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

Andre Schappo A.Schappo at lboro.ac.uk
Wed Mar 9 16:24:42 UTC 2016

Without bidi isolates or any other form of intervention the email address مارك@رسيل.السعودية wholly displays L⬅︎R

I have just created a temporary page to show how the arabic address مارك@رسيل.السعودية appears in L➡︎R Context & L⬅︎R Context using bidi isolates. https://co-project.lboro.ac.uk/users/coas/arabic-email.html

With reference to my page :

The L➡︎R Context gives an email address in a structure more familiar to a L➡︎R reader. The structure being, in this case, local-part at label.label. It does not matter which direction a label text is. Each label could have a different direction and again it would not matter. A L➡︎R reader would readily recognise this as an email address. Personally I find it much easier to recognise an email address when written like this.

Similarly for the L⬅︎R Context

I have used html to illustrate. In a word processing document one would use the Unicode isolates U+2066➡︎2069. It would be the responsibility of the software to automatically implement/insert/apply the bidi isolation for display of the email address to users.

There are indeed other cases but I think the same principles outlined above can be applied.

André Schappo

> On 8 Mar 2016, at 18:51, Andrew Sullivan <ajs at anvilwalrusden.com> wrote:
> 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,
> A
> -- 
> Andrew Sullivan
> ajs at anvilwalrusden.com


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