Bidirectionality and Domain Names
Steven Atkin - IBM Corporation
Unicode's ability to represent multilingual text makes it good candidate for establishing a domain name structure. Unicode brings not only an encoding framework, but also support for things like bi-directional scripts. Additionally, the collection of Unicode's character equivalences is both desirable and at times necessary given Unicode's goal of encoding natural language text. These equivalences, however may present problems in the context of domain names.
Unicode's Bidi algorithm as currently specified may also be unsuitable for determining an appropriate display ordering for domain names. Specifically, the Bidi algorithm itself possesses a set of implicit assumptions about the usage of common characters. This set of assumptions may not be applicable to domain names. Domain names use the same repertoire of characters that appear in text. This requires a different algorithm for handling domain names.
In this paper we propose how domain names can accommodate different reading orders. In particular, this paper offers an algorithm for determining the display order "reading" of domain names. Additionally, we relate this notion to Unicode's Bidi algorithm.
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