Someone on Metafilter mentioned they registered the IDN www.ʬʬʬ.com (aka www.xn--5paaa.com). I thought that was cool, so I posted it to my usual social media thing. And it worked, correctly rendering everywhere! Here’s the flow of where that worked

  • Pasted the name into the Pinboard Chrome extension
  • Had it show up on Pinboard
  • Had dlvr.it pick it up from an RSS feed and post it to Twitter
  • Saw the IDN in my Twitter client
  • Clicked on the link, redirecting through t.co and dlvr.it

In retrospect, I think why this works is IDNs aren’t really Unicode, they’re Punycode (that xn-5paaa thing). So most of the tools are treating that thing as ASCII but the browser happens to do the interpretation so it displays correctly. I confirmed that a bit by tweeting “this is a test www.ʬʬʬ.com”, which shows up on Twitter as “this is a test http://www.xn--5paaa.com” on both Twitter.com and the MacOS client. The link still works, but it looks wrong; Twitter should probably translate.