Sunday, 31 October 2004

ユーニコードの世界が凄い

Listening to:

Stan Getz and Joao Gilberto, Corcovado.

The Japanese in my title literally means “The world of Unicode is wonderful”, which I decided was the idiomatic way of getting “The wonderful world of Unicode”. I’m impressed with it at the moment because I was recently browsing the Wikipedia article on Al-Khwarizmi, which has the Arabic form of his name (أبو عبدالله محمد بن موسى الخوارزمي). I cut and pasted the Arabic into a presentation I’m writing with Open Office’s PowerPoint equivalent (ooimpress), and found it transferred perfectly. Based on the funny things my cursor was doing, I think ooimpress also knew that this was a right-to-left text.

I was sore amazed.

On the other hand, writing my Japanese title was quite tedious. For one thing I decided to use HTML numeric entities, so my title in the raw actually looks like ユー... which is pretty cryptic. (Wikipedia has done the same thing with its Arabic.) Using Unicode charts to find all of the various characters one-by-one is also a very tedious way of working. Jamie’s set up the server here to serve UTF-8, so I could use the “real” characters directly, except that I don’t have an editor that could cope, and I’m not sure that Movable Type’s text entry boxes would cope either.

Of course, if you find your browser turns all of my foreign characters into strange gibberish, you should probably get rid of it, and find a more modern alternative. Alternatively, your fonts may need updating.

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