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Show HN: Inspired by a HN comment, half stars proposed for Unicode [pdf] (righto.com)
55 points by kens on Aug 1, 2016 | hide | past | favorite | 12 comments

A few weeks ago, someone mentioned in a comment that Unicode was missing half stars (e.g. for rating a movie * 1/2). I've written up a proposal suggesting the addition of half stars to Unicode. Let me know of any feedback and then I'll submit the proposal. In particular, any examples of half stars in text would be very helpful. I've successfully proposed a couple of characters before, so hopefully this proposal will work too.

[1] The comment suggesting half stars: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=11959139

A very thought-out proposal in its execution; I was pleased to see the section on bidirectional mirroring, outlining the options, and deferring to the consortium.

Speaking as the smartass who made the original comment, your work is much appreciated! If you need additional printed works for examples, I have quite a few.

That comment was perfect. One sentence, and tying things to the real world.

Anyone on the committee(s.........) who reads that, either gets the point immediately, or is irredeemable. (IMHO)

As for how it is scoped and executed... Plentiful committee fodder! ;-)

P.S. I'm just tongue-in-cheek, here. I've no real knowledge of the Unicode specifications world. Just imagining lots of committees and lots of pieces of turf, partially tied back to the geo-political whatevers of the world we all live in. :-)

Though maybe we can add star (and half-star!) ratings to HN comments, moving forward? ;-)

An example where the half star appears in the middle of text would be helpful, e.g. "Die Hard 7 ( 1/2*) is the latest movie..." In most of the examples I have, the stars are kind of on their own rather than in the flow of text, and that makes a difference to the Unicode committee.

If you have good examples, you can email my username @righto.com

Pull an Amazon product page and look at other items' ratings. Row of stars followed by a numeric count of the number of ratings.

As just one example that immediately occurred to me, after having been on Amazon yesterday.

By the way, you have or will add a hollow star, also per Amazon? Placeholder for the higher possible rating(s) that an item has not received.

Regarding "demand for other fractions", if you look at the current rendering of the stars on Blood River (your example):


It actually renders a much smaller sliver of a star than a half, at least for me:


Not saying that needs to be implemented at the Unicode level, just saying there is evidence of use of other fractions.

Good job - I remember the original discussion.

How about adding an outlined version as well as the filled version? This division is shown in your examples. In fact, there are the following versions: (0) Outlined star (1) Filled star (2) Half-filled, half-outlined star (3) Half-filled, Half-'other color'-filled star (4) Half-filled, half-missing star

Seeing as multiple colors are a hassle and not really what Unicode codepoints are designed for, option (3) could be ignored. Option (2) and (4) need LTR and RTL versions.

I would comment directly but following the .dk links at the bottom of the document results in 404s.

I'm not sure what you are suggesting. The proposal includes both outlined and non-outlined half stars (see page 4, "The suggested glyphs"). I think that's (2) and (4) from your proposal. Are you suggesting something else?

Also, what/where is the broken .dk link?

The link to half star at font awesome links to the BTC symbol.

Thanks for finding that!

My immediate first thought was "what about right-to-left half stars"? Fortunately it's right there in the proposal. Good work!

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