Universal Acceptance of Popular Browsers
Universal Acceptance (UA) helps create a more inclusive Internet as it ensures that all domain names and email addresses can be used by all Internet-enabled applications, devices and systems. The top-level domains (TLDs) in the Domain Name System (DNS) expanded dramatically in 2010, which now includes more than 1,500 TLDs. Many of those domains are longer than the legacy two or three-character domain name (e.g. .com, .edu and .org) or are in non-Latin-based scripts (such as Chinese, Arabic or Cyrillic).
UA addresses an issue that prevents some Internet users from successfully interacting online. The problem can arise when applications reject or don’t treat all parts of the domain name correctly, which can occur if those domain names are longer than three characters (e.g. .photography) or in different languages (e.g., .рф for “Russia Federation”). While UA issues are not new, developers frequently make over-simplified assumptions when processing domain names, which are based on Internet conventions from decades ago and are specific to two or three-letter domains. UA is essential for the continued expansion of the Internet and provides a gateway to the next billion Internet users.
The Universal Acceptance Steering Group (UASG), an Internet community initiative that was founded in February 2015 and tasked with undertaking activities that will effectively promote the Universal Acceptance of all valid domain names and email addresses, commissioned a report on the UA-readiness of popular browsers.
Results showed that of the major browsers tested, only one – Internet Explorer – was in full compliance with UASG guidance. Four others performed well but had minor issues. Mobile platforms fared worse – which should be an area of focus for organizations seeking to become UA-ready. Much of the developing world accesses the Internet primarily through mobile devices. The report demonstrates that there is still work to be done by even the major browser developers. The goal of the report is to educate the Internet community on the state of Universal Acceptance, and spotlight specific areas where companies can make improvements to become UA-ready.