Dec 23 -- Recognition of the Thai language is finally coming to the Internet
thanks to new software developed by ThaiURL.com Ltd.
Its technology allows common web browsers to recognise web addresses written
in Thai. According to company managing director Pipat Yodprudtikan, the birth of
ThaiURL stemmed from questioning the prevalence of English.
Despite there being a lot of Thai web sites out there, Netscape and Internet
Explorer browsers were unable to understand Thai web addresses when typed in the
browser's address bar. "That was the challenge and inspired us to develop
the ThaiURL program," Mr Pipat said, explaining that it allows web browsers
to read and understand web site addresses written in Thai language.
The software is called ThaiURL. Users can download the software from the
ThaiURL.com web site at www.thaiurl.com. ThaiURL.com is aiming to bring about
several benefits, Mr Pipat said, including satisfying the demand for domain
names and stimulating Internet use.
He said that the younger generation liked to register domain names using
Thai-sounding names such as sanook.com, or jorjae.com. "The user sometimes
gets confused on the spelling of Thai web sites, since one sound could spell
several words, such as sabuy.com or sabai.com".
He added that for people with limited English language skills, the program
would be of benefit. "Currently, there are some 10 million web sites
registered worldwide. The ThaiURL program is an alternative to registering web
sites in Thailand," said Mr Pipat.
The company's services include web address registration under the .com, .net,
and .org domains in Thai. ThaiURL.com will also allow users with web pages
hosted elsewhere to register a Thai domain, which will automatically link users
to the original web site. This makes it easier for the Thai public to remember
the web site while keeping it at its original location.
Charges to register web addresses with ThaiURL.com are 800 baht per year.
Existing web site owners whose URLs are Thai but spelled in English may also
register with ThaiURL.com.
The company will hold recognised URLs until January 15, 2000, after which
they will be available to other customers. The company is also launching a
special promotion during which users can register their domain names on a
first-come, first-served basis between January 15 and February 15, 2000 free of
Association of Thai Software Industry (ATSI) president Arporna Sribhibhadh
commented that the ThaiURL.com program was innovative and an interesting one for
investors. It was convenient for Thai users, he said, and encouraged new
Internet users as well as the creation of local web sites. Mr Pipat said that
ThaiURL.com was working on other new technology developments, including projects
related to e-commerce and a portal site.
Meanwhile, the company will also co-operate with other Thai web sites through
an "affiliate programme," which it plans to announce early next year.