Re: Amusing use of Unicode

From: John Burger (
Date: Fri Mar 13 2009 - 14:00:39 CST

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    Clark S. Cox III wrote:

    >> In UTF8, the latter two are exactly the same size, 17 bytes, so
    >> tinyarro doesn't save you any space in Twitter, say.
    > Yes it does. Twitter doesn't count bytes, it counts characters. The
    > '➡' counts as a single character towards the 140 character limit:
    > <>

    Cool! This may have changed recently, see this pronouncement from the
    development team in January:

    You tweeted using the web interface, which apparently worked, but it's
    certainly the case that there are other Twitter clients that don't
    know about UTF8 in particular, and (perhaps unnecessarily) truncate
    after 140 =bytes=. Some SMS services (whence Twitter got it's 140-
    whatever limit) transfer non-ASCII in UTF-16, so the limit there is 70
    Unicode characters.

    On a related note, there are also apparently some bugs in the way the
    Twitter backend stores text, such that sometimes tweets get truncated
    after the fact, as the data migrates deeper into their backing store:

    You may want to check that tweet in a few days time to see if the
    arrow is still there.

    Isn't i18n fun?

    - John D. Burger

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