Emoji Support

I think diaspora* should support emojis.

Emojis are Unicode smileys that originate from Japan. They were popularized by their integration in smartphone keyboards. They are very, very popular and are quickly becoming a standard in smiley usage. In fact, the Global Language Monitor determined that the heart emoji was last year’s most popular “word”.

Read more about emoji characters on Wikipedia.

However, even if they are widely supported on iOS and Android, emoji characters are very poorly supported on desktops and on the Web. See an example here. You should not see squares.

To remedy this problem, developers created Emoji One, an open source collection of emoji characters that are embedded directly on the Web. Twitter did the same, and now share their emojis with WordPress.com.

I suggest that diaspora* should do the same. I find emojis cute, they are becoming an open standard and they are very efficient in sharing feelings over the network.

Are you a developer? If you are interested in this idea, take a look at this page and this page.


I bet some people will assume that emojis automatically replaces traditional text smileys/emoticons like :slight_smile: or :frowning:

This is wrong!

As you read earlier, emojis have their own Unicode characters. For example, a grinning face is Unicode U+1F603 (:smiley:). No need to setup something like a system that replaces :grin: with an image!

Oh, and you don’t like emojis? Well emojis are Unicode characters, so not displaying them properly because you don’t approve them would be censorship! Diaspora* users should have the free speech to spam their contacts with how many emojis they like. :wink:

Note: This discussion was imported from Loomio. Click here to view the original discussion.

I think that Diaspora should support the full Unicode set, if possible. I support this.

I tested emoji support in diaspora* and it is… null for now.

For example, if I share “:mouse:”, the Preview shows me the mouse (:mouse:), but after I send the message we lose the mouse!

Result: a nice, empty post. :confused:

Support for unicode emoji is in place. Only MySQL had problems with it, and they are solved now. Pods that used Postgres already supported them.
I’m working on the support for twemoji. It should be done today.

Here is the mouse :stuck_out_tongue:

Multumim, Dumitru, foarte tare ca faci asta, ma bucur ca exista si romani care se pricep la diaspora* pe-aici :slight_smile:

Thanks so much for implementing this, and sorry for the above message in a non-English speaking language :wink:

It’s almost there, although I have to find the right hooks, so it will be efficient and the screen will always be up-to-date.

@camil yeah, I will try to bring more romanian/moldovan developers around here. It’s a very cool project, it deserves more attention.

Feel free to ping me at dima ceata org, or on IRC, I would be glad to get to know you :wink:

We already have a thread about that topic: https://www.loomio.org/d/esJaABHn/add-smileys-support

And github: issue and pull request.

@steffenvanbergerem @goob … wtf.

Did you read my original post? Read it.

This is not about emoticon support.
This is not about smileys support.
This is about emoji support.

The Loomio and GitHub discussions are a mess about that. People are complaining that :slight_smile: should stay :slight_smile: and not become :slightly_smiling_face:. WTF? That’s not how emoji works. Can you do that on Twitter? No, and it would be bad if Twitter did that.

Some people seem to have issues with what they call “graphical smileys” or “emoticons”, which emojis are not. Personally, I find that opinion irrelevant, because I think it is obviously better in a conversation to be able to see the emojis than to see squares like this: :credit_card: :ghost:

(You shouldn’t be seeing squares, by the way.)

You can make another discussion (like the thread @steffenvanbergerem shared) if what you want is, for example, to replace :heart: with :heartpulse: just like GitHub does. However, I will not support your proposal.

@dumitruursu Oh my! This is exactly what we need. You’re damn quick!

@gp I read the introduction to this thread and I think that the goals are similar to the ones in the thread I mentioned. Both try to add support for additional ways to express yourself. @florianstaudacher said in the thread I shared

A separate input method for inserting the unicode emojis (= “text”) with a nice icon font that matches our design could do the trick.

and also others mentioned emojis there. The original post asked to

replace some common signs by smileys

but as I said there are also solutions that were mentioned in the thread.

@steffenvanbergerem But as I said, the discussions freely blend the different topics together. This Loomio discussion is focused on supporting emoji characters exclusively, not about input methods.

If you want, we can have a discussion on input methods later after diaspora* supports emojis. If it supports them, of course.

Proposal: Diaspora* should support emoji characters

Yes, I agree: The Unicode emoji characters should be replaced with visually-consistent, cross-compatible visuals. For example, “:turtle:” would show a turtle on all devices and not only on Android and iOS smartphones.

No, I disagree: The Unicode emoji characters should not be supported by diaspora*. “:turtle:” should stay an unintelligible square on desktop computers OR should be disallowed from the system.

Outcome: The discussion trend indicates me that everyone agree that diaspora* should fully support Unicode.

However, further proposals will determine whether certain technologies should be used to display these Unicode characters consistently across all platforms. In other words, if @dumitruursu’s work should be merged into Diaspora*.


  • Yes: 5
  • Abstain: 2
  • No: 0
  • Block: 0

Note: This proposal was imported from Loomio. Vote details, some comments and metadata were not imported. Click here to view the proposal with all details on Loomio.

Hell, we could even make diaspora* an emoji-only social network!

(That was a joke.)

@gp Can you suggest a concrete icon font for emojis that would work well with our design? AFAIK that was the biggest problem so far.

@steffenvanbergerem @jhass What are you talking about? It’s not a font, but a javascript workaround that replaces the characters with images.

See this example:

Emoji support!

Here is the technology by Twitter.

It works well with any fonts and with any designs.

@jhass What’s wrong with replacing those with images? That’s what Twitter and WordPress do, and it works like magic.

I don’t like most emoji image representations in general and haven’t seen a single one that would integrate well into Diasporas current design.

but a javascript workaround that replaces the characters with images

Better read the proposal again, that’s not what it’s talking about. If that’s really what’s meant, I’m gonna have to block it, since then it would be extremely poor worded.

@jhass What is the proposal about? You are extremely whimsical.

I’m not too sure actually, that’s why I abstained. I relate it to making sure that the storage backend can actually store the unicode characters in question, that the post processing does not alter them and maybe to provide some way to make sure they’re displayed in one form or the other everywhere. As said I think it’s a bit vague, which is why I abstained.