Re: Emoji and Search Engines

From: John Hudson (
Date: Sun Jan 04 2009 - 22:56:37 CST

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    Asmus Freytag wrote:

    > The fact that the request to provide a solution using non-PUA
    > character codes is so strongly supported by leading search engine
    > manufacturer(s) should give you pause here.

    It did give me pause, and that was the point that I realised that it is
    not in the interests of those companies to use any character codes for
    emoji, PUA or otherwise. Quite simply, Unicode character codes do not
    appear to be up to the task of encoding an open ended set of images that
    users might want to transmit to and from mobile devices, which is the
    problem that those companies should be trying to solve, rather than
    hijacking a plain text encoding standard with an insufficient subset of
    such images. I understand that it was easy and convenient to use text
    character codes for this limited set of images to date, but it was not a
    good idea: I'm tempted to say it was a lazy, stop-gap measure, lacking
    in any sort of vision about the social use of technology that these
    companies are supposed to understand. It is not simply that I think
    these images do not belong in Unicode, but that adding them to Unicode
    does not solve the real problem. Since a proper solution, capable of
    addressing the long future use of inline images in communications, would
    by its nature also solve the present problem of non-standard handling of
    current emoji sets, why spend so much time and energy forcing Unicode to
    accept something that will be obsolete almost as soon as it completes
    the ballot process?

    John Hudson

    Tiro Typeworks
    Gulf Islands, BC
    The Lord entered her to become a servant.
    The Word entered her to keep silence in her womb.
    The thunder entered her to be quiet.
                 -- St Ephrem the Syrian

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