2

Cmon, now. Apparently using a hyperbolic writing style is grounds for marking things as "unclear".

The question very clearly describes a scenario in which the UTF-8 standard would have to be greatly expanded, and the effects/feasibility of such an act. The question has garnered many direct and concrete answers ranging from historical considerations to mathematical limitations.


One argument for the closing of the discussion was that it would be hard to search for (I'm assuming that's the reason for throwing a random link at me, anyway). However, aside from SEO considerations there are, at the time of this writing, 40 questions tagged unicode and 15 tagged utf-8.

If the answer to whomever's question cannot be found among the 52 questions on this site because of the way the question was posed, then they're not going to find it on this site at all.

It was garnering a good amount of information that I have yet to find aggregated into a single place other than the RFC for unicode (which doesn't address alien invasion hypotheticals, mind you), and the closure of the post yielded a missed opportunity for a potentially revealing and informative answer. Not to mention a diamond mod closed it in a mere 30 seconds or so, which leads me to believe it wasn't read in-full to begin with (link is generously written by one of the opponents to the question at hand).

Is this what I should expect from Programmers.SE?

  • 1
    I thought the question was interesting, on-topic, and I learned something from it. It's the kind of question I'd want to see on this site. – Rachel Nov 24 '15 at 15:44
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    @Rachel - I thought the question was click-bait, off-topic, excessively broad, and definitely not the kind of question I'd want to see on this site. Notice what I did there? – GlenH7 Nov 24 '15 at 15:51
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    Qix - you should double check those timestamps. I read your question twice before placing my vote-to-close on your question. Oded placed his vote after mine, so he would have had plenty of time to read the question. – GlenH7 Nov 24 '15 at 15:54
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    If this isn't the kind of rich information you want on this site, then maybe Stack Exchange isn't a place towards which I'd like to contribute any further. – Qix Nov 24 '15 at 16:14
  • @gnat No. My question very clearly asks about the integrity of the UTF-8 standard in such a scenario. Why are you so adamant about closing my question or morphing it into something it wasn't meant to be? Were you abducted at some point in your life? – Qix Nov 24 '15 at 17:28
  • @Qix You received several good answers and a bunch of rep, and the question was quickly re-opened. This is really not what I'd call a fiasco. As for the edits, we encourage people to edit posts, I don't think anyone was out of line here. That said, we also encourage people to rollback edits they don't like, especially on their own posts. Which you did, and all is good again. Until the invasion, that is. – yannis Nov 24 '15 at 17:55
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    Would it be possible to take out the 3/4 of the question that is about aliens and not about unicode? – user40980 Nov 24 '15 at 18:02
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    @MichaelT Typically if I edit a question, and the author does not like the edit and rolls it back, I just leave it alone. It's their question. If the original version of the question results in it being closed, so be it. In this case, the original version of the question appears to be fine, so I don't see any reason why we should be editing it to suit personal preferences. – Rachel Nov 24 '15 at 20:01
3

I've reopened. I don't see a problem with the question as a whole. The title is more click-baity than what we're used to, but I don't think that's necessarily a problem. If someone wanted to edit that, they could.

2

I think this question could benefit greatly from simply rewriting it to not have the "alien" focus.

For example, "can UTF-8 support a new language with millions of specific character glyphs?"

Right now, it seems to be a hyperbolic "aliens!" question.

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    But... aliens... :( What's wrong with letting a little personality show through in our questions? I still thought it was very clear and got the hypothetical point across nicely. – Rachel Nov 24 '15 at 16:03
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    @Rachel neither answer addresses this. Which makes it fluff (and confusing/click baity)... – enderland Nov 24 '15 at 16:04
  • On the contrary, I think proposing a hyperbole of a scenario and the concerns it presents then well-defines what happens in much more "real" scenarios. I firmly believe learning from absolutes is more revealing than learning by simple "what ifs". As did several other users, I learned something and did so by attracting attention to a question that would otherwise have been neglected. – Qix Nov 24 '15 at 16:06
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    @enderland If you really hate the title, you could replace the "a vast alien language" with "a vast new language", but I wouldn't want to modify the context of the question at all as I think it does provide a good hypothetical to help clearly understand the question itself. As a side note, I did not find the title "cick-baity" at all... that is usually reserved for titles that provide a teaser and suggestion of "click here to see the rest of it", such as "10 things, and you won't believe #4!". It's not the same as "interesting title", which I think this is :) – Rachel Nov 24 '15 at 16:10
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    @Rachel I have no desire to start an edit war on a question which basically is a single sentence, "how many characters are still available in UTF-8?" question dressed up to be a commentary about an alien invasion. – enderland Nov 24 '15 at 16:12
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    @enderland if you actually read my question, you'd see that is indeed not the question I'm asking. – Qix Nov 24 '15 at 16:13
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    @Qix that seems fairly strongly to suggest that your question is unclear, doesn't it... perhaps since the first 3/4 paragraphs are only asking about this (and not the glyph aspect - if that's the key part of your question why is there so much fluff in the question detracting from that point?)... – enderland Nov 24 '15 at 16:16
  • @enderland I feel like I've already beat this horse into the ground, but I was proposing a hyperbolic hypothetical that presents a real-world scenario in terms of the expansion of UTF-8. If you can't understand that from reading the question, that isn't my problem. – Qix Nov 24 '15 at 16:18

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