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Kade Huntsman

Unicode characters should not be used as "normal" text

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Posted (edited)

I know that a great many out there like to use unicode in their display names - sometimes it works and other times it can end up being an unintelligible mess of lines (but maybe that's what they wanted).

However, some people even use unicode on their profiles in place of traditional characters and this is a really, really bad idea.

Yep your fancy unicode profile may indeed look super to you but the chances are other people see something like this....

1f730d09219eeaa7c9d2dda5fd0dad84.png

e60a4ae23995fc9215ce08bedc284c60.png

This particular person ran some sort of business - no idea what of course as I can only see boxes.

So please - do yourselves a favour and in your profile, where you really want people to be able to read what you type, use standard characters. It also helps heaps for those who do not have English as their first language in addition to those of us who do not want to screw our eyes and spend ages trying to work out what the text says.

Edited by Jon Nova
darn typos
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Yep.  I always default to usernames when addressing someone if they’ve used modern day hieroglyphics.  I’m too old to get with the program.  Plus the squinting strains my eyes.  

33542EFD-1B6F-4C3E-9964-0434B02CA1FD.jpeg

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If I might suggest its probably a bad idea to post complaints about this for 2 reasons

1) The sort of people who do it are unlikely to read forums

2) It is a good way of avoiding idiots without actually having to engage with them first to find out if they are an idiot so we dont want to discourage it

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Posted (edited)

I may not always like those funny fonts, because I can't see them, but the fact that your system cannot read them is not a failing on the part of those using them. If your system were properly updated to current standards, using currently available libraries and capabilities for such, you'd be able to see them as well.

This was more of a problem about 8-10 years ago when far more systems lacked the proper libraries, as there was little use for a lot of systems to need them. Now they'e relatively simple to implement and tend to come as a standard integrated capability (whether useful in all regards or not, their footprint is minute, at best). There really isn't much of an excuse to still not have them, barring the system being something such as a mobile device or limited capability (where libraries are limited by default and need to be added in manually). Most people don't actually see those boxes like you are. That's your system not processing the information its been given.

I'm not sure it's wise to knock other people for using fonts you don't like, when they could just as easily mock you for not using more current and updated technologies.  In either case, you'd both come out looking like ignorant fools (because you're both on the wrong end of that stick...and it's ridiculous to try and mock people over something so stupid anyway lol).

I have absolutely crap vision, not even 15%  on a good day, and I have to alter EVERYTHING I read in order to see it, including your post. Should I now tell you that you must accommodate my vision, or lack thereof? No, I shouldn't, because that's ignorant, and arrogant to suggest.  It bothers me tremendously to see people jump on this stupid bandwagon too, because your system can't properly process something as basic as unicode, lol. 

Ftr. I have an older system, and I do mean older, it barely fits the bare minimum needed to run sl, in some regards. My system processes unicode just fine. So when I say this is a basic capability, I mean as absolutely basic as it gets. It could just as easily be something corrupt in your own system that makes deciphering it an impossibility (and most likely is, actually, and could easily lead to other problems, so I'd be figuring that out, personally). 

Edited by Tari Landar
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@KanryDrago - I'm not in any way posting a complaint and if you saw it that way then I am sorry. Consider the intent was more to educate and advise rather than to criticise.

@Tari Landar - I'm aware of how unicode works and granted that if we all happened to run precisely the same version of the same operating system on identical hardware then we would all see the same thing. But we run Windows, Linux and MacOS and all the myriad of variants within on a plethora of hardware. Sadly you took my post to be a "knock" at others then it was in no way meant to be that way and I have read it over several times and cannot see anything near to knocking people. For myself I run what was considered to be a top of the range workstation computer until Apple released their most recent professional one. It has all of the updates applied and yes I see boxes - that's because different OS's use different unicode versions and people need to be educated to know that in order to know how to avoid their messages being seen as only boxes by the intended audience.

I apologise if my intent to highlight the problem with using some unicode fonts and their ability to be seen by others has upset or offended people.

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25 minutes ago, Tari Landar said:

I may not always like those funny fonts, because I can't see them, but the fact that your system cannot read them is not a failing on the part of those using them. If your system were properly updated to current standards, using currently available libraries and capabilities for such, you'd be able to see them as well.

it's not only this, but the ones th√°t show are often still unreadable, and total mess by taken out of different languages, so confusing how to pronounce, if already possible.

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I don't normally see squares when people have special unicode names. I just stop reading and turn away when I see that type of writing. Life's too short.

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40 minutes ago, Jon Nova said:

@KanryDrago - I'm not in any way posting a complaint and if you saw it that way then I am sorry. Consider the intent was more to educate and advise rather than to criticise.

@Tari Landar - I'm aware of how unicode works and granted that if we all happened to run precisely the same version of the same operating system on identical hardware then we would all see the same thing. But we run Windows, Linux and MacOS and all the myriad of variants within on a plethora of hardware. Sadly you took my post to be a "knock" at others then it was in no way meant to be that way and I have read it over several times and cannot see anything near to knocking people. For myself I run what was considered to be a top of the range workstation computer until Apple released their most recent professional one. It has all of the updates applied and yes I see boxes - that's because different OS's use different unicode versions and people need to be educated to know that in order to know how to avoid their messages being seen as only boxes by the intended audience.

I apologise if my intent to highlight the problem with using some unicode fonts and their ability to be seen by others has upset or offended people.

Welcome to the forums where you can upset anyone by simply posting anything that they will disagree with on principle.

Dont take it personal or internalize it too much. 

A lot of people here and inworld do not like anyone pointing out their flaws or the problems of them doing certain things. they think it takes away their entitlement to be unique.

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Kids, kids...

There's no need to fight.

Jon's posted a very real problem.  His proposed solution is for other people to stop using those annoying special characters.  And they ARE annoying to many of us, even if our systems can read them.

Tari has offered a different solution, and one that Jon can implement himself:  upgrade your font libraries.

Since Jon can control this second one, it's probably the most practical.  However, that does not make Jon wrong.  I agree with him that people shouldn't oughta use those weird characters.

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I agree with the OP, although I don't usually see squares. I can't always read the display names that have excessive doodads in them, though.

But hey, if people don't want me to be able to read their display name, that's fine. I just revert to using usernames if it's going to be that much work figuring out what the heck someone has named themselves. Not my problem to decipher it!

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17 minutes ago, Sylvia Tamalyn said:

I agree with the OP, although I don't usually see squares. I can't always read the display names that have excessive doodads in them, though.

But hey, if people don't want me to be able to read their display name, that's fine. I just revert to using usernames if it's going to be that much work figuring out what the heck someone has named themselves. Not my problem to decipher it!

that is why i have it set to show both and have the name tags above people show both and why I have my friends list show both.. so if anyone does that I can still see who it is regardless.

toward their picks, and bio. if I cant read it im not going to waste the time time trying either. so they basically are a nipc at that point to me.

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Posted (edited)

It's been a long time since I've seen anything with a significant number of the unicode replacement squares in SL, and when I did, the users were obviously not English speakers and used non-western characters to make a display name that made sense to them and their friends. It is normal text for them. I figure it's probably something like that if a profile is full of undisplayable text. 1337 unicode display names are usually pretty easy to figure out.

Edited by Lyssa Greymoon

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Like I said.....I don't like them either. I don't like a lot of things I can't read, for all sorts of reasons. 

This, however, is still very much a YOU, or rather ME if you'd prefer that I use my own dislike for their use, problem. My dislike is due to the fact that I, someone of very limited visual capability, cannot see them even using whatever methods for alteration I have at my disposal, they simply don't help in most cases. That's very much a me problem, not a them problem. If they like it, I say whatever tickles their pickle, it's no skin off my nose.

If your OS is current, your libraries ought to be too. When they are not, you will see those lil boxes, that is the ONLY reason you will see them, you're missing libraries. When they are current and not corrupted or faulty, you'll see the fonts you don't like instead of boxes. We can agree all day long about how fugly those fonts and letters might be to us as individuals, lol. It doesn't change the fact that the boxes are created by a fault in your own system/device. You could very well see them if someone uses their own mother tongue too and not just what you presume are fancy unicode characters, as that happened for years, and still does for some. 

 

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I'd like to see things you may have to type, such as avatar names, restricted under the rules for domain names. These allow all the different language character sets, disallow symbols, allow right-to-left writing, limit reversing direction in the middle of writing (modern Hebrew is written right to left but numbers in text are left to right), etc. It's complicated, but was standardized in 2008, and there are libraries for checking strings against the standard.

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My system is fully up-to-date and those non-standard characters print out just fine.

Mostly they are still totally unintelligible to me, and life is too short to waste time trying to make any sense of them. I'm sure that whoever spent ages putting them together, to make something that really stands out from the crowd, are very pleased with themselves. Well done, whatever-your-name-is!

I wonder how well scripters get on with them?

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25 minutes ago, Odaks said:

I wonder how well scripters get on with them?

When checking against limits on the byte length of strings it used to be ok to just count the characters in the string and the result would also be the number of bytes. Some unicode characters use more than one byte so you have to use a different method. There are examples of this method in the wiki, but here's what I use:

integer GetStringBytes (string text)
{
    return (llStringLength ((string) llParseString2List (llStringToBase64 (text), ["="], [])) * 3) >> 2;
}

 

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6 hours ago, KT Kingsley said:

I see quite a lot of people with display names in their own language and its alphabet.

And when you say hi to them, like welcoming them to a club, using their system name they get mad. One chewed me out in a PM and I told him I couldn't read his display name. He left....

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9 minutes ago, Kimmi Zehetbauer said:

And when you say hi to them, like welcoming them to a club, using their system name they get mad. One chewed me out in a PM and I told him I couldn't read his display name. He left....

Not a situation I'm faced with very often, but copy/pasting names I can't type easily from chat (when they've initiated a conversation or sent an IM or been reported by my radar) usually works for me.

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16 minutes ago, Kimmi Zehetbauer said:

And when you say hi to them, like welcoming them to a club, using their system name they get mad. One chewed me out in a PM and I told him I couldn't read his display name. He left....

That is a them problem and not a you problem if they cant handle you wont use their display name.. that is totally on them.

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14 hours ago, KT Kingsley said:

Not a situation I'm faced with very often, but copy/pasting names I can't type easily from chat (when they've initiated a conversation or sent an IM or been reported by my radar) usually works for me.

^^ this. copypasta

generally tho, I have never seen this as a problem for me. Have always had multi-language fonts installed on my commuter. Sometimes tho people will use characters from different languages in their display names and/or profiles. End up as squiqqly squiq squiggles. When so then oh! well. They seem happy

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On 6/24/2020 at 8:58 AM, Jon Nova said:

Yep your fancy unicode profile may indeed look super to you but the chances are other people see something like this....

1f730d09219eeaa7c9d2dda5fd0dad84.png

e60a4ae23995fc9215ce08bedc284c60.png

This particular person ran some sort of business - no idea what of course as I can only see boxes.

 

It's more likely that the content of that profile is actually written in Japanese, rather than English text with fancy flourishes. As a business owner, their business is probably aimed primarily at the Japanese market than the English one. Also, what Tari said. If your computer's language libraries were up to date, you'd be able to read them all, like everyone else can.

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everyone saying if your language packs were up to date you could see it are only partially correct.. if you have a windows 10 computer it does not install additional language packs but the langue you chose when you set it up. You have to add those in manually by going into settings and adding them as an extra feature.

so most people by default will not be able to see them unless they went through the process of adding in the additional languages...

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Posted (edited)
18 minutes ago, Drakonadrgora Darkfold said:

everyone saying if your language packs were up to date you could see it are only partially correct.. if you have a windows 10 computer it does not install additional language packs but the langue you chose when you set it up. You have to add those in manually by going into settings and adding them as an extra feature.

so most people by default will not be able to see them unless they went through the process of adding in the additional languages...

I have Windows 10 set to English, and I have never knowingly added any other languages. I have just checked my Windows settings and there are no other language packs installed. And yet, I can see them all, both foreign languages like Japanese, and also the fancy unicode things.

Edited by Maitimo

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