Internationalization was only the beginning…

Just a brief (and rare, unfortunately) post to share a terrific post on QA Hates You about the upcoming changes to web domains. Here is the post. Go read it. Go ahead, I’ll wait here…

This is the kind of thing that just gives me nightmares. Not only will it be fun worrying about validation on email address fields and the like, but trust me – it is SO MUCH FUN trying to explain the difference between “language,” “locale,” and “script” to the uninitiated. Especially when said uninitiated is in upper management and laboring under the delusion that “Mandarin” is an actual written language (for reference, it is a spoken dialect), and he is always right. Not that I’m bitter.

Other folks in the organization (management, developers, etc.) seem to not worry about issues like this until it’s too late. But here we are in QA, the old worry-warts, fretting away. Well, at least when everyone is in a tizzy over it some time next year, we can say “told you so!”

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4 Responses to Internationalization was only the beginning…

  1. Dewi says:

    Yeah when it happens, you’ll be all “told you so”. Except it’s been happening in most of the world for 5 years already:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internationalized_domain_name

    I’m glad we have you worry-warts in place to warn we developers about the impacts of code we specified and implemented 11 years ago.

  2. MGilly says:

    Dewi, I note that you’re in Australia. Perhaps there things are different, but here in the US this hasn’t become a big issue yet. The biggest headache I can see coming is the actual implementation of non-English characters in domain names. Yes, browsers have been able to support this for a long time, but ICANN have not implemented it until now (or, well, soon). As a result, many forms in web applications will barf when a user attempts to enter an email address such as mailtest@مثال.إختبار into a field and submits it. Not ALL web apps will fail, of course, but I can tell you that most of the ones I’ve tested can’t handle it yet.

    If you are forward-thinking and have prepared for this eventuality in the applications you’re involved with, then cheers to you. I wish I worked with more developers like you!

  3. David Young says:

    What everyone seems to be missing is that the upcoming change is to *top-level* domains. All hostname segments to the left of the final dot have been like this in most regions since 2003.

  4. MGilly says:

    Good point. Maybe it’s not going to be so bad as I imagine? In fact, I hope that I’m worrying to no end. 🙂

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