Tag characters and in-line graphics (from Tag characters)

Chris idou747 at gmail.com
Wed Jun 3 19:46:26 CDT 2015

> On 3 Jun 2015, at 11:24 pm, David Starner <prosfilaes at gmail.com> wrote:
> Chris wrote:
> > There is no way to compare 2 HTML elements and know they are talking about the same character
> That's because character identity is a hard problem. Is the emoji TIGER the same as TONY THE TIGER or as TONY THE TIGER GIVING THE VICTORY SIGN?  

I personally think emoji should have one, single definitive representation for this exact reason. The subtley of different emotion between one happy face and another can be miles apart.  Emoji are a little different to other symbols in that respect. Symbols that are purely symbolic can be changed as much as you like as long as they are recognisable. Emoji have too many shades of meaning for allowing change.

Both of these scenarios are an argument that there should be custom characters with at least one official representation. Emoji because you don’t really want variation. Symbols because if you don’t have a local representation, then something is better than nothing. If you don’t have a local Snow Flake for example, any old snow flake will be fine.

This is not a hard problem at all. Is one tony the tiger the same as another? The community interested in tony the tiger can make decisions like that. But having made that decision there needs to be a way for generic computer programs that don’t know about that community to do reasonable things with tony the tiger characters.

> You can index links to images. If two documents represent it differently, then I go back to the above; we can't know that they're the same thing.

You can’t know because they’re images. That’s my exact point. Anybody talking about HTML5 and images as a solution to custom characters is not proposing a valid solution.

> On Tue, Jun 2, 2015 at 7:11 PM Chris <idou747 at gmail.com <mailto:idou747 at gmail.com>> wrote:
> You can’t ask the entire computing universe to compress everything all the time.
> Anytime we care about how much space text takes up, it should be compressed. It compresses very well. On the other hand, it's rare that anyone cares anymore; what's a few hundred kilobytes between friends? 

You compress things when they are on the move. Between computers and as you are writing it to a file. But you can’t compress generically while it is in memory. You can’t iterate over compressed bits. You can’t process them.

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