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Re: accessible sites in i-mode

From: Masayasu Ishikawa <mimasa@w3.org>
Date: Sat, 13 Jul 2002 17:17:50 +0900 (JST)
Message-Id: <20020713.171750.74751218.mimasa@w3.org>
To: shanx@shanx.com, inekemaa@xs4all.nl
Cc: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org

"Shashank Tripathi" <shanx@shanx.com> wrote:

>     | How can I make the so called emojis accessible? And how 
>     | to change their default colours when I don't want to use 
>     | the font-element and CSS can not be used?
> 
> Again, I don't know what you mean by making emojis
> (http://snipurl.com/imode_emojis) accessible?

Actually so-called emojis are one of the most tricky part of i-mode
which could make i-mode-optimized sites inaccessible outside i-mode,
not just accessibility context.

> I am sure you know how to use emojis, but this
> is an example: 
> 
>   <a href="login.htm">&#63869;</a>
> 
> This will show up on a phone screen as a key icon, with a link to
> login.htm. Is that "accessible" given that it is a key icon (indicating
> some sort of lock, i.e., security/login) and is clickable to take user
> to login.htm? 

It would only work on i-mode phones in Japan, and I guess it won't work
on i-mode phones in Germany, the Netherlands and Taiwan, let alone all
the other platforms.

The most serious design mistake i-mode made, IMHO, is that it defined
Shift_JIS as the only supported character encoding (which is OK) but
used it as if it is the document character set (i.e. &#63869; represents
that code point in Shift_JIS encoding), which is completely wrong.
The document character set of HTML is the Universal Character Set,
a.k.a, UCS, regardless of character encoding schemes, thus a numeric
charecter reference always refers to a code point in UCS.

So, &#63869; would be redered as a key icon in i-mode phones in Japan,
but &#63869; in UCS is a CJK compatibility ideograph which has nothing
to do with a key icon, and that would cause serious interoperatibily
problem.

It seems NTT DoCoMo finally recognized this problem as they plan to
deploy i-mode service outside Japan - Shift_JIS is not a de facto
standard character encoding outside Japan.  For example, they chose
windows-1252 as the character encoding for i-mode service in Europe.
So they have changed emoji assignments, mapped them into Private Use
Area (PUA) of UCS.

Thus, in the latest i-mode spec, a key icon is &#59097; (U+E6D9), and
old Shift_JIS numbers are deprecated.  I guess that would work on
i-mode phones outside Japan and also on the brand-new 504i series
i-mode phones in Japan, but still, it won't work on other platforms
as there's no guarantee for interoperability if you use PUA.  After
all, PUA is only for _private use_.

My personal recommendation is "don't use emojis", if you care for
interoperability.

Regards,
-- 
Masayasu Ishikawa / mimasa@w3.org
W3C - World Wide Web Consortium
Received on Saturday, 13 July 2002 04:17:53 GMT

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