a mug

Marcel Schneider charupdate at orange.fr
Mon Jul 13 04:15:54 CDT 2015

On Sat, Jul 11, 2015, 18:15, Daniel Bünzli  wrote:

> On Sat, Jul 11, 2015, 16:26, Marcel Schneider a écrit :
> > As I feel concerned too, I'd like (I ♥) to underscore that the designer of this mug seems to be insulting Unicode implementers
> Being one of these I would like to tell you that I feel absolutely not insulted by this mug. 
> I find it rather funny as it actually reflects a reality you can expect to see more and more. Given the sheer volume of characters that are being added to the standard you can't expect font designers to cater for all of them. And this is actually due to the very definition of Unicode itself whether you like it or not. 

On Sat, Jul 11, 2015, 18:17, Umesh P N  wrote:

> Henri Bergson has observed:
> Laughter is purely cerebral: being able to laugh seems to require a detached attitude, an emotional distance to the object of laughter.
> (A well-known example is laughing when somebody falls down over a banana peel.  We can't laugh if the fall was serious and causes the person some injury, thus making us emotionally attached to the person.)
> So, having a strong emotional attachment to unicode can make this kind of joke offensive.  I found it as funny as the CSS mug. (Some version of this mug has the pun java-script:hidden also specified.) I don't know the people who maintain the CSS standards and the developers of various browsers and tools get heavily offended by that mug.
> Satire and cartoons exaggerate minor things that helps making the object better and healthier.  We are not dictators who cannot tolerate criticism and satire.

I see that taking it serious I was very wrong, and I thank all who answered on this thread, for having helped to put things into perspective.

Of course everybody may feel free to laugh. There are just two problems about. First, as Umesh points out quoting Bergson, this implies some lack of empathy. Abbé Pierre never laughed, as he has discovered about himself in an interview. Personally, I do, unfortunately, even too much. However, and this is the second problem, one should not mix up responsibilities and then laugh at the wrong body, because here's where satire ends and injustice is starting.

As Johannes Bergerhausen pointed it out a little later:

On Sat, Jul 11, 2015, 18:44, Johannes Bergerhausen"  wrote:

> Yes, the mug is funny.
> It shows not a Unicode problem, it points at a general font problem of operating systems.
> Dear Apple, Dear Google, Dear Microsoft: please give us *all* missing Unicode glyphs right inside your operating systems!
> As I said at TEDx in Vienna:
> www.youtube.com/watch?v=IRdupNXpm8k
> So, better would be:
> I [] Apple.
> I [] Google.
> I [] Microsoft.

If people (including me) took the pain of installing some complete fonts and setting the fallback behavior of the app (if feasible), they would not experience any longer the oddities this satirist seems to be laughing at while making (hateful?) insinuations. But theyʼre too busy with designing mugs...

It's roughly the same problem with the CSS and UTF-8 malfunctioning that is laughed at with the other merchandising items brought in by Umesh:
and Karl Williamson 
(On Sat, Jul 11, 2015, 19:42):

Personally the only time CSS was awesome to me is when I'd written bad code. In truth, CSS is very smart and allows browsers to adapt the box width to the content, if not hindered in doing so by some fixed-width. We can write bad code in any language, but then we should rather laugh at our own incapacity.

Idem with charsets. The only time I saw UTF-8 like on the T-shirt, was when opening UTF-8 files that didn't specify charset=UTF-8. The thing to do was to add the charset in the file header. Of course one can make T-shirts about that, but people wearing them while meaning to be laughing at Unicode Transformation Format, are more likely to get other people laughing at themselves for not knowing how to begin an HTML file, isn't it?

I feel concerned because I recently published on this list (WORD JOINER vs ZWNBSP) some harsh criticism about a word processor that hadnʼt implemented U+2060 WORD JOINER, which displays as a kind of .notdef box unless the font is set to Segoe UI Symbol.  I am concerned to mention that this very valuable workaround has been provided on this List by Mr Doug Ewell (on Tue, Jun 30, 2015). I wouldnʼt have got by myself the idea to look for U+2060 in Segoe UI Symbol. This works also for U+205D TRICOLON. When I insert the tricolon and the quadricolon U+205E side by side in Segoe UI Symbol, and then switch the font to Arial, the tricolon is replaced with a .notdef box on my version of Word. The behavior of LibreOffice this time is exactly the same except for the .notdef box, which in that case is *not* displayed on LibreOffice, letting me unaware of the missing tricolon! Well, Iʼm likely to restart, making my first reply turn out to be a kind of lenification...

About why I come up with the tricolon-quadricolon (VERTICAL FOUR DOTS) issue, there is to say that I wanted to use ⁞ as a representation of U+2060, and ⁝ for U+FEFF. Now I must use a common colon for this. (|, ¦ and ⌇  are already taken. Alternate ideas are welcome.)

All those mischiefs, I fully agree, are clearly all about implementation and particularly, about font support and fallback handling, and nothing about Unicode.

Best regards,


P.S.: For the case that future readers stumble on this thread by a Google or Bing search (and because I hope so mean a mug wonʼt find many buyers), I should have mentioned the topic: an “I ♥ UNICODE” mug where the heart symbol (U+2665) is replaced with a .notdef box:

The product designation is “I <3 UNICODE!”, insinuating that for exapmple emojis still arenʼt converted to pictures. The message as I decrypt it, is: “Unicode implementations are so uncomplete that I canʼt use the Unicode characters Iʼd like to; consequently I cannot like/love Unicode.”  BTW I find the expression is rather clumsy, as this one is inserted (and displayed!) by Alt+3 on every Windows numpad.
And here are CSS and UTF-8:

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