This document describes Internationalized Resource Identifiers and their
relationship to URIs. While the character limitations of URIs are not
usually an issue for protocol processing, they may restrict the usefulness of
the identifiers presented to end users or systems expecting a different range of
characters. Rather than extend URIs, this document introduces a new identifier
type and a describes a relationship to URIs. Within an IETF context, IRIs
will likely be used as presentation elements. There are cases, such as XML
namespaces, in which an IRI may be used as a token, because
character-by-character equivalence is the only property used for protocol
processing. In no case should an implementor assume that an IRI may be
substituted for a URI in an existing protocol grammar; either the generative
grammar associated with the protocol must be updated to specify IRIs or the
implementation must transform an IRI into a URI before use.
Working Group Summary
This work was initiated in the W3C, and it has been broadly accepted in that
context. It has also been discussed on the URI mailing list and a public, open
list (firstname.lastname@example.org) dedicated to the topic. Considerable care has been
taken to keep this specification well-synchronized with the URI specification.
There were issues raised during IETF Last Call, and a new document version
resolving those issues was submitted.