled i-DNS to function effectively through out the world. With solid financial backing from General Atlantic Partners and guidance from the Asia Pacific Networking Group, we stand well positioned to champion the use of multilingual domain names and to deploy this key enabling technology globally.

Localized domain names looks to making it easier for people to come onto the Internet. According to this technology even if a domain has been registered in English it can also operate with a name in native language. For example though Yahoo site is available when you type www.yahoo.com it will also be available if you type in Tamil .

What are the places where this facility is currently available?

68% of the entire world population are non-English. Hence this technology is primarily targeted at all those people. We started out with Chinese as that language has the next maximum population next to English speaking population. In China all computer related jobs are carried out in Chinese only. They were using English only in Internet. So when we introduced this technology it generated a lot of interest and response.

So far our deployment strategy has a launch rollout plan for every country of the world, in support of the various major non-English languages.

How are we to register the Domain Names in our languages?

You can register your multilingual domain names with our Registrar partners in each country. The registration process is the same for all languages and is akin to the one currently implemented for English domain names.

When you select a language for implementing the technology what are the general characteristics that you expect in that language.?

First of all that language should be used in computer systems. Next DTP packages and the keyboard drivers should have been designed on a uniform pattern. We concentrate our attention on the languages that have all these technical features. However, that does not mean that we are not at all concerned with other languages.

Why have you selected Tamil language at first for implementation?

Compared to other Indian languages, Tamil is used in the Computer Systems to a greater extent. Tamil is the first Indian language to be used in Computer systems for inputting data for analysis. Tamil Publishing through computers have come a long way. Furthermore, an International Conference has been conducted to standardize the use of Tamil in Computer systems. Since Tamil has been significantly developed, we have selected Tamil as our launch platform in India.

How do you manage the administration of implementation of this technology in each and every country?

First we contact the government and other allied agencies to obtain their permission and solicit their cooperation. Then we contact the local persons and companies who are doing businesses in providing Internet connectivity and other related tasks.

Who are the people who work with you here in Tamilnadu?

Though we started receiving applications for domain registrations at the month of December itself we did not launch the services officially. Now that we have launched officially we are going to make our operations in a swift manner. Our direct representative is the Registrar -- Makkal Solutions 2000. We have also appointed Softview Computers and Tamil.com as our Sub Registrars to provide and promote Tamil domain names to India.

What are the benefits in using Internet domain names in other than English?

Our first and primary objective is to free people in from memorizing long domain names in an alien language. Though websites have been created in Tamil, domain names thus far have always been in English. This is really an agonizing experience and we are now glad that there is a choice.

Further one who knows the regional language alone can now access the Internet. Memorizing the name, confusion over this or that letter, punching the names in wrong order and all such problems can be ruled out now. e-commerce is fast approaching and it will be possible to conduct the entire business through one's mother tongue.

How do you manage and administer such a big task throughout the world?

Our headquarters is situated at California in US. One can register domain name from any corner of the world by getting connected to our website. Our Singapore office takes care of our operations in the Far Eastern countries. Further our representatives in other countries take care of our operations.

-- i-DNS.net shall not be held liable for the views and opinions of the authors expressed herein.
-- Translated Article
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