I ♥ Unicode, but sometimes I'd like to ♣ em. And when I think of Emoji, I'd like to ♠ em!

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2015/07/16 15:49 +00:00, original URI: http://www.siao2.com/2015/07/16/8770668856267196714.aspx


I'd like to start this blog post by giving the full Unicode code points of the title so you'll know that I am using the playing card symbols and not the emoji or the emoticons that I am going to rant about for a bit. For the record, they are:

I ♥ (heart aka U+2665) Unicode, but sometimes I'd like to ♣ (club aka U+2663) Unicode. And when I think of Emoji, I'd like to ♠ (spade aka U+2660) Unicode.

(pardon the obscure Gallagher reference!)

This is how I feel about what the folks in the Unicode Technical Committee have done with the support of non interoperable symbols bolted on top of an industrial standard like Unicode entirely based upon text interoperability that the emoji and emoticons represent.

The official piece of Unicode authored by Mark Davis of Google (owner of Android) and Peter Edberg of Apple (owner of iPhone) is Unicode Technical Report #51: Unicode Emoji and that document that does its best to put the toothpaste back into the tube while making it clear that conformance to it is not required to conform to Unicode itself is a virtual guarantee that Google, Apple, and everyone else now gets to choose between trying to be interoperable with themselves and what they do now, or trying to be interoperable with each other.

It's only the customers that will lose here, unfortunately. Ever so much more than I have blogged about in the past.

It reminds me of the story of King Canute and the waves where he embarrassed his advisors who were claiming he had the power to sweep back the tide, when in fact he didn't.

I don't claim the wisdom of King Canute but to be perfectly honest neither can they, especially with measures that will just increase the confusion between all of the different platforms, not to mention the keyboard and phone and PC and tablet and accessibility and font issues....


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