Friday, July 1, 2011

PRI #185: Revision of UBA for improved display of URL/IRIs

The Unicode Technical Committee has posted a new issue for public review and comment. Details are on the following web page:

Review period for the new item closes on July 27, 2011.

Please see the page for links to discussion and relevant documents. Briefly, the new issue is:

PRI #185 Revision of UBA for improved display of URL/IRIs

The Unicode Bidirectional Algorithm (UBA), specified in UAX #9, was designed for handling ordinary text, and predated the rise of the web. Unfortunately, IRI/URLs are not ordinary text; they are syntactically complex in ways that don't work well with the UBA. That causes IRIs that contain right-to-left text (such as Arabic or Hebrew) to appear jumbled, to the point where the IRIs are either uninterpretable, misleading, or ambiguous. In particular the ambiguous displays could cause security problems.

The background document for this PRI provides a detailed description of the problem, and proposes a solution. The Unicode Technical Committee would like feedback on the feasibility of the proposal, and in particular, on the open issues listed in the background document.

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