Thoth’s Pill – an Animated History of Writing

You don’t normally find an educational video on YouTube ticks at 44 minutes mark, but I would strongly recommend you check this out if you are into this kind of things like me. Thoth’s Pill – an Animated History of Writing talks about writing systems across the world and what linguists think, as of present, how they had evolved.

The more you understand this, the more you would realize the traditional definition of ethnic groups/race cease to apply to the real world, and monoculture nation-states will never work beyond a few million people.

When work cease to …… work

One of the downside being a middle manager in the office is the loss of focus on the big picture and focused on getting your team, your company, and your product to succeed. The article, F**k work” by James Livingston, asks for application of universal basic income, and what’s the shift of mindset the world would need to make that happen.

To me, it serves as a bloody reminder of what work is essentially about to individuals within the society, and what it has been unfulfilling for most of the people in the society (those who maybe ended up gave us Trump).

The broader issue covered by this post is how the economy can work without sank generations of creativity into just for bread and butter of their families. I have to admit that I immediately think of the Star Trek Federation society upon reaching this paragraph, where people work because of their aspirations and sense of achievement.

Incidentally, I have been reading The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work by Alain de Botton, and he too touches the meaning of work. Finland recently became the first country implementing universal basic income, but it applied as a tool for welfare reform, not a challenge to the meaning of work itself.

I don’t know what can be done to bring this kind of massive social change, something so fundamental, almost since the beginning of the human civilization. Nonetheless, we must remain helpful as that’s the only way to keep the dream alive.

Big5 與 WHATWG Encoding Standard

到了 2017 年還是要講 Big5 編碼……這篇算是 But 的 Big5-UAO 從頭說起的續篇。

WHATWG Encoding Standard 是一個用 WHATWG 名義發表,試圖最後一次解決規範瀏覽器對 Web 的不同編碼的行為的規格書,還有提供標準的 DOM API。大約幾年前開始,規格書的編輯就和 MozTW 社群這邊討論,想要知道要如何產生一個統一的 Web 使用的 Big5 字碼表。

XKCD: 標準規範

討論滿攏長的,總之最後的結論是因為在 Web 上沒有看到顯著的使用 Big5-UAO 編碼的網站,所以 Web 應該使用基於 Big5-HKSCS 的字碼表。那個字碼表後來也就和 Encoding Standard 一起被發表出來且實作在 Firefox 43 中。

當初其實和 but 一樣有點錯愕(或是哀傷)的,不過想想台灣(或是台灣的原 Big5-UAO 使用者)比起香港能夠先拋棄 Big5,到一種 Web 上量不到有使用狀況的情況,其實是一種成就啊。Big5-UAO 在 PTT 等環境的使用對使用者來說也是近乎透明的(由 BBS Client 直接支援),也算對這個字碼表的地位的重要承認。

會突然想起這事,後來也發現是因為跟 HKSCS 有關:#whatwg 上面在問 Encoding Standard 表的重複對應問題,研究之後發現是因為 Big5-HKSCS 沒有處理,把變成重複編碼只對應到單一的 Unicode 字碼導致的。原本 Big5 的重複文字有兩個,會對應到 CJK Compatibility Ideographs 去。

我昨天也就順手更新了 MozTW 網站上那份 Mozilla 系列與 Big5 中文字碼文件(不知為何後來就變成我維護了)。希望這次是最後一次更新了。相關的討論都有在那份文件上連結,可供參考。