?????? July 14, 2008 11:50 AM   Subscribe

Noticed that this post has what might be Unicode replacement characters instead of (presumably) Cyrillic characters in its tags. Er?

This replacement character (conventionally and, it seems, in metafilter) is a question mark (?) and gets treated as a query separator (also a ? by convention, I'd imagine) when clicking it in the tags display.

Am I missing something?
posted by electronslave to Bugs at 11:50 AM (12 comments total)

No, ??????? is the actual tag. I don't see a problem with that.
posted by blue_beetle at 11:53 AM on July 14, 2008

We're supposed to only allow English letters and numbers in tags, and we need to beef up our tag input areas to enforce that rule. We do this because the tags are used in URLs. So you're not missing anything—we're missing a step in our tag input process.

I removed the garbled tags from the post.
posted by pb (staff) at 11:57 AM on July 14, 2008

pb, oh okay. I just wound up having horrible flashbacks to input validation circa 2001.
posted by electronslave at 12:10 PM on July 14, 2008

Is it restricted to English letters/numbers only to make validation easier or for some other reason? After all, there's no reason you can't have Cyrillic characters in URLs.
posted by skynxnex at 12:16 PM on July 14, 2008

Well that's an ugly URL:
posted by smackfu at 12:24 PM on July 14, 2008

"I ? UNICODE" shirts
posted by Plutor at 12:33 PM on July 14, 2008

skynxnex, we decided to go the English-only route so tag URLs are readable/guessable (as smackfu pointed out).

And thanks, Plutor. T-Shirt: Ordered.
posted by pb (staff) at 1:02 PM on July 14, 2008

This is why we can't have nicely tagged Chinese topics :( It is such a blow to the utility of the site that we may as well delete the entire database and start from scratch. It would be the only reasonable thing to do.
posted by Abiezer at 1:31 PM on July 14, 2008

I agree with pb's point, but wanted to point out that skynxnex's URL is not ugly in all browsers. In mine, everything after "/wiki/" is nice-looking Cyrillic -- both in the status bar before navigation and in the address bar and title bar after navigation. No '%' characters at all. (Tested in Safari 3.1 and Firefox 3.0 on OS X.)
posted by sdodd at 2:58 PM on July 14, 2008

"I ? UNICODE" shirts

I went to that page and saw there was a t-shirt with the slogan "MySQL is the WinME of Databases."

When I Googled the phrase, it asked me: "Did you mean: MySQL is the Winner of Databases?"
posted by camcgee at 3:06 PM on July 14, 2008

It's more fun to believe that all other languages just use question marks instead of letters. And the real skill is in the readers who are able to see ????? ?? ???? ???? and know that it means "Breaking news: Fire found to be hot!"
posted by quin at 3:49 PM on July 14, 2008

I agree with pb's point, but wanted to point out that skynxnex's URL is not ugly in all browsers.

Very old Firefox bug/feature. Changed as part of FF3.
posted by smackfu at 6:49 AM on July 15, 2008

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