• Quite (unregistered)

    What is particularly amusing is the way the if .. elseif statements are configured so as to read like a car starting up on a cold morning.

    If elseif. (Dammit.) If elseif elseif. (Oh come on, old girl.) If elseif elseif elseif elseif elseif elseif elseif elseif elseif ... (ahh, that's better.)

  • Joel (unregistered)

    "so that “ä” and “å” were treated as the same character when searching"

    But why? å and ä and a are different characters. Anyone searching for "kräm" (paste or cream in Swedish) wouldn't want results for "kram" (hug) or "kråm" (entrails). Please don't do this.

  • labberdasher (unregistered) in reply to Joel

    Names, dear, names. In my typeahead I want "Müller" to generate a hit on "Müller", "Muller", and "Mueller". And vice versa all around.

  • Alec (unregistered) in reply to Joel

    But why? å and ä and a are different characters. Anyone searching for "kräm" (paste or cream in Swedish) wouldn't want results for > "kram" (hug) or "kråm" (entrails). Please don't do this.

    Depends. I don't have either å or ä (or ) on my keyboard, but if I want to spend my vacation in Västerås, I expect to find it searching for Vasteras.

  • Martin (unregistered)

    Just convert anything outside the decimal range 32 ... 127 into an _. Job done. Who wants all these fscking Umlaute and Chinese funny symbols. Todays computers still work best with 7 bit ASCII characters. Imagine all the saved memory and headaches dealing with UTF-8, which is a devil's invention.

  • PWolff (nodebb)

    We should have avoided the invention of lower-case letters in the first place.

    And stuck to the good old about 20 letter Phoenikian alphabet.

    Btw, dear Mr Contractor, we want to localize this app to Greece and Russia.

  • Nicholas "LB" Braden (github)

    At least Perl 6 is doing strings right, Remy.

  • Tim (unregistered)

    Clunky but not really a WTF. Nesting the "else"s would have been a WTF

  • Ditto (unregistered)
    Comment held for moderation.
  • Janez (unregistered)

    At least he is documenting the code!

  • Randal L. Schwartz (github)

    If ASCII was good enough for God and Jesus to speak in the King James Bible, it's good enough for everyone.

  • Quite (unregistered)

    Call me Mister Naïve, sitting here in my internet café, but can't we just limit our œuvres to make sure we coördinate our operations so they work in the English language only? Then such irritations vanish with nary a soupçon of trouble -- no awkward diæreses or other diacritics, just good ole ASCII.

  • BaconBits (nodebb) in reply to Joel
    Comment held for moderation.
  • Ashley Sheridan (google) in reply to labberdasher

    That's ridiculous. I can perform a search in a database and perform standard comparisons and ordering regardless of whether it's an a, à, ä, å, or ă.

    If your code or database isn't capable of doing this, then consider using something else that can.

  • BaconBits (nodebb) in reply to Ashley Sheridan

    That's ridiculous. I can perform a search in a database and perform standard comparisons and ordering regardless of whether it's an a, à, ä, å, or ă.

    Well, you're only able to do that because someone else has written code that knows how to do accent insensitive searches. This is writing code that itself will handle it.

    Say you're writing code that needs to translate Unicode names into RFC 5322 compliant email addresses because you know you'll have to support systems that don't support internationalized email addresses for probably the next decade (RFC 6530 is still at PROPOSED status). That means stripping diacritics since RFC 5322 specifies only a very limited number of valid characters in the US ASCII code page for addresses.

  • Sat (unregistered) in reply to Joel

    So if I want to hug the cream coming out of entrails i would kram kråm kräm?

  • Herby (unregistered)

    Simple solution...convert everything to EBCDIC. If it was good enough for IBM mainframes, it should work everywhere!!

  • IDatecapitalh (unregistered)

    Is failing to convert Ĥ and Ħ better or worse than substituting them with 'D'?

  • mihi (nodebb)

    You would be surprised to hear how many (sometimes US-centric, sometimes not) companies do not support anything except (uppercase) A-Z, 0-9 and space in their APIs (especially bad are airlines...).

    Which means that if you want to book a flight and your name contains any non-ASCII chars, you theoretically have to ask the user to spell his name in ASCII again (especially for Cyrillic names there is no other way as transliteration depends on the language used). But for giving an initial value, a "good" way (which should handle all the cases in the submitted code and even more) is to convert to NFKD form (java's Normalizer class can do that for you), uppercase the result and then strip all the nonsupported characters (which also strips all the Combining diacritics that were separated from the base letters due to NFKD decomposition).

    In case you want something "better" (handling more cases), there is a "unidecode" library (available at least for Perl, Python and Java), which basically looks like the sample code posted, but using a bigger and more structured lookup table, and containing a lot more characters (including Chinese ones and currency symbols) - but in practice (at least when dealing with typical European Latin names), the normalize and strip approach works well enough.

    Since I'm German I also know the exceptions for German names (ae oe ue ss), which can be hard-coded, but may not work for Turkish or Swedish people (so don't use them everywhere...)

  • Moosie (unregistered)

    There's another issue with the little snippet used at the top (repeated here for your viewing pleasure):

    if (index == 292 && index == 294) { resultCharacterIndexes.add(68);//H }

    ASCII 68 is not "H" - it's "D". In the full code block, "D" is listed, and it uses 68. Of course, neither of those will ever appear in the output, as they both require the quantum version of the index variable that can hold two values at once, but still, another example of why magic numbers are bad.

  • Robert Hanson (unregistered)

    and no comments about "source"? Last time I checked, there are still plenty of good variable names available for the taking -- I have a special today on the name "result"; just $5.00 and you can have "result" and any of the variations possible by introducing diacritical marks.

  • thosrtanner (unregistered) in reply to Randal L. Schwartz

    My version of the King James Bible has ligatures and diphthongs, which are definitely not in the Ascii character set.

    also - pretty sure that third image wasn't a cookie, as it has two of them with cream between them.

  • löchlein deluxe (unregistered) in reply to Martin

    Ah, you work for the local council. For my next passport, they will want to see my birth certificate, since their software was 7-bit only, and now they don't know if your name is Müller or Mueller. Or probably M_ller.

  • Scarlet_Manuka (nodebb)

    TRWTF is Remy's comment:

    <!-- Now, maybe they were thinking about how a single displayed character can be created out of multiple codepoints, but I doubt it, and even if they were, they certainly screwed it up. -->

    Why on earth would anyone think that? Obviously they wanted to convert Ĥ and Ħ into H but stuffed it up - probably copying from the code for Ď and Đ since that has the same logical error and (as pointed out by IDatecapitalh and Moosie) the output character is "D" rather than "H".

    Oh, I see - Remy was misinterpreting 292 and 294 as hex rather than decimal and thought they meant ʒ and ʔ rather than Ĥ and Ħ. That also explains the "may ʒ and ʔ you" bit, which seemed bizarrely phrased when I read it. (Of course, bizarre phrasings are not exactly unknown on TDWTF.)

    The main trouble with this sort of approach, apart from being a pain in the arse to do, is that you're inevitably going to miss weird possibilities - as soon as someone shows up with a ƀ they're going to have to add another case to their statement. I do agree with Remy's main point: if you have to do this sort of thing, you should be trying really really hard to use a collation that someone else has already written, instead of creating your own from scratch.

  • Overpaid Consultant (unregistered) in reply to Joel

    Somehow I feel that if you--as a Swede interested in your country's history--wanted to find information about 17th century Swedish nobles and entered 'Claes Baner' as the search term, you would expect to see Claës Banér among your search results.

    And in the case the forum messes up diacritics, it's 'Claës' with edieresis and 'Banér' with eacute.

  • Herr Otto Flick (unregistered) in reply to Ashley Sheridan

    That's just crazy talk - the language I plan on using can't even left pad a string.

  • Norman Diamond (unregistered)

    Which means that if you want to book a flight and your name contains any non-ASCII chars, you theoretically have to ask the user to spell his name in ASCII again (especially for Cyrillic names there is no other way as transliteration depends on the language used).

    Practice doesn't match theory. Some airlines' web sites told my wife to input her name exactly as it appears in her passport. Her name in her passport includes Ñ. Some airlines' web sites barfed when she obeyed instructions.

    In case you want something "better" (handling more cases), there is a "unidecode" library (available at least for Perl, Python and Java), which basically looks like the sample code posted, but using a bigger and more structured lookup table, and containing a lot more characters (including Chinese ones and currency symbols)

    Fail. 神戸 can be either Kobe or Kanbe. 幸恵 can be either Yukie or Sachie. In such cases a passport includes an ASCII spelling as well as the original name, but there's no way a library will guess which.

  • Norman Diamond (unregistered)

    Call me Mister Naïve, sitting here in my internet café, but can't we just limit our œuvres to make sure we coördinate our operations so they work in the English language only? Then such irritations vanish with nary a soupçon of trouble -- no awkward diæreses or other diacritics, just good ole ASCII.

    That makes ¢.

    No wait, that's American language not English language. Time to go £ some ¢ into ʃomeone.

  • jgh (unregistered)

    err... setlocale(whatever) and then something something plaintext(something). CBA to actually look it up, but somebody being tasked to actually write the code should do automatically before even flexing their fingers.

  • Chris Hennick (google)

    TRWTF is the syntax highlighting that makes the if-condition, its closing bracket, and the opening curly all look like comments.

  • Chris Hennick (google) in reply to Norman Diamond
    Comment held for moderation.
  • Mikael (unregistered) in reply to Alec

    As a Swede living in a small town next to Västerås, I fail to see why anyone would ever want to spend their vacation there, it's probably the ugliest city in Sweden.

    But I see your point.

  • Mikael (unregistered)

    I would say it's also the wrong solution to the problem. Why not do like a soundex search or something like that instead of doing some arbitrary conversion that might change the semantics.

  • Barf 4Eva (unregistered) in reply to Herby

    You, sir, are evil.

  • urkerab (nodebb) in reply to Scarlet_Manuka

    Remy was misinterpreting 292 and 294 as hex rather than decimal

    He can't even use the excuse that he accidentally wrote them as ʒ and ʔ in the source rather than Ĥ and Ħ.

    Addendum 2016-04-28 06:28: Edit: The markdown previewer I used doesn't do &#; escapes, sigh.

  • Joel (unregistered) in reply to labberdasher

    This is what spelling correction is for. Converting ä to a becomes very annoying for the native speaker. What if you're looking for Muller but the search engine insists on giving you Müller? How would you tell it to stop doing that?

  • Joel (unregistered) in reply to Alec

    So you want a search engine with spelling correction. Not one that mixes up different characters.

  • Joel (unregistered) in reply to BaconBits

    And as a native speaker of a language with å, ä and ö, I can tell you that it is very annoying when search engines mix them up. Spelling correction is much more useful.

  • Joel (unregistered) in reply to Sat

    Yeah! Or rather: "krama kråmkräm" which actually sounds disgusting.

  • Joel (unregistered) in reply to Overpaid Consultant

    Yes, I would want it to suggest the correct spelling (or even return those hits - with an option to search for claës banér instead). I would bot want it to confuse the letters. What if there are hundreds of banérs and one baner? How would I tell it to search for baner if it doesn't know the difference?

  • justanotherloser (unregistered) in reply to Joel

    Because we speak American here.

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