Re: Custom characters (was: Re: Private Use Area in Use)

From: Parker Higgins <>
Date: Thu, 4 Jun 2015 09:43:20 -0700

On Thu, Jun 4, 2015 at 12:43 AM, Chris <> wrote:

> Characters are 64 bit. 32 bits are stripped off as the “character set
> provider ID”. That is sent to one of many canonical servers akin to DNS
> servers to find the URL owner of those characters. At that location you’d
> find a number of representations of the character whether TrueType, vector
> graphics, bitmaps or whatever. The rendering engine would download the
> representation and display it to the user. All without the user having to
> know anything about character sets, custom fonts or whatever.
> So you come across character 12340000000017. The OS asks charset server
> who owns charset 1234. They reply “”. The OS asks
> for
> representation.
> All this happens invisible to the user. Of course if it is already cached
> on their machine, then it wouldn’t happen.

Just in case you haven't considered this, there are LOTS of circumstances
where this could be a problem from a user's perspective, or even abused by
the provider. We've already moved largely from automatically displaying
*images* of remote origin in email for privacy concerns—I don't really need
Facebook (in your example, but substitute for an abusive spouse or a
repressive government if it makes you feel better) knowing when I am
reading plaintext documents on my own local machine.

Received on Thu Jun 04 2015 - 11:48:02 CDT

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