Emoji zodiac signs (e-02B ... e-037): Symbolic and pictorial variants

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Karl Pentzlin

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Jan 6, 2009, 8:48:09 AM1/6/09
to Unicode Mailing List, emoji4...@googlegroups.com
The current version if the Emoji table
( http://www.unicode.org/~scherer/emoji4unicode/snapshot/full.html
as of 2009-01-06).
shows that the characters from KD?DI are pictorial, while the
characters from the other two sources (DoCoMo and SoftBank) are
symbolic (like the Unicode reference glyphs for U+2648 ... U+2653).

In the current Emoji table, these characters are nevertheless unified
with the generic Unicode characters U+2648 ... U+2653
(with the exception of e-037 OPHIUCHUS where an according generic
Unicode symbol is not yet encoded but is possibly to be unified with
U+2695 STAFF OF AESCULAPIUS, but this is another subject).

Does this unification serve the need of the users of this emoji signs?

I understand that the proposal is driven by the needs of the search
engine suppliers (Microsoft, Google, etc.). For these, the unification
may be appropriate, as somebody searching for CAPRICORN will usually
expect to find occurrences of U+2651 as well as occurrences of any
variants of e+034.

But the users are those who will include an emoji in their text (SMS,
e-mail, HTML page, ...), and those who are to read this.
Unicode (if it encodes emoji at all) has to serve these users in the
first line. The needs of search engine suppliers, while in no case to
be disregarded, are secondary to this.

When a user wants to include a nice picture of a capricorn's head
like KDDI's #201 in his message to express his coolness (or whatever)
he associates with such an expression of his zodiac sign:
Would he consider it OK if, without giving him the control over this,
a black-and-white abstract sign will be displayed on the screen of his
recipient, who possibly does not know to decipher this abstract sign,
and who in no case will see the "coolness" or whatever the sender
wanted to express by selecting the picture?
No.

When a user uses the picture of a lion (e-02F, KDDI #196) based on its
appearance in contrast to a picture of a tiger (e-01C0), does he want to
see the recipient an abstract black-and-white LEO symbol besides the
tiger head?
Surely no.

Thus, the unification of the pictorial zodiac signs of KDDI with the
abstract ones of DoCoMo/Softbank or the generic ones of Unicode is wrong.

- Karl Pentzlin


Markus Scherer

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Jan 6, 2009, 2:40:27 PM1/6/09
to emoji4...@googlegroups.com, Unicode Mailing List
On Tue, Jan 6, 2009 at 5:48 AM, Karl Pentzlin <karl-p...@acssoft.de> wrote:
The current version if the Emoji table
( http://www.unicode.org/~scherer/emoji4unicode/snapshot/full.html
 as of 2009-01-06).
shows that the characters from KD?DI are pictorial, while the
characters from the other two sources (DoCoMo and SoftBank) are
symbolic (like the Unicode reference glyphs for U+2648 ... U+2653).

In the current Emoji table, these characters are nevertheless unified
with the generic Unicode characters U+2648 ... U+2653
 (with the exception of e-037 OPHIUCHUS where an according generic
 Unicode symbol is not yet encoded but is possibly to be unified with
 U+2695 STAFF OF AESCULAPIUS, but this is another subject).

Does this unification serve the need of the users of this emoji signs?

It does, in that it follows the cell phones carriers' own mappings that map 1:1 between KDDI's pictorial set and DoCoMo's and SoftBank's symbolic sets.

markus

Karl Pentzlin

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Jan 6, 2009, 2:55:24 PM1/6/09
to Markus Scherer, emoji4...@googlegroups.com, Unicode Mailing List
Am Dienstag, 6. Januar 2009 um 20:40 schrieb Markus Scherer:

MS> On Tue, Jan 6, 2009 at 5:48 AM, Karl Pentzlin wrote:
>> ... that the [Zodiac symbols] from KDDI are pictorial, while the


>> characters from the other two sources (DoCoMo and SoftBank) are

>> symbolic...
>> ... are nevertheless unified with the generic Unicode characters
>> U+2648 ... U+2653 ...


>> Does this unification serve the need of the users of this emoji signs?

MS> It does, in that it follows the cell phones carriers' own
MS> mappings that map 1:1 between KDDI's pictorial set and DoCoMo's and SoftBank's symbolic sets.

You answered that this unification serves the needs of the Japanese
telcos.
My question was if it serves the needs of the users, especially of the
future users of the Unicode characters beyond the reach of these telcos.
This is something different.

- Karl Pentzlin


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