CNNIC, the .cn registry, are to implement an alternative to traditional whois.
According to an announcement by ICANN’s Kurt Pritz, the Chinese organisation will be implementing a “RESTful” Whois server implementation.
This is based on ongoing work within the IETF in the rather oddly named “weirds” project. Of course “weirds” is actually an acronym for:
“Web Extensible Internet Registration Data Service”
What’s it all about?
Essentially the current whois servers have issues with internationalised data ie. they can’t really handle non-Latin characters. There’s also quite a few other technical and policy limitations that standard / traditional whois server implementations run into.
ARIN has already implemented a RESTful service.