From: Shlomi Tal (shlompi@hotmail.com)
Date: Tue May 21 2002 - 00:49:19 EDT

Branching off from the subject of symbol encodings, I wondered about the
application of emoticons in the Miscellaneous Symbols block. Now even though
I know characters such as the white smiling face were included for
compatibility with DOS CP437 and its offshoots, yet the white frowning face
wasn't in CP437.

Pike and Thompson's paper on the Plan 9 Unicode conversion ("Hello world or
Kalimera Kosme or Konichiwa Sekai") says this:

--- QUOTE ---

Although we converted Plan 9 in the altruistic interests of serving foreign
languages, we have found the large character set attractive for other
reasons. The Unicode Standard includes many characters — mathematical
symbols, scientific notation, more general punctuation, and more — that we
now use daily in our work. We no longer test our imaginations to find ways
to include non-ASCII symbols in our text; why type :-) when you can use the
character ☺?

--- UNQUOTE ---

So, that emoticon, far from its original use as a compatibility character
for CP437 (much like the box-drawing symbols), is actually useful for
regular, running application. And since emoticons are very useful, and are
not compatibility hacks, then why not add a few more to the Misc Symbols
set? White winking face, for example? I already use the white smiling face
on discussion boards, as an HTML NCR, and it's smashing. Wouldn't a few more
be useful?

Just my thoughts...

Shlomi Tal
Author of The Guide To Hebrew Computing

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