RE: Emoji: emoticons vs. literacy

From: Ruszlan Gaszanov (
Date: Wed Jan 14 2009 - 11:18:40 CST

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    verdy_p wrote:

    >You are trying to paraphrase what I said. However you seem to ignore the >existence of the conventional patterns
    >used in heraldic for representing colors in monochromatic displays. Each >heraldic color has its own distinctive
    >monochromatic pattern (hatches, crosses, dotted, tiles...) which avoids the >confusion independantly of the actual
    >ink color used to render the patttern.

    The problem with heraldic patterns is that the vast majority of users are not familiar with them. In fact I am willing to wager that at least 9 users out of 10 would not be able to recognize unambiguously the identity of a common tricolor flag rendered in monochrome using heraldic patterns.

    >I have also said this argument, but the main opposition is not about colors >(in fact, nothing forbids a font or
    >renderer to give the actual colors for a encoded character, as long as it >is effectively significant for the encoded item.

    Except that most text rendering systems were never designed for multicolored glyphs.

    >Generally, plain text is independant of the color which is not encoded and >stylable separately, but
    >Unicode does not mandate any color, and so cannot exclude multicolor >characters. As long as there's no confusion
    >with the represented object, the rendering is valid.

    But with flags there will be confusion. As I pointed out above, heraldic patterns or similar conventions won't solve the problem because you can not reasonably expect an average user to be familiar with any such conventions.

    >The main opposition is legal and political, and also the fact that there >can be a lot of flags, and that encoding
    >only the national flags for countries or dependencies that have ISO 3166-1 >alpha-2 codes would not be enough.


    >Really the problem is not much that of the color (there are alternate ways >to represent it if multicolor rendering
    >is not possible, and the fact that traditional fonts are monochromatic and >apply color as a style is not a problem
    >of Unicode itself, but of the renderer that should not apply its own >styling color instead of a significant plain color)

    Yes, I suppose it is possible to design fonts and rendering systems that would be able to handle polychromatic glyphs. But is there any real need for this (aside from being able to use flags in plain text, which I think we both agree is not a good idea in the first place)?

    >the actual graphic can be substitured by an empty flag showing an >identifier of the flag.

    That is going to look real ugly (shudder).


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