Dingbats

Hixie goes a bit mental in “One, two, thr-ooooh…” after looking at loads of little Unicode glyphs for too long. Is it me or are most of those things dingbats rather than any kind of vaguely likely letterform? You get the impression that the Unicode people said, “OK, we used to be limited to 256 characters but now we’ve got loads of space — anyone got any daft little pictures they want to chuck into the spec?”, sniggering as they went. Much like the way that IP ranges are running out so the IPv6 people vastly overspecced the IPv6 range, so every atom in the universe can have a million IP addresses or whatever it is. The legacy of the Y2K problem is that everyone is really trying hard to make sure nothing ever runs out of space ever again.

If I engineer code that I expect to be in use for N years, I make damn sure that every internal limit is at least 10x larger than the largest I can conceive of a user making reasonable use of at the end of those N years. The invariable result is that the N years pass, and fewer than half of the users have bumped into the limit. (Tim Peters)

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