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185 Extension of UBA for improved display of URL/IRIs 2011.10.24
Status: Closed
Originator: UTC
Informal Discussion: Forum 185
Formal Feedback: Moderated
Resolution: UTC considered different options proposed in the PRI and there was no consensus for action at this time.

Description of Issue:

The Unicode Bidirectional Algorithm (UBA), specified in Unicode Standard Annex #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.

Background document (PDF Version)
Background document (HTML Version)

The proposal was modified on September 22, to reflect decisions of the UTC based on earlier feedback.

This is a moderated Public Review Issue. Discussion takes place on Forum 185. The moderator on this forum is responsible for summarizing discussion and providing formal feedback to the Unicode Technical Committee. The moderator will make summarized feedback available here by one week prior to the next UTC meeting. At that time this PRI will be opened for additional formal feedback via the Reporting Form.


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