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Smilies and other emoticons - now allowed

The EuroGA system does not support these. If you include them in your post, the post gets chucked out and you get a message like this

For those technical among you, it is basically these. It looks like all these use 4 bytes and all are codes above 0×7F (127 decimal) i.e. non printing characters. On the airport database project we will simply be stripping these out, among other data validation measures. However, the issue is too expensive to fix right now on EuroGA which is written in Ruby and there is a vast amount of code.

This issue used to crash the PM system, years ago, but that was fixed. I don’t know how it was fixed (whether the emoticons get stripped out, etc) but as far as is known the PM system is now entirely reliable. Well, obviously, subject to the usual spam email filters at the receiving end…

There is also a general cross platform issue with emoticons. People expect them to “just work” but they don’t – example.

You can use the typed emojis e.g. :) (colon followed by a round bracket) etc. These are all “printable” characters. And the forum text entry form has the two emoticons

It is possible for me to add new ones but it hasn’t been an issue in recent years.

In forum posts, supporting graphics drag/drop, you can obviously also drop in a small graphic which contains an emoticon.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Some work has been done on this issue.

The ability to store these four-byte characters in the message database was there for years, but somehow got dropped in the move to the new server early in 2019. It is now back, so a post should not just vanish if you drop in an emoticon from an Iphone etc

BUT these characters should still be avoided, because they are not cross-platform compatible. An Iphone/Ipad emoticon will look right on another Apple device, but on Android an Iphone smiley is likely to look like this

and on Chrome on a PC it looks like this

Avoid them in PMs too, for the same reason.

Also, some emoticons (e.g. ones from Android devices) can still look strange (depending on which fonts you have accessible in your browser) or cause problems. For example this, from an Android phone

looks like thison my PC (win7-64, Chrome)


Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

From here

When I had a smilie at the end, I got this on two posting attempts:
Oops. Something isn’t right

Try following links from the home page. If it still doesn’t work please do get in touch and quote reference b96f9b8ce.

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EGPE, United Kingdom

Sory Maoraigh I don’t understand. What did you try to do?

The EuroGA software tries to filter out invalid characters and perhaps you tried to insert a smiley from a phone, tablet, Mac, etc? Emoticons are mostly not cross-platform compatible, and while some seem to work in the forum, some will cause a post to “bomb” (nothing gets posted and you may get an error message). One has to stick to simple text, and you have the two emoticons available above the text entry box. Others can be dropped in as a graphic in the usual way – see Posting Tips.

I did look up the error code on the server and indeed this is one of the four-byte emoticons

Exception Message: Incorrect string value: ’\xF0\x9F\x99\x82"

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

I just added a smilie. I tried to submit twice, and copied the whole error page.
I removed the smilie, and submitted with no problem.
Just posted error page for your information. You ould delete it and this to keep thread on subject.
I only posted it as it might be useful info for you/techie guy.

EGPE, United Kingdom

That’s great; I was amazed I actually found the cause. Normally the inner workings of the software are a mystery to me

Just use the smileys provided

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

I used my own smilie because your ones don’t appear. I looked for them in a post on. “Aircraft” a few minutes ago. Not obvious.

EGPE, United Kingdom

That is a mystery then. What device are you using, what browser, and what operating system?

Normally, when editing, you should see this bar above the text entry box

If you don’t see, it, go to your profile and under Preferences you should see these two items

and tick both of them.

Can you see these two smileys →

Posts moved to a new thread @Maoraigh.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

David has done a lot of work on this and emoticons inserted from a client device (the browser, basically) are now allowed.

Previously they would mostly “crash” the system and you got an error message.

They are not standardised however so you will tend to find that stuff like these will work

while these probably won’t

Also in some browsers they show up as monochrome. I am testing on win7-64 and find that Chrome and Edge displays them in mono while Firefox displays them in colour.

Also I have no idea how one enter emoticons when typing on a PC. There is probably an add-on on-screen keypad…

The two emoticons built into EuroGA

will work fine in all situations. There is a process whereby I can add emoticons to that feature but it is fairly complicated.

For the technical people, these client emoticons are four-byte UTF-8 characters. The database had to be modified to support them.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom


Airline/Mentor/Safety/Instructor - Pilot
Based Austria | Operating Worldwide
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