Re: Twitter started supporting emoji in Japan

From: William_J_G Overington (
Date: Sat Oct 17 2009 - 03:21:37 CDT

  • Next message: Doug Ewell: "Re: Twitter started supporting emoji in Japan"

    Yasuo Kida <> wrote:

    > Twitter started
    > supporting Emoji through its Japanese site

    I tried to get to yet the system (Internet Explorer on a PC substitutes and displays that page.

    > Apparently they use Google's internal code. For example
    > when I enter docomo #140 'Happy face' from my
    > docomo phone and look at the tweet from the Mac, the code is
    > U+FE330 which is docomo #140 in Google's internal code.

    Could you possibly provide a direct link to the web page with the U+FE330 code please?

    I found a 2.8 Megabyte file that has U+FE330 as HAPPY FACE WITH OPEN MOUTH. The U+FE330 being in the rightmost column on page 21 of the document. The label at the top of the column, that top being on page 1, is Google. In the hope of avoiding any person new to Unicode becoming confused, I mention that the U+FE330 is a Private Use Area assignment, not a regular Unicode assignment.

    > If I post U+FE330 from my Mac I can see it correctly as
    > docomo #140 from my docomo phone. I believe, by recognizing your
    > cellphone's carrier, converts between
    > your carrier's emoji code and their internal
    > (or public?) code.

    Well, it is a code that is available to use.

    > As twitter started accumulating user data in Google's
    > internal code and all tweets are visible globally, it might
    > obtain a de-facto position soon I am afraid, unless ISO
    > finishes the standardization and someone major start
    > supporting the standard quickly.
    > - kida

    Well, the problem is inherent in the encoding procedures of the Unicode and ISO 10646 systems.

    For example, I have the idea of localizable sentences to be encoded in Unicode. It appears, at present, that the only way that the localizable sentences could become encoded in regular Unicode is if first of all they are encoded in the Private Use Area, then a significant amount of usage by people is demonstrated and only then they might, perhaps, be encoded so that the data of messages using the codes could be preserved uniquely.

    Another approach would be to allow encoding of localizable sentences directly into regular Unicode as a step by step development programme, which approach would allow the technology to be developed in an open standard, planned manner by all who wish to participate in the process. For example, over several, or indeed many, versions of The Unicode Standard, the encoded collection of localizable sentences could begin and then be enlarged.

    Is that possible? Some time ago it would not have been. Today? Next week? Some future date?

    I posted about my ideas for localizable sentences some time ago.

    The thread made some good progress, but alas discussion was curtailed on its sixth day because of a claim of complaints.

    None of the claimed complaints has ever been stated to me. I wonder what they might have been.

    What happened with the emoji might repeat itself with the localizable sentences.

    I recently saw an item on the television about the iPhone. In it, information was thrown from one iPhone to another iPhone nearby. The information may have been a picture.

    I later found out that the iPhone has accelerometers and that they can be accessed by the software of an iPhone App, thereby allowing the App to detect the motion of the iPhone and thus detect the intention to throw the information from the iPhone to another iPhone.

    It occurred to me that if there were an iPhone App available that allows a user to select a message from a list, perhaps using cascading menus so as to make selection easier, so that the App selects a Private Use Area code, then that Private Use Area code could be thrown to another iPhone nearby where it would be decoded so that a message would be displayed on the screen. However, the App would be available in a number of localized versions so that the message on the screen of the receiving iPhone may well not be in the same language as the message selected from the cascading menu of the sending iPhone.

    The pages and provide data so that English and Swedish versions of the App could be produced as a proof of concept.

    I could not start to produce the App, I don't know how, yet there may well be people on this list who do. Hopefully someone will try it and post the results.

    Recently Adobe has produced facilities for Flash in relation to the iPhone.

    Certainly, developing a localizable sentences technology is not spectacular in the X-prize sense, nor is it the universal translator system of science fiction movies set in the distant future, yet it could be good in its own way.

    For example, for someone on holiday in a country where he or she does not speak the local language, where LOCALIZABLE SENTENCE WHERE IS A PHARMACY PLEASE? might be very useful.

    The strange thing about it all is that, as things stand at present, if localizable sentences do get encoded into regular Unicode then that will only be as a result of initiatives away from the Unicode Consortium and then the Unicode Consortium would encode what was happening in the world, perhaps having to sort out a mixture of various Private Use Area systems.

    Yet maybe that is how it is intended to be. First get people using the system, then get it encoded formally.

    This is in some ways similar to the way that the Oxford English Dictionary is compiled, namely that new words are only included once they have reached a level of usage by people other than the coiner of the word. However, it is different from the way that the Oxford English Dictionary is compiled in that the Unicode Consortium conserves meaning yet allocates a different way of expressing that meaning, by assigning a different code point.

    Anyway, I hope that this post will be a catalyst to progress.

    William Overington

    17 October 2009

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