Two Lions Holding The Zürich Flag

Country Codes

Two Lions Holding The Zürich Flag

The initial emoji flags were restricted to a small set o countries, which was pretty discriminatory, the regional indicators were added to Unicode to avoid this issue, but this only allowed entities which have defined ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 codes. This allowed to side-step the issue of quasi-countries like Taiwan or Palestine, which have ISO codes even if they are not widely recognised as countries. Confusingly, some weird colonies like or are supported, but not the significant divisions of Great Britain (like England).

Change is a problem: characters tend to have a longer life that countries. Many countries have come and gone since my birth; even if the Soviet Union has disappeared and its country code is officially deprecated, old texts referring to it still exist, and so do graphical representations of its flag. What will happen when a country whose flag has been emojified disappears and its country code is unassigned? People complained that the system does support regional flags that appear in sporting competitions, like Scotland. Yet some of these might become country flags soon.

To make things a bit more confusing, many organisations which are not countries are assigned codes, some of which like the UN (:united_nations:) or the EU have flags. You can see what is supported on not on the test page, which I updated. Apple support the EU flag, but not the UN. Still, what is the flag of the Eurozone? You could composite a euro sign with a flag, maybe. The funny thing is, there is character for some euro bills (💶) similar characters exist for the US dollar and the British pound, but no other currency. It would have been more logical to represent them as composite characters, a banknote character and zero width joiner with the currency symbol.

Things are not going to get simpler, there is a proposal to encode country sub-divisions (like England, Wales, the US states, but also things like Swiss cantons). surprisingly these flags are not encoded using the regional indicator range, but instead the flag character (🏴) and characters in the tag range. So for instance the flag of Zürich would be the sequence 🏴󠁣󠁨󠁺󠁨󠁿 (black-flag, tag-C, tag-H, tag-Z, tag-H, tag-cancel). There is a test page using the Babel Font.

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Blog blog blog. Soit c’est une le début d’une symphonie ou un test d’application, à vous de juger… Hors donc, comme un bazillon d’autres personnes, j’ai à présent un blog. Le but de se truc n’est pas de faire avancer la civilisation ou la culture, mais d’avoir un endroit ou exposer mes idées idiotes, que je pense avoir fort nombreuses. Dans quelle mesure cette initiative pourra être maintenue est une question ouverte, j’espère qu’elle ne souffrira pas d’être une initiative de janvier.

Encryption

Blog blog blog. Soit c’est une le début d’une symphonie ou un test d’application, à vous de juger… Hors donc, comme un bazillon d’autres personnes, j’ai à présent un blog. Le but de se truc n’est pas de faire avancer la civilisation ou la culture, mais d’avoir un endroit ou exposer mes idées idiotes, que je pense avoir fort nombreuses. Dans quelle mesure cette initiative pourra être maintenue est une question ouverte, j’espère qu’elle ne souffrira pas d’être une initiative de janvier.

Last January, this blog turned 12, which in blog years is probably an infinity and half. During this whole time, it ran on the same blogging platform: WordPress, which went over four major revisions. Hosting also changed multiple times, first it ran on the servers of the french ISP free, then on host of a friend, then on a shared machine we rented together with some other friends and now finally it runs on a dedicated host I rent.

I find this migration somehow representative of the Zeitgeist of the web: a blog even as modest as this one is not anymore something that can be run out of a random Unix machine, or as a freebie by an ISP – it seems you can still run WordPress on a personal free account, but there are many restrictions and limitations.

The migration to some dedicated hosting unlocked many features, in particular smoother updates, but also in keeping with the zeitgeist theme, SSL certificates. I honestly don’t think this blog hosts anything subversive, but these days the risk of someone injecting malicious content or getting the identifiers used for commenting is real, so encryption is de rigueur.

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