Monday, 14 January 2019

Computer Science Internationalization - Adaptive URL

I recently came across an impressive Serbian website, Serbian National Internet Domain Registry (RNIDS/РНИДС). This siteʼs content text is available by user selection in English or Serbian, Cyrillic script or Serbian, Latin script.

What is happening in the browser address bar is what I find most interesting and impressive. Firstly, RNIDS has a Serbian Cyrillic Domain Name, рнидс.срб. This Domain Name is properly integrated into the site. It does not redirect to an ASCII domain, nor does it use a Frame redirect/forward. It is correctly displayed in the browser address bar.

Secondly, the pathname part of the URL is displayed in the currently selected language/script. If you browse round the site and change language/script you will see the URL pathname instantly adapt to your selected language/script. Here is an example page:

  1. Ћирилица (Serbian/Cyrillic Script): рнидс.срб/национални-домени/регистрација-националних-домена
  2. Latinica (Serbian/Latin Script): рнидс.срб/lat/nacionalni-domeni/registracija-nacionalnih-domena
  3. English: рнидс.срб/en/national-domains/registering-national-domains

I consider RNIDS to be an excellent example of usage of FULLY internationalised URLs. There are, nowadays, many sites with an Internationalised Domain Name in a multitude of languages/scripts. Most though still have an ASCII/English pathname. I consider this to be a missed opportunity. I highly recommend that sites fully internationalise their URLs. One way of achieving this is by the use of aliases