My original question was specifically about the C64 character set, but we managed to get several others covered as well, including several symbols from the Atari ST character set.
The proposal was accepted, and the work continues to create a new proposal covering the character sets of even more old computers.
I'm quite happy that my modest question led to some real progress.
The symbols that do exist, but was not included in the proposal was the Atari logo and the J.R. Dobbs picture. Both of which are copyrighted, which is why they are included.
What we can see is that these characters have become very popular and useful, so it doesn't really matter whether the original intent was to move these things to a higher level protocol. Today they are here, and they are useful.
There was a discussion on the mailing list some time ago when there was a suggestion to add codes for underline, bold, italics etc. I can tell you that that is not a very popular idea.
⭘ should be on
⏽ should be off
https://i.imgur.com/zXAwnbK.png — (I am using Safari 13.0.3 on macOS Catalina 10.15.1)
Edit: After seeing the image posted by @iruoy — https://i.imgur.com/OH3QTXQ.png — I have to disagree with you because the circle represents a zero (low voltage - FALSE) and the vertical line represents a one (high voltage - TRUE). If you studied computer science, logic, electrical engineering, or attended any basic course on electronics you would know that ones-and-zeroes are the written representation of an electric current, in fact, they are the basics of computing: Bits.
Here is more information about the power symbol:
And as graphics, the zero seems to represent "circuit connected" and the one seems to represent "circuit disconnected". Yet they have the exact opposite meanings!
They're meant for public consumption after all.
Where are these switches uncommon? Where are they flipped to the opposite meaning as you described? Where has the circle ever represented a connected circuit? Most circuit diagrams are squared off, so which one was circular? I'm so confused.
In anthropology and psychology, primitive symbols like a vertical line or a circle are often found to represent the male and female dichotomy. In fact, it's quite prevalent cross-culturally as basics of a visual language. 
This 1/0 man/woman white/black kind of binary is so ubiquitous in our culture it's kind of redundant to go and find examples - but it is in itself interesting that when you mention stuff like this, some people will always find a way to claim it is nonsense.
I think it's a desire for security amongst political turbulence - you say, this stuff is abstract and clean and without cultural baggage, so I can hide in it from the world, which is ugly and ambiguous and provokes uncomfortable reactions.
It's a kind of desire that's really common around engineering, mathsy people - I mean, part of the attraction of these subjects is you don't have to navigate anything sticky. So that's why it usually provokes a pretty extreme reaction if you profane the temple by bringing cultural stuff in.
It's a pretty good example of what people mean by free association - and why what I'm(1) doing isn't.
1- I mean, obviously I'm about the millionth person to make this particular observation.
I guess I was being generous with interpreting the parent comment, by mentioning the (possibly common and cross-cultural) visual association of a circle with womanhood, a straight vertical line with manhood.
I didn't mean to imply that the symbols for zero and one have direct historical origins in those ideas - like the parent comment might have suggested - but I do think there is a philosophical or artistic merit in drawing the analogy.
According to that page, in some contexts, a circle means female and a square means male, but I've never heard of that before either.
As for zero/circle/woman and one/vertical line/man.. I guess in my mind, they couldn't be more obvious, universal and simple - to put it crudely: the hole and the stick.
But also: off and on, dark and light, absence and presence.
(So far, I have found no historical evidence that supports the above theory, no basis in logic or fact. I'll leave it as idle speculation on a possible primordial/mythological way of thinking in pictures, with perhaps two of the most primitive symbols.)
To “turn on” a computer (using the push-button at the front, rather than by flipping a power-supply toggle-switch) is, then, actually to SET that flip-flop, feeding a high input to the NAND gate, which in turn will turn off the reset line to the CPU.
(And, vice-versa, if your computer has a “reset button” on the front like some old computers do, that one throws the flip-flop back to its RESET state, which puts the NAND gate back low, which brings the reset line to the CPU back high. Wiring for push-button toggles is weird!)
 https://www.raspberrypi.org/app/uploads/2012/04/Raspberry-Pi... In particular, see first page, D15
There is a tapered blue line with numbers, so is the wider end colder, because blue is cold and more blue is colder...or is the other end colder, because it has smaller numbers, and lower temperatures are smaller numbers?
A better way to do it that I've seen is to represent air flow with wavy lines or similar on the 'open' symbol.
So you can see why this is confusing
Next up: I'd love to see the sub/super proposal get some more attention and effort.
I'm not sure if I agree with you or not... Generally I'd say I do, but we're going to have a hard time "finding the line". Meaning what counts as "math"? Surely 1 + 1 is, as is ∇×𝐇, and we can start to do things like x⁰. However, what about a graph with nodes and edges (just as an example)? Is that "math"?
One things strikes me about strings of characters... you can select and copy/paste them (at least in my native alphabet of Latin) very reliably. This property is not present with Unicode in general.
Office apps support it, apparently, as one among many representations for math zones. A blog post on it:
1. A code-point that starts a fraction.
2. A code-point that separates the numerator from the denominator.
3. A code-point that ends the fraction.
[START][START]x[SEP]y[END][SEP]z[END] would be a fraction with a fraction inside.
Alas, I was told that was "exactly what Unicode doesn't want to endorse."
* most modern operating systems have hopefully sorted out their issues a long time ago.
Unicode is a clusterfuck exactly because the chain is too long and the implementation errors are too easy to make and the world is rife with incomplete implementations.
Look at any widely adopted standard, be it exit signage, networking protocols, time standards anything... you’ll find a cluster.
If you tore down every one of those and tried to rebuild “from first principles”, eventually it too will become a clusterfuck.
IMO, these processes should happen slowly.
Also spares you the problem of emoji implementation differences. https://www.mentalfloss.com/article/516048/22-emojis-look-co...
Except Android where the system fonts have to be updated by the manufacturer. What a fucking mess.
Google's Noto font hasn't released anything for 2 years. No idea if Apple's default font is open source.
I love emoji and have since I started using them in 1999 (weren't added to unicode til 2010). Most of my friends and family love them, it makes their communication richer and more easily nuanced so I'm really glad they were added.
Especially since many of them are outside the BMP, so adoption forced people to go beyond UCS-2.
Emoji were in color before they were added to Unicode. Even the original iPhone 3G Emoji release pre-dated their addition to Unicode (Apple used the SoftBank encoding). They were even in color on flip phones as far back as 1999 https://emojipedia.org/softbank/1999/
Seems a decent solution to me. Monochrome screens can just ignore the colour character.
As well as adding colour browsers display emoji at a larger point size. It is really annoying when some pre-emoji symbol (like the phases of the moon in TFA) gets emojified and where your document had some discreet use of symbols it now has huge colourful icons drawing the eye.
And afaict there is no way of turning off this behaviour globally.
Edit: apparently HN limits the number of emoji per post, I originally included several.
Redundancy has never been a problem with Unicode. After the decision was made to add the symbols of the original encoding to the list of Unicode characters, they had to add all heart variation, otherwise it wouldn't have been able to be backward compatible.
Or alternatively add a color modifier? I'm not sure that would have been a better solution.
I am surpeised HN allows any emoji an all. Pretty sure they have been totally banned in the past. It seems like the orange heart is now (or has always been) whitelisted. 🧡🧡🧡
I'm no character or Unicode expert - that's just a wild stab in the dark, largely based on why I dislike emoji being in Unicode.
I promise to never do that on HN again!
Besides, I love the slobbering ASCII guy ;-p~~~~ None of the emojis let you amplify slobber according to need like that.
If you have a better idea to enable people around the world to use computers in any language that doesnt look something like Unicode, I’m sure everybody will adopt it.
> For 99% of all development, Unicode is a non-issue.
Until it suddenly is an issue. Like, dealing with unpaired surrogates in Windows file paths.
I mean, we're talking about an encoding where you need a rather large database and quite a bit of code just to tell how many characters are actually in a string.
Applicable Version: Unicode 2.0+
Once a character is encoded, it will not be moved or removed.
This policy ensures that implementers can always depend on each version of the Unicode Standard being a superset of the previous version. The Unicode Standard may deprecate the character (that is, formally discourage its use), but it will not reallocate, remove, or reassign the character.
Apparently it's semantically fac·sim·i·le. Which means (according to Google) "an exact copy, especially of written or printed material."
My argument is something like, why not just write FAX. Or is the counter that some fonts will specialize this character to something closer to the native language? That seems unlikely, and instead people will probably learn that FAX means "to make alike", from Latin. Or is it that we need to make it just a little bit above the baseline to indicate that it's special. Surely "FAX" isn't the only thing that should be allowed to be special, right? But then that's a whole can of worms. Anyway, I'm rambling...
This was the best I could do in the limited time I had (I really should be asleep by now).
TEL 0123 45 67 89
FAX 0123 45 67 89-0
the "TEL" and "FAX" part should be superscript small capitals though. That's there these special symbols come in.
Some fonts also replace those with icons for phone/fax.
They're actually still in use in Germany today.
This would also fit best with the experience that people crafting cards or letterheads never really know all the intricacies of Word, or Unicode, or whatever they use, and just "make it look good" - use tabstops instead of tables, simply type FAX and mark it as superscript, etc...
I mean, that’s widely known anyway. Look at most letterhead templates online, pretty much all of them are broken and quite painful in the way they’re built. Broken tables, tabstops, all combined painfully.
Often enough proper tables would simplify a lot, if combined with columns one can create amazing things. If one even adds automated hide/unhide elements (e.g. page count, automated Internetmarke or hiding it if unused, etc) one can create stuff that’d save hours of work every day.
So far a court, a health insurance company, the national pension fund, and some municipal administrations I've had contact with all have accepted PDFs attached to emails just fine :)
And if you ever need actual fax functionality, the most common home router (Fritz!Box) has a virtual fax machine integration, so you can send and receive faxes with an app or an email gateway from your own VoIP SIP "landline" connection.
https://www.google.ca/search?q=define%3Afacsimile+machine "a device that can send or receive pictures and text over a telephone line."
This search is more appropriate.
I'm not convinced ⏾ conveys that meaning either, unless it's explicitly used alongside the other new symbols. And if it is used alongside those symbols, a couple of the existing moons could also work just fine.
(⏾ is appearing as tofu on HN for me, but I'm just going to roll with it.)
 The 13.3 Beta I'm currently running on my 6S Plus renders them fine.
Also here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Power_symbol#Unicode
Edit: This comment ended in man-shrugging, but Hacker News stripped the emoji.
Seems like a good time to ask this question again. Any new answers?
A spray can to represent spray paint, insect spray, or spray lubricant.
There's a power plug but no power socket.
There's no staples or stapler.
There are no appliances—no oven, microwave, toaster, mixer, washer, or vacuum cleaner.
There's no traffic cone.
I believe those are all trademarked. Unicode tries to avoid those.
> A spray can to represent spray paint, insect spray, or spray lubricant.
Interesting idea! I wonder if there'd be any interest in getting wider coverage of other bitmap paint tools: rectangular selection, lasso, paint bucket...
> There's a power plug but no power socket.
That's problematic from a localization perspective, as electrical sockets vary widely from country to country, and some of them may be difficult to recognize as a socket at a small size. For example, some European countries use a socket which is made of three circular pins in a straight line -- it'd just look like an ellipsis.
Besides, there isn't a lot of symbolic meaning that's conveyed by a socket that couldn't be expressed just as well with a plug.
> There's no staples or stapler.
Maybe. There isn't a lot of symbolic meaning to these either, though.
> There are no appliances—no oven, microwave, toaster, mixer, washer, or vacuum cleaner.
A lot of those will just look like white boxes at text size, and -- again -- they don't have a lot of symbolic meaning.
You might be able to make a case for an upright vacuum cleaner, though, since that's visually distinctive and is associated with cleaning.
> There's no traffic cone.
Oh, I like that idea. It's got some symbolic meanings, too, like "warning" and "under construction". There is already a construction sign (U+1F6A7), though.
For cleaning, a broom is probably better than a vacuum cleaner.
A broom already exists 🧹
The Bluetooth logo is two runes, which perhaps could have a zero width joiner between them in iOS emoji abuse style.
The traffic cone would be good for VLC! They could give rename their app so the name matches the icon :-) That got me thinking: are there any common apps that use emojis in their name?
The mouse pointer symbol.
More than one breed of dog.
A hiking/backpack emoji would be useful at times, but then a lot of other activities could make it in: Rollerblades, music instruments, etc.
One pet peeve of mine is the "person shrugging"  emoji looking identical to "woman shrugging"  with most fonts. I prefer to use genderless emoji, but that does NOT look genderless. I also dislike skin color selectors, but again, that's personnal preferrence.
> We had the very generous help of Bruce Nordman, who was involved in the original IEEE 1621 standard.
Last time I checked, just over 13% of the available public space was allocated. Most of the planes remain unused.
You can blame UTF-16 for this mess. Unicode was originally meant to be able to encode two billions (2^31) characters. It bent over backwards to accommodate the limits of the bastard child that is UTF-16.
That line at the end made me smile.
... so yes, as per convention it should have a (2016). The best way to get the message to the mods is via email (using the Contact link at the bottom of the page).
> "So, ⭘ is our ½ character "
This page may help: https://decodeunicode.org/en/u+02B58
The character is only half a character.
There, I just did.
To avoid that issue you're back to either adding a backslash, or doubling up the character inside the blob... but if you're doing that you could have just used " all along. No need for new characters!
If you really don't want to change the contents of the blob, and can't length-prefix, then you could also use a new UUID as your delimiter each time you embed a blob.
And you still didn't explain why the existing ASCII control codes don't solve your problem. The suitable ones are also not supposed to appear inside text.
(SOH header STX body ETX)⁺ EOT
Turtles all the way down....
If so, if I'm not mistaken, this is actually less efficient than just using Base64 encoding.
When you put those Unicode characters into UTF-8, the first 128 code points are going to require one byte (with a leading 0 bit). The other 128 of them are going to require two bytes. So that's 50% overhead (assuming the blob's bytes are evenly distributed) because half of the values have 0% overhead and the other half have 100% overhead.
Meanwhile, Base64 sticks 6 bits in each encoded character. In 4 characters, you can fit 3 bytes of your raw info. So that's only 33% overhead.