Some of you... surprisingly few of you - seems like my last post giving a +1 to Facebook was too much credit given too early - Some of you may have seen the latest picture I posted in the art section, and wondered, "WTF is UTF-8?" And, "When did the Roach develop a 6 pack?" While I shall explain the former, I shall leave you hanging on the latter, because I like watching you bite your nails in anticipation...

So, the story goes like this. In the last post, I also mentioned how Facebook is rolling out the Open Graph to all of us, and how I was looking for new Social Plugins. While I explored the same old ones for probably the 1623rd time, I noticed they had changed one thing. They now had the plugin code available in iframe, fbml, and... html5. Hmm. I happen to like the HTML5 logo, and to be able to proudly display it here, I decided I just had to convert my pages to the HTML5 standard.

While I was going about this task, I also realized that for some reason, I was not following the almost universal UTF-8 character set on my pages... so being the proactive creature that I am, I decided to switch to UTF-8 on all my pages, without realizing the implications of my actions. The Roach is quite human at times...

The problem with UTF-8 is that it does not know how to display things like ellipses (...) which I happen to use an unhealthy amount of; or nice things like quotation marks that are angled in at the start and end of a sentence. These characters are helpfully inserted by MS Word to make what you type look nicer, but are not part of the UTF-8 character set that most of teh Internets uses.

You may wonder what MS Word has to do with the stuff you read here. Well I have a confession to make - the Roach is terrible with spellings. So he usually types out stuff like this post in Word, before letting his fans see it, lest they forget when an e must come before an i themselves. And the evil MS product changes all his well intentioned " into “ and ... into … monsters. So now all the Roach's literary works on this site are infested with “ characters that he must painstakingly hunt down, one by one, and destroy... Kicking them individually into an unnaturally dark well while inexplicably screaming "This is TeeeAiiiiaaaRRRRRR!" is hard on the vocal chords, so the Roach has decided to take them all on together.

I may not have explained what UTF-8 is really, but I guess I've explained the above work of art. On an unrelated note, the Roach's wisdom tooth is currently having an "out of body" experience. No it was not a result of fighting the “s.

The HTML5 logo used here is a modified version of the original created by the talented people at the W3C. You can find it, and other variations, here.