Hey, Yu! Anybody There?

This too shall pass, a wise man once said. It certainly was the case with the state formerly known as Yugoslavia. And for that reason it will soon be equally true for the stranded .yu country domain suffix. According to the Yugoslav Internet Domain Name Registry “propagating information on .yu domains on the Internet will cease on 30 September 2009.”

The fact of the matter is that nations come and nations go, as anyone with a less than recent map of Europe or Africa could tell you. And political change is not the only source of instability: global warming has placed the tiny island nation of Tuvalu under a serious threat of disappearing beneath the Pacific Ocean and taking the popular .tv internet country domain with it.

As Canada Day, our national holiday, approaches, I feel certain that the state under the .ca domain that is home to Slaw will persist for a while longer, despite some melting up north and some fissiparousness down south. But change is not something that seems to have been built in to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers‘ scheme of things, at least when it comes to country codes. Perhaps the whole country code thing is misbegotten and should be shifted to some more abstract basis — numbered blocks of territory carved up by latitude and longitude, perhaps, or simply some variants of the “type” kind of designation, i.e. .com, .info, .biz etc.

Or, we could simply relax and appreciate the ephemeral nature of a digital enterprise built upon a political footing, being humbled — indeed, relieved — by the certainty that “this too shall pass,” as the wise man originally intended.

See .yu around.


  1. Odd but true, Pulat. Seems there’s some controversy about this particular zombie, though: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/.su

  2. Here is a post from ICANN blog on this very topic.

  3. I was not aware that if a country disappears that country’s domain extensions and all domains thereunder go down with it. There are lots of good reasons to be able to choose domains that correspond to a country – it tells the search engines that that those sites may be of greater interest to people in that country for one thing. It seems logical however to just let the domains live on as .com type generic domains.