Wednesday 15 December 2021

Universe 1: Introduction

Version 14.0.0 of Unicode was released back in September. There are an plethora of online resources for browsing the Unicode Character Database (UCD):

But they usually have something lacking: the ability to render the codepoints and/or keeping up-to-date with the ever-evolving Unicode standard.

Of course, you can just download the official Unicode code charts as a single PDF and manually cross-reference them with the UCD. But the PDF is over 100MB and the UCD is distributed as a collection of human-unfriendly text files.

Universe is my attempt at producing a client-side HTML/CSS/JavaScript Unicode browser. It's obviously a work in progress, but the main areas of interest (that I plan to cover in subsequent blog posts) are:

  1. A user interface to navigate around Unicode codepoints, blocks, planes, etc.
  2. Loading the UCD into the client (this is my biggest concern at present as it takes about ten seconds to load and parse the database).
  3. A flexible search mechanism.
  4. Font support.
  5. A representative rendering of all the codepoints.

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