Re: Emoji: emoticons vs. literacy

From: James Kass (
Date: Sun Jan 11 2009 - 23:37:42 CST

  • Next message: Peter Constable: "RE: Emoji: emoticons vs. literacy"

    Peter Constable wrote out of context,

    > Sorry, I already said it's silly.

    I was under the impression that the main interoperability problems
    among the three Japanese cell phone vendors and those other
    vendors/systems with which they now apparently are exchanging
    data was not so much that they were using the PUA (in order to save
    bandwidth by transmitting small graphics referenced conveniently
    in a protocol some deem inappropriate for that purpose), but
    rather that they were using the PUA inconsistently. If there
    were a de-facto standard in one of the PUA planes nobody else
    is really using, it would solve the problems reported by the search
    engine companies with respect to 'how-to-index-and-so-forth' pages
    containing PUA as related to the current situation with the emoji.
    It would solve the problems of the users who want to be able to
    exchange icons in text messages and chat boards around the world
    consistently, using the same protocol which has already proven
    successful for that purpose. It would keep the set together as a set
    blah blah blah (and other perceived benefits).

    Symbol encoding enthusiasts who are interested in the underlying
    symbols of some of the emoji should be able to cite a symbol's
    usage as an emoji in support of encoding that particular symbol
    in a plain-text standard. Emoji icons of that symbol show that
    there are some users who may recognize the symbol, after all.
    Have a look at the proposed cyclone symbol. Two carriers use
    a simple spiral. The spiral is a symbol which has been used since
    ancient times by various peoples to denote various concepts. The
    spiral, if proposed as a plain-text character, would probably not
    meet with quite so much objection. One of the carriers uses an
    animated icon which is not a spiral symbol. Do you want your
    spiral symbol converted to a picture of a cyclone? I don't.

    Suppose Shift-JIS included a SKETCH OF A HAMBURGER SYMBOL
    in its original encoding. Unicode would already have that symbol
    encoded for legacy. Say the three vendors made multicolored icons
    of that symbol and referenced them with PUA so their users could
    insert them. And, under the source separation principles being
    applied to the emoji proposal items, the PUA picture of a hamburger
    icon might need to be disunified from its underlying symbol. Then
    the proposers might include SKETCH OF A DIFFERENT HAMBURGER
    SYMBOL in their proposal, where the only difference between
    the two is that one is an icon and the other is not.

    Whether these things remain viable in the PUA, get added to a
    plain-text standard (shudders), or are handled by another standard,
    they should be kept together as a set because *that* is their identity.
    The logos are already out and it looks like those flags won't fly.
    Pragmatic interoperability is already not gonna happen. Some
    kind of alternative solution seems to be in order.

    Best regards,

    James Kass

    P. S. - any 800-pound corporate gorillas who might consider establishing
    such a registry and/or complying with it should probably think about
    all that banner advertising revenue when users visit your pages in order
    to insert their beloved icons to their "text" messages. Might want to
    run this by marketing instead of the character encoding group...
    (Pssst, remember, invoking an icon-picker is an opportunity to open
    a new window...) After all, cynics might sneer, the kind of user who
    would insert TREE ICON SYMBOL to spruce up her messages would
    probably be *much* more likely to click on an ad, whether inadvertently
    or deliberately, than the kind of user who would not...

    P. P. S. - Any vendor or group which would not subscribe to some kind
    of a de-facto standard, were such a de-facto standard established, is not
    interested in interoperability in the first place.

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