RE: Adding new emoji (from Re: Twitter started supporting emoji in Japan)

From: William_J_G Overington (
Date: Tue Oct 27 2009 - 11:01:31 CST

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    On Thursday 22 October 2009, Peter Constable <> wrote:

    > Not really. After this initial set, vendors are likely to
    > use non-text representations, such as inline HTML graphics.

    When I first read the above comment I thought of the vendors as being manufacturers of mobile telephone units.

    However, more recently I have been wondering about the adding of emoji and am wondering whether it could be done by the vendor of an iPhone App.

    For example, suppose that someone writing an iPhone App that uses emoji decided that he or she wanted to add in something like FLOWERING APRICOT TREE and he or she chose a Private Use Area code point in plane 15, choosing one of the plane 15 code points not being used for the Google emoji set.

    The Google set is documented in the following document.

    I am wondering quite how this would work and what is done about font support in an iPhone App.

    If such an App were made and distributed, either free or at a low price, would the FLOWERING APRICOT TREE emoji item effectively appear to end users with the particular iPhone App to be seamlessly integrated with the other emoji items or would FLOWERING APRICOT TREE always be different because it was not one of the basic set that some of the telephone makers agreed amongst themselves?
    Now I have no experience at all of programming an iPhone App, though I do have some general scientific programming experience, so I am wondering if someone who does know about the iPhone could perhaps comment on this please.

    This is interesting to me because during part of the summer I devised some language-independent glyphs for some of the localizable sentences with which I have been experimenting.

    The designs are wide so as hopefully to convey the idea that each symbol represents a whole sentence. The glyphs are constructed in an area 23 wide to 7 tall, within a glyph-plus-surrounding-space area 24 wide to 8 tall. So they would be used alongside existing emoji as if 3 squares wide.

    They are in plane 15 and have language-independent glyphs associated with them.

    So, for example, artwork could be produced of a picture of a winter scene with three such glyphs upon it, namely those for IT IS WINTER. and IT IS SNOWING. and THE COLOUR IS WHITE. and the display would be language independent.

    The aim is to use the code points for localizable text, yet display as language-independent glyphs is now also an aspect of the project.

    William Overington

    27 October 2009

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