I’m trying to make this site be speedy, look decent, and have functional navigation on handhelds and big displays. I WON the speed battle. The other two are going to require compromises. Still, I want to stay fast, so I’d like to stick to using characters rather than images, for navigation.

It’s been a long time since I played around inside of unicode, and I just had a little fun over at Fileformat.info’s site, fiddling within my character set, looking for useful symbols.

What I’d like to have is universal symbols for Login, Logout, Edit, Comment, Help, Backlink, Next, Previous, and Search, with mouse-overs for what they mean.

Using UTF-8 for my web text is neat, although until today I mostly just used it for Español. Ikiwiki doesn’t mangle UTF-8 on the page; neither does elinks. I wonder what a speech synth will do to it?

… ⋱ ⋮ ᠁ ຯ ⌨ ⍇ ⍨ ⅗ ← ☂ ☻ ⚓

… ⋱ ⋮ ᠁ ຯ ⌨ ⍇ ⍨ ⅗ ← ☂ ☻ ⚓

… ⋱ ⋮ ᠁ ຯ ⌨ ⍇ ⍨ ⅗ ← ☂ ☻ ⚓

… ⋱ ⋮ ᠁ ຯ ⌨ ⍇ ⍨ ⅗ ← ☂ ☻ ⚓

So of what I’m looking for, I basically have permalink (⚓), like (☻) and unlike, and link.

Watching unicode develop over 30+ years was worse than watching paint dry, and at the same time, fascinating. People from all over the world worked towards adopting a universal representation of every character that could ever be formed… and succeeded.

After looking over a bunch of other fonts today (I use the hungarian ellipsis (….) which as a “᠁” doesn’t work on this font) when I write, which is a bad habit, actually - and thousands of glyphs, I have renewed empathy for font designers. I wonder what this page will look like on a droid? an iphone?

I remember the battles in the mid 90s for downloadable fonts. The font designers wanted some way to 1) Get paid for their work and 2) Get their fonts used on the web.

What happened was everybody (else!) agreed on using a dozen different, basic fonts, and the font designers saw their often innovative work get relegated to being incorporated in graphic elements, only.

I don’t know anybody that uses font servers anymore. It’s kind of a shame things worked out that way. I remember running a cool font server under X11 (xfd!) for my own work and having oddball fonts on my console displays just to mess people up. Those were the days…

Other cool symbols:

☁ ☎ ☚ ☛ ☝ ☕ ☞

☠ ☣ ☯ ☸ ☹ ≋

Unicode even has the planets! (♃ = Jupiter, ♄ = Saturn), astrological symbols (♌ = Leo), musical symbols (♬), universal recycling symbols (♲, ♷, ♼), and symbols for married, divorced, and couples living together! (⚮, ⚭, ⚯ )

I am sure I’ll find something ≆ what I need, eventually.

Find me elsewhere.

Best of the blog Uncle Bill's Helicopter - A speech I gave to ITT Tech - Chicken soup for engineers
Beating the Brand - A pathological exploration of how branding makes it hard to think straight
Inside the Internet Mind - trying to map the weather within the global supercomputer that consists of humans and google
Sex In Politics - If politicians spent more time pounding the flesh rather than pressing it, it would be a better world
Getting resources from space - An alternative to blowing money on mars using NEAs.
On the Columbia - Why I care about space
Authors I like:
Doc Searls
Jerry Pournelle
The Cubic Dog
David Brin
Charlie Stross
Eric Raymond
The Intercept
Chunky Mark
Dan Luu's rants about hardware design
Selenian Boondocks
Transterrestial Musings

February 10, 2011
492 words

latency usability