Re: Emoji: Public Review December 2008

From: Doug Ewell (
Date: Sun Dec 21 2008 - 13:05:00 CST

Asmus Freytag <asmusf at ix dot netcom dot com> wrote:

>> or (b) accept William Overington's proposals to define characters
> I'm all in favor of adding such things to CSS - if there's enough of a
> use case for "red with yellow sparkles"...

Yes. Exactly. Put it in CSS (if it's not already there) or in
Silverlight markup or in PDF or Flash or somewhere else that is not
expected to be plain text. But, do the same for the animated cartoons
of Ferris wheels and people kissing.

>> private-use
> That's not altogether too helpful in solving the practical issue of
> interoperability - which is nearly nil with PUA codes.

You mean interoperability of text messages sent using a DoCoMo phone and
received using a SoftBank phone, right?

> If the symbol has recognizable shape and is used in regular (text)
> interchange between writer and reader it it subject to encoding.

I once saw a text-based user interface that reported an error message by
displaying -- I am not making this up -- an image of the middle-finger
gesture. There are probably billions of people who recognize this
symbol. Would it be a suitable candidate for encoding?

Actually, given the prevalence of the argument that these symbols need
to be encoded because they are presumed to be in widespread use, due to
the wide distribution of cell phones supporting them, it's surprising
that a proposal has not been made to encode the remaining non-Unicode
symbols in Microsoft's WingDings, Wingdings 2, Wingdings 3, and Webdings
fonts. One or more of these fonts has been distributed with every copy
of Windows for the past 16 years, making these symbols perhaps even more
widely distributed than the emoji. A co-worker of mine still uses the
"telephone" Wingding in her e-mail signature, so there are
Interoperability Requirements. Perhaps I should consider drafting such
a proposal. Whether or not it should be dated April 1 is left as an

Doug Ewell  *  Thornton, Colorado, USA  *  RFC 4645  *  UTN #14  ˆ

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