meaningful and meaningless FE0E

Richard Wordingham richard.wordingham at
Sun Jun 29 03:51:02 CDT 2014

On Sat, 28 Jun 2014 10:33:17 -0700
Andrea Giammarchi <andrea.giammarchi at> wrote:

> I am trying to understand the expected behavior when there an
> "unexpected VS15" after emoji that have not been defined, accordingly
> with this file,
> as VS15 sensitive.

Variation selectors are 'default ignorable' - if an implementation
does not understand it, it should ignore it.  In particular,
Section 16.4 Version 6.3.0 of the Unicode Standard says that if the
application does not understand the combination of base character and
variation selector the variation selector should normally be ignored.
This does not preclude the possibility that the renderer only has
special modes, in all of which unknown variation selectors are displayed
as flashing red question marks.

> My take on FE0E is that all emoji that are sensible to this variant,
> have an "emojified" counter part that should be used when followed by
> FE0F and vice-versa a textual part when followed by FE0E, but all
> other emoji should not consider such variant at all since there's no
> textual counter part to represent, let's say, a 1F21A pile-of-poo
> "\ud83d\udca9\ufe0e"
> Can anyone please confirm my expectations are correct so that above
> sequence in both Java or JavaScript will show the POP emoji
> regardless, followed by FE0E variant that will be simply ignored and
> actually no device/OS/render/viewer/browser would ever create such
> sequence so it's actually a non problem, this one I am trying to
> solve?

There was nothing to stop me putting the sequence "��︎" <U+1F4A9 PILE
OF POO, U+FE0E VARIATION SELECTOR-15> in my reply. Moreover, there is
nothing to stop the sequence becoming defined at some time in the


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