[UA-discuss] RTL Script Domain Names & Email Addresses

Andrew Sullivan ajs at anvilwalrusden.com
Tue Mar 8 18:51:35 UTC 2016

On Tue, Mar 08, 2016 at 06:02:12PM +0000, Andre Schappo wrote:
> I have given some thought to how to handle/display domain names that are in a right to left script such as Arabic. After some thought and experimentation I think that each label of a domain name should be bidi isolated.

That's already the requirement for processing, according to IDNA2008
(that is, IDNA is label by label, not over the domain name).  So so
far, I agree.

I don't have an intuition as to what would be clear to a user; perhaps
you have one.

But …

> Lets take a 2 level domain name: 2ndLevelD.TLD where each label is written in a Right to Left Script.

… I'm slightly worried about this, because I suspect you're also going
to need something that is unsurprising where the different labels are
in different directions.  

> I believe that using bidi isolates leads to easier to comprehend domain names/email addresses for both Left to Right readers and Right to Left readers.

This is also probably true, but since an awful lot of cases don't
include the markup to indicate the bidi isolates, there's still that
problem too.  This includes (just for instance) email, particularly
the headers.  So while the mark up helps I'm wondering what to do
about other cases.

Best regards,


Andrew Sullivan
ajs at anvilwalrusden.com

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