Uni-'code' your site!

Looking at Orkut, I am surprised to see how this world has become one.



There are communities about drama such as 'Sex and the City' and I see people from all over the world, the US, Japan, Italy, etc. are enjoining this community.

So was fotolog which was a one big global community.

It wasn't in fotolog's interest to become a larger commercial entity. It was their choice and I respect that. But it was sad to see their server not keeping up with the pace of growing membership.



Another sad thing with fotolog is they didn't bother to support Unicode.



Many Japanese member have found they can type their comments in Shift-JIS and it would display correctly but it was working only because their browser was set to display Japanese as the default script and their browser detected Shift JIS.



If you have tried to mix Japanese characters along side with Portuguese, you are in big trouble.

The only solution to solve this problem is to support Unicode, more specifically UTF-8.



Many 'made in USA' technology supports only ASCII. Sometime they would display special Latin diactirics or CJK characters(i.e. Chinese, Japanese, Korean) properly. But it is working only accidentally.



Fotolog, just recently, has done something wrong (again) with their server. And now they are not displaying Japanese characters correctly. I see fotolog is losing support from their many Japanese paid members. This was all expected.



And I believe the same would happen with Orkut and many blogs which uses different character codes; many of us have already been experiencing with Trackbacks not displaying properly, etc.



Of course, it's not just the Americans who are to be blamed. I like the new Japanese Social Network Service called Mixi. I think they have done many things right. But they have done one thing wrong and that is they are not based on Unicode. So if I make a bilingual friend who speak both Japanese and Spanish, I cannot send/receive Japanese/Spanish combo messages.



People, wake up! It's the 21st Century and we have to base our code on Unicode!



So orkut, do the right thing before it is too late! Today, some people have alreadt started hacking the system to use Japanese characters; and if you take a look at the Japanese community (at Orkut), you would see it's not only the Japanese who are doing this!



Perhaps, we need a "Unicode" badges for web page and raise awareness about the importance of supporting Unicode.



日本語記事はいずれnobilog 2



投稿者名 Nobuyuki Hayashi 林信行 投稿日時 2004年02月28日 | Permalink

  • Re: Uni-'code' your site!


    Talking about fotolog, I guess they actually do not want us to use so many language on their site as there are some problems because of language gap. It's not a technical problem what I said.
    I do not believe that they don't know Uni-code is the best way to running world wide community site, but they chose another way. I will try to understand it.
    But they should announce what they are going to do before action. At least, they do not tell us all impoetant things (it's including they started selling fotolog goods on-line etc, etc.... ).

    That's why many japanese fotologgers are turnd off.

    投稿者名 yum

  • Re: Uni-'code' your site!


    Hi. i'm miu@ fotolog.
    long time no see, oh I know you are always very busy .
    I've just visited here for the first time.
    first of all, you English and description is so fine.
    cuz I' m very bigginner to network service ,but I could understand very well:-)
    and your knowledge is so respectable as always...
    I will visit your log and want to get something .....thanks nobi !

    投稿者名 miu

  • Re: Uni-'code' your site!


    I think the worst part about all of this is that UTF-8 is usually not difficult to implement! As long as you specify your web pages as using UTF-8, your programming language uses Unicode and your database can store Unicode then you are all set.

    I think maybe the tool vendors should all make UTF-8/Unicode the default for their tools. That way most developers won't have to do anything to support it.

    投稿者名 Khamsouk

  • Re: Uni-'code' your site!


    You are absolutely right!
    It is just the matter of ignorance and the 'unawareness for the need.'
    Perhaps, someone should make a reaaaly cool UTF-8 badge that we all want to put on our web page and start fighting the ignorance. I wish I had that talent.

    投稿者名 nobi

  • Re: Uni-'code' your site!


    I've switched to Unicode for most of my stuff, and I can't be happier...
    However, and this is why it's much unexpected for me to see Unicode praised by a Japanese person, I keep on reading that Japan has one of the slowest adoption rate of Unicode, and that it's because of kanjis and actual chinese characters sharing the same Unicode numbers even when they're drawn slightly differently. Do you think the CJK communities will eventually adopt Unicode as it is, or that they'll wait for Unicode to deal with different versions of kanjis?

    投稿者名 Michel Valdrighi

  • Re: Uni-'code' your site!


    Yes, the Japanese people were strongly against Unicode.
    But that was before Unicode 3 (or even 2) when unicode.org was asking us to summarize several distinct glyphs to one character code.
    But Unicode has changed since then and many people working on software internationalization have appreciated that change.
    But then, there are many people who have read bad news about unicode on magazine and web pages and they still believe that unicode has the same problem without even taking a look at the new unicode spec. But I think even that is changing especially after Apple has relased Mac OS X with 10,000+ glyphset. The new version of Unicode and Adobe glyph set support almost all characters of revised and extended Japanese Industry Standard plus more.
    And now it is more important for us to have Westerners, especially those who speak only English, understand the need for Unicode.
    But it is often difficult because they haven't experienced much problems with character encoding perhaps since ASCII vs EBCDIC ;-)

    投稿者名 nobi

  • Re: Uni-'code' your site!


    Ah, I didn't know they had updated the spec, this is great news!

    Actually, I think those who only speak English will be the easiest to convert to Unicode. They mostly use only the 127 chars of 7-bit ASCII, which just happen to be the first 127 chars of Unicode. So the transition would be very easy, they would only need to change the charset on their pages.
    For other languages, in countries with a large computer userbase it will sadly be much harder. In France for example, most people stick to iso-8859-15 because they have no other choice short of heavy editing old pages and applications... so they create new pages and apps that are past-ready instead of future-ready. Even on all-linux-users IRC channels in French, where everyone could use UTF-8 easily, they still insist on using iso-8859-15...

    It's an uphill battle against the established charsets that awaits us... :)

    投稿者名 Michel Valdrighi

  • Re: Uni-'code' your site!


    I kave little knowledge about UTF-8, but I have tried to make a guestbook in UTF-8 format (I got its CGI program from a website) because I wanted to post comments in Simplified Chinese. I remember I had difficulty changing a few parts of the program because the letters were completely garbaged (I didn't have UTF-8 text edit software). I think our computers still don't adapt to Unicode in many ways. Is that right?

    By the way, I happened to find "Recent Images" of this site in the book, "Weblog / Start." I'm now working on my Movable Type...difficult...^^;

    Take care!

    投稿者名 luckyno3

  • Re: Uni-'code' your site!


    hi luckyno3,


    I am not sure if your CGI can be converted to support UTF-8 (it should). As for UTF-8 compatible text editor, it's true we don't have many choices, yet. But at least Jedit supports it. I will look for other apps, but LightWay Text does not, and TextEdit does support saving in UTF-8 format but not displyaing them correctly. Neither is Microsoft Word :-(

    投稿者名 nobi

  • Re: Uni-'code' your site!


    Thank you, nobi. I use "mi 2.1.3" now and it is nice. By the way, I build my Movable Type blog in UTF-8. The process of localization was very tough for me because I have only a little knowledge about the field, but it LOOKS successful. And I've sent Trackback here for the first time in my life. :)

    投稿者名 luckyno3