Comments on IDNA Bidi

Harald Alvestrand harald at
Tue Jan 15 09:10:42 CET 2008

Mark Davis skrev:
> The paragraph in question originated in Harald's document:
> > Bidi-5.
> >    One particular example of the last case is if a program chooses to
> >    examine the last character (in network order) of a string in
> order to
> >    determine its directionality, rather than its first; if it finds an
> >
> >    NSM character and tries to display the string as if it was a left-to-
> >    right string, the resulting display may be interesting, but not
> >    useful.
> I was speaking loosely of a URL when I should have said IRI. I was
> operating on the same level as Harald's original text, which is a
> Unicode character level, not a Punycode level. So replace what I said
> by IRI. Sorry for the confusion.
> Harald's text must also have been referring to IRI as well, since NSMs
> don't occur in URLs.
Just to be clear: I'm talking about domain labels, which usually occur
in domain names.
Domain names are used in a *lot* of contexts, and IRIs are only one of them.

In advertising, for instance, it's far more common to see a bare domain
name than a domain name embedded in an IRI. The same is true for email
messages, router configuration files and mailserver log files (just to
mention a few contexts).

I'm deliberately trying to NOT mention IRIs in the document; the absence
of the term is not an accident.


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