Position Statement

Sam X. Sun, CNRI

We, at CNRI, have been developing, in the last several years, a global naming service called the handle system (see http://www.handle.net) as a fundamental component of the digital object architecture. The system has been widely used in publishing industry and library community for making reference to digital versions of published works, and for associating them with their metadata. To support for I18N, we mandated the UTF-8 encoding for handle system identifiers over the protocol. However, user experiences suggest that native encoding should also be supported at the client level. We have done some experiments on this, but found that the task can be very complex and confusing, partly because of differences in web servers or browsers from different venders, or among different versions of them. We expect that this workshop will provide us with the current status on web i18n, technologies that are available for developing applications that will support native encoding at the client level, as well as recommendations from W3C on URI internationalization. We could describe how we expect our system to work across different native environments, and some of our experiments to support native encoding for identifiers under “hdl:” URI scheme, if there’s any interest.