A new TLD for JavaScript developers?

Could .js house JavaScript projects?

ICANN's opening up of generic top-level domain names has provoked a lot of interest (as well as criticism). ICANN just announced the closing of applications for the first round of generic TLDs, but it is likely that the process will open again eventually, with imagination being the only barrier to registering a creative TLD (well that plus a stack of money, plus copyright law, plus ICANN's labyrinth rules).

One novel proposal that recently garnered some interest on Hacker News was registering .js for use by JavaScript developers. Austin King, a Mozilla Web developer, created a GitHub project with the aim of examining how feasible it would be to crowdfund a .js domain application (Mozilla isn't involved in the idea).

"I was trying to register a domain name for a new JavaScript project and was frustrated with what was available," King told Techworld Australia. " I remembered that new top level domains were opening up, and I wondered would .js be cool or dumb? I asked [fellow Mozilla employee] Lloyd [Hilaiel] and he said it is a cool idea."

King's idea is the creation of a non-profit registrar that would offer cheap .js domains to JavaScript hackers. "Many projects like PopcornJS, Pdf.js, Task.js etc put JS at the end of the project name," King said. "Having them register popcorn.js would be a natural fit.

"A cool feature would be the ability for owners to voluntarily 'release' domains back into the pool for projects they had abandon or never quite gotten around to starting. The registrar could take into account your status as an open source contributor to reduce the amount of domain squatting."

King had the idea of using Kickstarter to fund the project, and created the GitHub project to develop a proposal. Unfortunately two character domains are reserved for countries, but King and Hilaiel still like the idea of creating the domain. "Lloyd and I started out from a playful place," King said.

"We saw a lot of positive energy in the JS community behind the idea; many other people had already thought of it. Lloyd and I feel a responsibility to push it forward where we can. Lloyd came up with the idea to do a petition for an exception to the TLD rules.

"We jovially built http://wewantjs.org and hope to get supporters to sign it. If a TLD application were viable, we'd still need an organization to run the registrar. He and I still exploring options, but let's not put the cart before the horse!"

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