The Best of the Internets



I Can Text You a Pile of Poo, but I Can’t Write My Name

A heartbreaking and damning assessment of the current state of Unicode by Aditya Mukerjee.

My name is not only a common Indian name, but one of the top 1,000 names in the United States as well. But the final letter has still not been given its own Unicode character, so I have to use a substitute.

Wow. Just, wow.

Worried about Unicode getting too big?

[O]ne might appeal to the limited space in the Unicode character set. Even if we take for granted the somewhat arbitrary maximum of 1,114,112 codepoints, the other alphabets included speak for themselves. The most recent update to the Unicode standard included the entire alphabet of Linear B, an ancient Mycenaean script that was not deciphered in the modern era until the 1950s. Nor does alleged scarcity explain the inclusion of Linear A, a Minoan script so arcane, scholars disagree on what language it even represented, let alone how to read the script.

His frustration is completely understandable:

We have an unambiguous, cross-platform way to represent “PILE OF POO” (💩), while we’re still debating which of the 1.2 billion native Chinese speakers deserve to spell their own names correctly.

And since the subject of diversity in emoji has been a hot button issue of late, here’s a bit on that:

Perhaps I wouldn’t mind that the emoji world now literally has “colored” people, if it weren’t for the timing. Instead, what could have been a meaningless, empty gesture becomes an outright insult. You can’t write your name in your native language, but at least you can tweet your frustration with an emoji face that’s the same shade of brown as yours!

This post is eye-opening on so many levels. You should definitely add it to your reading list because, as Aditya reminds us, “it’s imperative that the writing system of the 21st century be driven by the needs of the people using it.”



Once Upon a Time, There Was One Internet and It Was Open to Everyone…

A great discussion of the implications of Internet censorship on businesses and the economy. Choice quote:

When governments begin developing complex and counterintuitive online rules for their various jurisdictions, any semblance of global development is broken down. The resulting risk is that we will be left with multiple internets, each with their own rules, laws and guidelines.


YourBrowser.is

One of the hardest things about debugging websites is parsing bug reports provided by non-tech folks. And one of the most common issues with them is confirmation of what browser & version, OS & version, and possibly what device they are running it on. Do yourself a favor and have them hit yourbrowser.is to copy & paste the results for you before posting the bug.



The Big Web Show #130: Progressive Enhancement FTW With Aaron Gustafson

Jeffrey Zeldman and I discuss web design then and now; why Flipboard’s 60fps web launch is anti-web and anti-user; Genesis’ “Land of Confusion” video, and other bad ideas from the 1980s; design versus art; the demise and sendoff of Web Standards Sherpa; how the web community differs from other creative communities; and the 2nd Edition of Adaptive Web Design, coming from New Riders later this year.


Rendering Engine Updates in March for the Windows 10 Technical Preview

The new browser codenamed “Project Spartan” won’t be in it, but the March build of the public Windows 10 preview has a bunch of new features. Among my favorites:

RemoteIE should be updated soon too.


Opera Mini Server Upgrade

The server-side Presto rendering engine that drives Opera Mini has gotten a major upgrade, introducing some great new features including

HTML5 input types are on the docket. They won’t be displayed properly in clients until they get an upgrade, but the parse is aware of them now and they will fall back to “text” inputs until the client roll-out happens.