Get your macrons here

June 21st, 2010 at 7:00 am by David Farrar

This release from InternetNZ hasn’t had a lot of publicity:

(Internet New Zealand Inc), through subsidiary company the Domain Name Commission Ltd, advises .nz domain name holders that they are able to apply for macron versions of their domain names in a ‘sunrise’ application period that runs until 6 July 2010.

The addition of macrons to the .nz domain name space means that names can be registered using the characters ā, ē, ī, ō and ū, enabling, for instance, Te Reo Māori words to be correctly represented online.

Domain Name Commissioner Debbie Monahan says “The sunrise period gives existing name holders the exclusive right to apply to register macron versions of their names”.

“Name holders should take full advantage of the sunrise period before general registrations allowing the use of macrons start during Māori Language Week on 26 July 2010.”

At present Ngai Tahu is at http://www.ngaitahu.iwi.nz/.

Now that macrons are technically able to be used in the .nz domain, they could have their URL as http://www.ngāitahu.iwi.nz/

This is part of a global move towards allowing domain names that have non-Latin characters. The technology to do so is quite simple. The challenge has been working out the policies.

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10 Responses to “Get your macrons here”

  1. robcarr (132 comments) says:

    Well I hope they keep the version without macrons too because there is no way the majority of the population will ever know how to use a macron on a computer.

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  2. Grendel (972 comments) says:

    yep, hopefully you will still be able to type the normal letter without the accent, otherwise the viewing numbers will plummet. or maybe its a plan to keep those of us who can;t be assed with accents etc away from their sites :)

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  3. David Farrar (1,874 comments) says:

    I am sure they will keep the non macron version. However will be quite nice to be able to have “proper” names with macrons on business cards etc.

    This is very big in China, where the desire to have a domain name purely in chinese characters is highly desirable.

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  4. Repton (769 comments) says:

    The real challenge will be dealing with phishing… Do you know if they have done anything in this area? It’s easy enough to imagine registering things like westpāc.co.nz, and I’m pretty sure there are less obvious changes available in the depths of unicode..

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  5. ben (2,414 comments) says:

    I would love to see a history of the use of the macron by Maori. My guess is its a sort of microcosm of racial politics: political power being derived in proportion to the inconvenience foisted on everybody around them, all in the name of respect.

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  6. somewhatthoughtful (457 comments) says:

    Technology is not that simple…unicode is still not properly supported in PHP yet (the world’s most popular server-side language). There’s still a wee way to go yet.

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  7. Fletch (6,151 comments) says:

    Also interesting is Google Fonts, whereby you can utilize the fonts that Google has online (only 18 so far) by adding some code to your webpage.

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  8. RRM (9,667 comments) says:

    My guess Ben would be that using the macron gives a written word that is a bit closer to what the spoken word is actually meant to sound like.

    How dare the Maori spell words in their own language differently than what you or I might expect, eh?

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  9. KiwiGreg (3,224 comments) says:

    “How dare the Maori spell words in their own language differently than what you or I might expect, eh?”

    Well of course until europeans came along and developed their written language they didnt spell at all. But dont let the facts get in the way of your cultural cringe.

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  10. RRM (9,667 comments) says:

    Well of course until europeans came along and developed their written language they didnt spell at all.

    True.

    But no reason for inaccurate spelling.

    But dont let the facts get in the way of your cultural cringe.

    I try to spell German, Italian, English and French words correctly too. Don’t be a dick.

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