on marketing

Started to write something on Facebook, but as usual i hit the char limit. So, here it is:

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extempore thought:

i used to think that great writing or product is key to success. That is of course still the most important thing. But I've found in this year, marketing is critically important, and it really take a large percentage of your resources (say, at least 20% of your time/resource needs to be spend on such thing) Looking at movies industry, you know how they spend tens of thousand to market each film. Some great films, without marketing, are not known to the general public, and some developed so-called cult following. That's a example. Likewise, companies, have a sizable percentage budgets devoted to marketing. In short summary, in modern society, in general, in order to break beyond close circle fans, a good percentage of your resource must be spend in marketing. Sad in a sense, but that's just how things are.

this applied to my personal level of blog writing is that, i need to constantly devote time to tweet, facebook, etc. Invest time into little widgets like tweet this, facebook me that, which is really a activity i hate. Of course, there are successful blogs or writers who become extremely popular purely by their work thru word of mouth, but in general that's rare exceptions. e.g. if you survey blogs, i think you'll find a large number of quality blogs are without audience, while, lots of garbage (usually run by small companies with lots of fancy ads and animations) has lots readers.

looking at the issue deeper, am sure if you study marketing (say in universities), you'll find a lot things they discuss which we uninitiated wouldn't know. e.g. basics like why marketing, and how, its effectiveness, import, relevance. Looked in a scholarly way. (as opposed to what we might think as all bullshit as most non-academic literature about marketing wants you to believe (such as some pop books. e.g. “10 secrets to marketing”, etc.))

Emacs Keyboard Macro Example: Insert All Unicode Stars

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Emacs Keyboard Macro Example: Insert All Unicode Stars

Xah Lee, 2010-12-24

Here's another story about emacs's power. This page shows a real world example of emacs's power, using several of emacs's features to insert all unicode characters who's name contains “star”.


I need to collect all unicode characters whose name contains “bullet”. For each one, i want the unicode name, followed by the char. For example, here's the result showing some them:


Before reading further, try to spend 10 minutes, using your knowledge of emacs to do it. Test your skill out.

  • If you don't know how do it, you are a emacs learner.
  • If you did it within 10 min, you are a emacs user.
  • If you did it within 1 min, you are a emacs expert.
  • If you did it within 1 min without emacs, you are impossible. ☺


Hint, use “ucs-insert” and keyboard macro . If you stuck somewhere, it might help to refresh Emacs and Unicode Tips. You should be using emacs 23.x.

Here's how i did it.

  • Call “ucs-insert”.
  • Type 「*bullet*」 then Tab twice, to get a completion list of all names containing “bullet”.
  • Move cursor to the completion pane, copy all content, put it in a new file, delete the first few irrelevant lines. You should get this:
BULLET                            BULLET OPERATOR 
  • Optional: now, turn on whitespace-mode, so you can see the tabs or spaces.
  • Now, do find and replace, and replace sequence of more than 2 white spaces to Newline. You should have this:
  • Optional: call “delete-trailing-whitespace” to get rid of trailing whitespaces, if any.
  • Now start Emacs Keyboard Macro. Starting at the first line. You want to select the whole line, copy it, then call “ucs-insert”, paste it, press Enter to insert the unicode char of that name. Then, move cursor to next line. Repeat.
  • In the end, you'll have this:


All this sounds complicated, but if you use emacs daily, it usually is done with reflex and can be finished within 30 seconds.

Now, try a little exercise. Try to list all unicode chars whose name contains “star” in it. See what kinda starry chars unicode has. (you should get 45 chars. Counting only unique ones, it should be 42.)

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HTML Entities, Ampersand, Unicode, Semantics

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HTML Entities, Ampersand, Unicode, Semantics

Xah Lee, 2010-12-23

This article is some thoughts on semantics of symbols.

Semantic Differences in Symbols of Identical Appearance

I write a lot essasy and tutorials related to computing. Often, they include instructions on pulling menus in software. For example, i would write: use the menu “File▸New▸Folder”. (e.g. Second Life Keyboard Shortcuts Cheatsheet.)

I needed a consistent syntax to indicate the menu hierarchy. Notice that i've used a small right pointing triangle there. The unicode char i was using is named TRIANGULAR BULLET “‣”. I found a better symbol for it recently, the BLACK RIGHT-POINTING SMALL TRIANGLE “▸”. So, i took 5 min in emacs to do the change to 5k files on my site. (There are 353 occurances in 62 files.)

Even both chars look the same, but they have semantic differences. The char i was using is a meant to be a Bullet (typography), whose purposes is to indicate a item in a list. What i needed isn't a item indicator, but a indicator for a node in a tree. A common symbol for this purpose is a right-pointing triangle. So, BLACK RIGHT-POINTING SMALL TRIANGLE is a better choice.

Ampersand, HTML Entities

On a related topic... you know how in html, the ampersand char “&” needs to be encoded as “&”. In early HTML specs, that char needs to be encoded always, but i think in html4 the rule is changed so that if the char is surrounded in spaces then it doesn't need to be encoded. (the rule is quite complex actually, especially when the char is in url. See: URL Percent Encoding and Ampersand Char. ) In XML, the ampersand always needs to be encoded, unlike that of HTML4.

Meaning of the Ampersand

The ampersand char as a english punctuation means “and”, however, there are subtleties. (read Wikipedia article here ampersand, quite interesting story on etymology) In my own writings, i sometimes use the symbol, as in the article title Scheme & Failure. In longer sentences, sometimes you use it instead of “and” because using the word “and” introduces too many conjunctions in the sentence, but a glyph makes the grammatical structure more clear. For example, look at this sentence: “grep & glob mutates into egrep & fgrep confoundedness”. (Unix and the mbox Email Format) Here, you can see the “&” acts as a tight connecting operator. Its meaning is slightly different than the more general connective “and”. For the same reason, company names stick with the symbol too, e.g. “AT & T”, “Bang & Olufsen”, “Johnson & Johnson” or law firms “Allen & Overy” (See: List of 100 largest law firms).

With my recent unicode work (see: Punctuation Symbols in Unicode), i discovered several variant unicode char for the ampersand.


Being a fanatic about symbols, notation, syntax, elegance, i really hate the entities in HTML. The need to encode 「&」 as 「&」 introduces several complexities. It's more difficult to parse, makes find & replace or grep more complex, more difficult in typing it. For example, you want to find all occurances of  & , now you need to search for both  &  and  & . So, i've been toying with the idea of replacing any 「&」 with a unicode variant, the FULLWIDTH AMPERSAND 「&」. This way, you don't have to deal with the html entity. The SGML/HTML/XML character entity was created because some decade ago, unicode wasn't there. You only have about 100 ASCII chars to work with. So was invented “encoding” and “character entity”.

In the end, i decided not to do this replacement, for practical reasons, because many tools and software still don't understand unicode well. For example, search engines other than Google may not understand the semantics of the FULLWIDTH AMPERSAND char. It is also interesting to note, that when you type normal “&” in the find box in Google Chrome, Safari, IE8, they will find the FULLWIDTH AMPERSAND too, but not in Firefox, Opera. Try it.

Here's a interesting video from Google about how search engines deals with less used unicode chars.

〈How does Google handle ligatures, soft-hyphens, interpuncts and hyphenation points?〉

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Art of Translation

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Art of Translation

Xah Lee, 2010-12-23

Here are 2 translations of a lyrics from Chinese.

Translation ATranslation A
There's a girl, named Poem
She has many secrets
Cause in this world, it's hard to find a soul mate
She must search and seek
She thinks that, her face, leaves no trace
But loneliness, is written on her face
A girl by the name of Sze Yi
Full of secrets in her heart
A true friend is hard to get
She must try hard to find one
She thinks she can keep her secrets
And that they won't be shown on her face
But the word solitude is written on her face

which one do you think is better? (please leave a comment before reading further.)

✻ ✻ ✻

Last year, i translated a song 詩意 (Shiyi) from chinese to english. Today, i saw on the web a clip of the movie with subtitles in english of the song. After reading it, i realized my translation is so bad.

Here's the lyrics in chinese

一个女孩 名叫诗意
因为世上 难逢知己
她以为她 脸上没有 露出痕迹
在她的脸上 早已经写着 孤寂

You can see video of the song here: 詩意 (Shiyi).

In the past ~5 years, i translated perhaps 30 songs. Each usually took hours. Secretly, i was in a rapture with my translation everytime. Listening to the song repeatedly for hours and reading my own translation over and over, thinking about my mastery of english, and my unique perceptive power on matters of certain human condition that's in poetry. Often, later on when i found a professional translation, i realized how bad was mine. I've learned quite a lot from these experiences about translation.

I think one of the most important thing i learned about translation, is that the result must be natural and fluid as if it is not from a translation. If the result does not read like from native speaker, then it is probably not a very good translation. Of course, i was aware of this, but still, often my translation has sentences that reads odd. I defended this because i thought certain literal correspondence with the original is not necessarily bad style, because it gives the reader a sense of the original language's form and culture, and this i have consciously chosen to do in places, all things considered. But, from my experiences in past years seeing translations that i considered good, i don't think any of them does that in any degree.

Translation is not considered great art. For example, you won't see much historical figures who are remembered solely as great translators...

There are courses and schools for writing. Technical writing, novel writing, journalism, poetry workshops, literature studies... but am not sure i've heard curricula about translation. Of course, there are real-time translators as a profession. (often employed around political leaders, for example.) I'm sure there are vocational schools or trainings for industrial translators. But for translating literary work, am guessing there's not much dedicated curricula on translation per se. I think it basically relies on learning the languages and other literary aspects of the languages.

Also, when translating literary work, such as a novel, there are matters of style. For example, consider a style that is frequently literal. This can be pushed to extreme, yet maitain a distinctive readability. There are really so many ways to translate. Is there any scholarly article about translation as a art?

... going over to Wikipedia Translation, great reading. They have a section on “Fidelity vs. transparency”, which describes the dilemma i had. Here's some juicy quotes:

Fidelity (or faithfulness) and transparency, dual ideals in translation, are often at odds. A 17th-century French critic coined the phrase "les belles infidèles" to suggest that translations, like women, can be either faithful or beautiful, but not both.[19]

In recent decades, prominent advocates of such "non-transparent" translation have included the French scholar Antoine Berman, who identified twelve deforming tendencies inherent in most prose translations,[20] and the American theorist Lawrence Venuti, who has called upon translators to apply "foreignizing" translation strategies instead of domesticating ones.[21]

Current Western translation practice is dominated by the dual concepts of "fidelity" and "transparency". This has not always been the case, however; there have been periods, especially in pre-Classical Rome and in the 18th century, when many translators stepped beyond the bounds of translation proper into the realm of adaptation.

Adapted translation retains currency in some non-Western traditions. The Indian epic, the Ramayana, appears in many versions in the various Indian languages, and the stories are different in each. Similar examples are to be found in medieval Christian literature, which adjusted the text to local customs and mores.

Reading over, there's this section on attributes of a good translator:

A competent translator has the following qualities:

  • a very good knowledge of the language, written and spoken, from which he is translating (the source language);
  • an excellent command of the language into which he is translating (the target language);
  • familiarity with the subject matter of the text being translated;
  • a profound understanding of the etymological and idiomatic correlates between the two languages; and
  • a finely tuned sense of when to metaphrase ("translate literally") and when to paraphrase, so as to assure true rather than spurious equivalents between the source- and target-language texts.[33]

What a great reading. I much appreciate it. I have myself wondered, whether good translation requires mastery of the From language more or of the Destination language, and i have concluded from my own experience that mastery of the destination lang is more critical.

I was born in Taiwan. Chinese is my native tongue. Grew up with it till 14. I speak, read, write, chinese fluently, of course. But from about 18 to now (42), the past ~20 years i live and study in english speaking countries. My literary skill in english reading and writing is far better than my chinese. I could produce reasonably quality translation of chinese to english, but not the other direction. My chinese literary skill is pretty bad. I'd have a paucity of diction and idiom.

More quote:

Moreover, a fully competent translator is not only bilingual but bicultural.

Indeed. Because, one really needs to understand the culture to grasp the nuances in meaning, for both the cultures of Source lang and the Destination lang.

Though, there are occasions that i find my translation better than ones from books or presumably professionally done subtitles of films. One of them i am rather proud of is 佳人歌 (The Beauty Song).

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Second Life Viewer 2 Stupidities

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Second Life Viewer 2 Problems

Get your Xah Particle Maker today!

Xah Lee, 2010-12-22

Many aspects of Viewer 2 are stupid.

The new design is based on web browsers, so it is more familiar to people. I think in general it is a great new interface. More simple, easier to use. However, there are quite a lot stupidities that made it very inefficent while it need not be. Here's some examples i'm writing down as i find it. (i haven't been using Viewer 2. I always use Emerald and now Phoenix.)

  • In old viewer, you can press 【Ctrl+i】 to always expect the inventory to come up. Now, not so. When you do 【Ctrl+i】 now, it simply brings up the sidebar of whatever info was there last time, such as properties of a object. You now have to use mouse to get rid of that. 【Ctrl+w】 won't work.
  • In old viewer, press 【Ctrl+i】 and your cursor is in the search so can type what you want to find things right away. Now, you have to press 【Shift+Tab】 twice to put focus on the search field.
  • The 【Ctrl+t】 to get last IM chat is gone. There does not seem to be any keyboard shortcut to bring up the IM chat window. So, when you have multiple IMs, which happens often, you have mouse click each one, a pain in the ass.
  • When you are in mouse view, you used to be able to see your height. So for example, when you are flying or using jetpack in combat, you can read off your altitude. But now, when in mouse view, all GUI are hidden.
  • If you pop out the inventory from sidebar into a standalone window, then, the 【Ctrl+i】 shortcut no longer works. Nor does 【Ctrl+w】 work.
  • You can't see the region coordinate of your current position anymore. (to find your coordinate, open the map)
  • When using show beacons 【Ctrl+Alt+Shift+n】, but when in mouse look, all disappears. Quite stupid. When fixing griefer problems, or in combat, having beacons on while in mouse look is very useful.
  • The group notices are better, but... When you have a notification from group, it shows in the corner 2 lines of it, and when you click it to read it in full, it shows in a tiny window. The Windows cannot be enlarged. You have to scroll. And, before you got a chance to scroll, it automatically disappears. What a idiocy.
  • The pie menu has been replaced with the less usable rectangular menu. Pie menu is much easier to access. (See: Pie menu)
  • In old viewer, i can see all people on my friend list who i have give map and edit rights. I can easily edit them. With Viewer 2, you have to do a few mouse clicks to see that info for each person (Click on info icon, then click on Profile, then “NOTES & PRIVACY” ).

What are some UI improvements?

Overall, the GUI is more intuitive and modern.

Here's some issues with Viewer 2 or before that i hate very much. Been using Emerald Viewer for 2 years, and now Phoenix.

  • Teleport blacks out the screen. VERY ANNOYING.
  • Very annoying teleport sound.
  • No sim-wide radar. In Phoenix, you can press 【Ctrl+Shift+a】 to list all people in a sim. In Viewer2, it list only nearby people.


HTML5 Canvas vs SVG

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HTML5 Canvas vs SVG

Xah Lee, 2010-12-22

Spent few hours looking at HTML5 Canvas and Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG).

My conclusion is: i won't touch HTML5 Canvas. Here's some highlights:

  • Canvas is bitmap based, SVG is vector graphics tech. (this basically means, SVG graphics can be resized without getting fuzzy. Suitable for clean line drawings, such as charts and illustrations. Canvas is more for photos, bitmapped video games. (If you are not familiar with the basics of advantage and disadvantages of bitmap vs vector graphics, see: Raster graphics and Vector graphics.))
  • SVG is XML. Each graphics element you created can be scripted with javascript for interactivity as part of XML/CSS/DOM. e.g. onclick, onmouseover.
  • The language of Canvas is low level and procedural, while SVG is declarative and higher level. (you can think of them as imperative lang vs functional lang) In procedural way, you give commands to draw as if telling a paint brush where to move. In declarative style, you state your graphics shape and size. e.g. 「circle(center, radius)」
  • with Canvas, once a image is drawn, it's dead image, like paint, part of the rendering. With SVG, it's live, changes to code changes rendering.
  • Canvas is relative new, part of HTML5. Support is spotty. Some 90% of SVG is supported in all browsers except IE8. (A light version of SVG is supported for years in mobile devices; while Canvas originated from Apple as proprietary tech, and is well supported in Apple's mobile devices) For practical considerations with respect to support, am thinking that SVG is slightly ahead, while Canvas is currently the hot topic due to html5.

Sample Animated SVG Graphics

Here's is a animated SVG you can view in your browser: soccer_ball_rotating.svg. (works in current versions Google Chrome (8.0.552.224), Opera (10.63), Safari (5.0.3), all on Windows. In Firefox (3.6.13), the soccer ball shows but does not rotate.) The source is from Source en.wikipedia.org

Be sure to view source of the above svg file. You can get a idea what svg format is like.

Use Inkscape to Learn and Create SVG

There's a wonderful vector graphics drawing tool Inkscape. I've been using it since few years ago. It is fantastic. I learned it quickly, and loved it. I have used Gimp much earlier, and have spend much more time with gimp, but find it rather more complex.

After you created a drawing in Inkscape and saved to a file, you can open the file in a text editor, and see the source code of the svg. This is a great way to learn about the svg format. You can create a simple circle and look at the file to see the svg syntax for that. Similarly, you can draw oval, square, path, text, color, fill, gradient, etc and view their syntax. Also, the tool lets you convert any bitmapped image to vector graphics.

For example, i've used Inkscape to create the following logos. The Emacs LogoQi Language LogoLISP LogoXah's Java Logo. You can view their svg source code.

Javascript Library for SVG

There are several js libraries that create SVG for you. So, you call js functions to create images, without needing to know anything about SVG. With such a library, you don't have to worry about SVG syntax or browser support problems.

One of the most popular js svg library seems to be Raphaël (JavaScript Library). Quote:

Raphaël is a JavaScript library that draws SVG graphics for web sites. It also provides a VML alternative for cross-browser compatibility. Raphaël currently supports Firefox 3.0+, Safari 3.0+, Opera 9.5+ and Internet Explorer 6.0+.

Have a look at the demos on its home page at: http://raphaeljs.com/. They look pretty impressive.

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Windows Quick Launch change keyboard shortcuts

Windows Vista has this Quick Launch toolbar. Basically, you can drag icons there and you can click icons there to launch apps. It also has a automatic hotkey feature. Whenever you put a icon there, a hotkey is automatically created for you. The first icon will have hotkey 【Win+1】, and second 【Win+2】, etc. The total number of hotkeys auto-created are limited to 10, from 1 to 9 and 0.

Great feature, but there's one problem. Whenever you create a new icon, or remove one, all your hotkey changes. This is quite annoying.

So, today, i disabled them all, and instead, use AutoHotkey to create hotkeys myself. Like this:

; disable the bunch of launch app keys setup by Quick Launch. Because it change keys whenever you add or delete a icon there.

#7::Run "launch or switch skype.ahk"

See also:

Jinni: I WANT!

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Jinni: I WANT!

Xah Lee, 2006-11-17

Jinni, please grant me all powerful knowledge!

Wait, no, i won't ask for much. All i want is, a BS degree equivalent knowledge each of:

Chemistry, biology, microbiology, human physiology.

And, while you are at it, please grant me 2-years study equivalent worth knowledge each of: abstract algebra, differential geometry, topology, number theory, graph theory, combinatorics, representation theory (i.e. concrete group theory), game theory, probability theory, algebraic geometry, projective geometry.

Jinn, grant me!

And, it is also desirable, to know perhaps a BS degree equivalent of: economics, law.

Dear Jinni, in my life i've been a avid encyclopedia reader. I read Britannica and American Grolier's Encyclopedia about daily in the early 1990s. Then since early 2000 i've been spending several hours reading wikipedia daily.

Jinni, but i know so little, so insignificant. That for each page i have read, there are goddamn one hundred million pages i haven't read and increasing. So, if your power is sufficient, please grant me, if it is trivial, to have like had read all contents of Encyclopedia Britannica.

Jinni, i do realize, having read is not necessary equivalent to have understood. I could have, say, read all about math that appears in Britannica, say, taking a month or two. But i probably wouldn't, really understand them. Even if i understand them all after careful reading, the understanding isn't equivalent to even a student in a particular field.

For example, say, the topics of projective geometry. I could, read all Britannica has to say about it. And, i probably would understand it. However, this is far trivial than, someone who dedicated 2 years on the subject.

Yeah, so, grant me the knowledge i asked. And, grant me having had the experience of carefully read the entirety of Britannica.

Thank you.

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Sleep, Dream, Inception

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Sleep, Dream, Inception

Xah Lee, 2010-12-19

Watched Inception today. amazon. Not bad, but i wasn't thrilled.

Was drawn into the movie because i was a big Lucid dreaming fan. Kept a dream journal for about 2 years when i was about 13 (~1981). Sometimes in 1980s, Omni (magazine) published a article about lucid dreaming. In the article, i recall the researcher solicit reader's participation or sending in their dream journal. (i recall, the research team at Stanford University) I responded by postal mail my dream journals to them. (was written in Chinese) This is when i was living in Montreal, Canada. I was about 17 at the time.

I read rather a lot about dreams and sleep in my life. The whole science of it. REM, stages of brain waves, physiology of dreaming, and of course some about interpretation. “Some”, because literatures on interpretation of dreams are mostly superstitious garbage.

The science of Sleep is also fascinating. I particularly recall, in early 1990s, i read about it in encyclopedia Britanica. I recall, at the time, even the purpose of sleep is not well understood scientifically, and i think there were even some claim that sleep is not necessary, because it does not seem to have any direct effect on the physiology of human body system (e.g. cells, muscles).

Have actually experimented with sleeping cycles for many years throughout my life. For example, one idea to reduce required sleep time is to break sleep into multiple periods. A day has 24 hours. Each of us roughly spend 1/3 of it in sleep. So, it seems, every 1 unit of rest by sleep gets you 2 units of awake time. So, you could sleep 4 hours then stay awake for 8 hours, then repeat. Or, you could sleep for 2 hours, wake for 4 hours, repeat. Also, once you break them into periods, one idea is to reduce each period of sleep so that you might reduce the total time you spend in sleeping but not experience fatigue.

I've done this continuously for i think at least 1 year straight. But been doing this on and off for months or weeks in my whole life. Am 42. For perhaps a total of 6 years of my life, i sleep twice per day, roughly 4 hours each.

The other theory is to find the “natural day” period. That is, if without the hint of sun, if you live in a cave, what would be “day” period you naturally develop? It was said to be something like 25 or 26. That means, if you normally go to bed at 23:00, the next day you'd go to bed at 00:00, and next day at 01:00. That is, your sleeping schedule shifts by 1 hour later per day. This i've done for perhaps 20 years.

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unicode drawing shapes

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Unicode Drawing Shapes

Xah Lee, 2010-12-21

This page collects characters in Unicode that are drawing shapes.

Box Drawing (#x2500 #x257F) ─ ━ │ ┃ ┄ ┅ ┆ ┇ ┈ ┉ ┊ ┋ ┌ ┍ ┎ ┏ ┐ ┑ ┒ ┓ └ ┕ ┖ ┗ ┘ ┙ ┚ ┛ ├ ┝ ┞ ┟ ┠ ┡ ┢ ┣ ┤ ┥ ┦ ┧ ┨ ┩ ┪ ┫ ┬ ┭ ┮ ┯ ┰ ┱ ┲ ┳ ┴ ┵ ┶ ┷ ┸ ┹ ┺ ┻ ┼ ┽ ┾ ┿ ╀ ╁ ╂ ╃ ╄ ╅ ╆ ╇ ╈ ╉ ╊ ╋ ╌ ╍ ╎ ╏ ═ ║ ╒ ╓ ╔ ╕ ╖ ╗ ╘ ╙ ╚ ╛ ╜ ╝ ╞ ╟ ╠ ╡ ╢ ╣ ╤ ╥ ╦ ╧ ╨ ╩ ╪ ╫ ╬ ╭ ╮ ╯ ╰ ╱ ╲ ╳ ╴ ╵ ╶ ╷ ╸ ╹ ╺ ╻ ╼ ╽ ╾

Block Elements (#x2580 #x259F) ▀ ▁ ▂ ▃ ▄ ▅ ▆ ▇ █ ▉ ▊ ▋ ▌ ▍ ▎ ▏ ▐ ░ ▒ ▓ ▔ ▕ ▖ ▗ ▘ ▙ ▚ ▛ ▜ ▝ ▞

Geometric Shapes (#x25A0 #x25FF) ■ □ ▢ ▣ ▤ ▥ ▦ ▧ ▨ ▩ ▪ ▫ ▬ ▭ ▮ ▯ ▰ ▱ ▲ △ ▴ ▵ ▶ ▷ ▸ ▹ ► ▻ ▼ ▽ ▾ ▿ ◀ ◁ ◂ ◃ ◄ ◅ ◆ ◇ ◈ ◉ ◊ ○ ◌ ◍ ◎ ● ◐ ◑ ◒ ◓ ◔ ◕ ◖ ◗ ◘ ◙ ◚ ◛ ◜ ◝ ◞ ◟ ◠ ◡ ◢ ◣ ◤ ◥ ◦ ◧ ◨ ◩ ◪ ◫ ◬ ◭ ◮ ◯ ◰ ◱ ◲ ◳ ◴ ◵ ◶ ◷ ◸ ◹ ◺ ◻ ◼ ◽ ◾

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second life inventory links

Inventory Links

“Outfit Links” is quite a useful feature. For example, in sl, sometimes i play in the military combat community (first person shooter.) Sometimes i do build and scripting. (see: Build Tutorial and Scripting Tutorial.) Sometimes you might go to a dance club or beach. In different situations, you have different set of avatars, clothing items, or huds you wear. It is tedious to take off your clothing items and pick different ones in your inventory to wear. With “outfit links”, you can wear a particular set in one shot.

Inventory links tutorial

If you are impatient to watch the vid... see this doc at Source wiki.phoenixviewer.com.


There's a new version of lsl-mode for emacs. This new version added new functions and keywords AGENT_BY_LEGACY_NAME, AGENT_BY_USERNAME, llGetDisplayName, llRequestDisplayName.

Get it now at Emacs xlsl-mode for Linden Scripting Language.


Thanks to Michael Aldred donation for Emacs xlsl-mode for Linden Scripting Language.

adding web browser keys to emacs info mode

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Adding Web Browser Keys to Emacs

Xah Lee, 2010-12-20

Emacs has extensive documentation. The doc format is called “info”, and is a tree structure, very similar to how you browse a website.

To view the complete documentation index, press 【Ctrl+h i】. Once you are in the Info doc, you can use the mouse to navigate, or using keyboard.

Here's the most important navigation keys:

PurposeEmacs KeyWeb Browser key
BacklBackspace or 【Alt+
ForwardrShift+Backspace】 or 【Alt+
Go Up u
Focus on Next LinkTabTab
Visit LinkEnterEnter

Web browsers use the Backspace for moving to last viewed page and 【Shift+Backspace】 for moving forward. If you have 5 button mouse, by default the 4th and 5th button also works. (【Alt+】 and 【Alt+】 also works.)

These keys don't work in emacs. If you use emacs in a graphical window, using the mouse's 4th and 5th button are quite convenient. Here's how to add to emacs. Put the following in your emacs init file.

(defun browser-nav-keys ()
  "Add some browser styled nav keys for Info-mode.
  The following keys and mouse buttons are added:
 【Backspace】 and <mouse-4> for `Info-history-back'
 【Shift+Backspace】 and <mouse-5> for `Info-history-forward'."
 (local-set-key (kbd "<backspace>") 'Info-history-back)
 (local-set-key (kbd "<S-backspace>") 'Info-history-forward)
 (local-set-key (kbd "<mouse-4>") 'Info-history-back)
 (local-set-key (kbd "<mouse-5>") 'Info-history-forward)

(add-hook 'Info-mode-hook 'browser-nav-keys)


Dingbats and Cultural Symbols in Unicode

Perm url with updates: http://xahlee.org/comp/unicode_dingbats.html

Dingbats and Cultural Symbols in Unicode

Xah Lee, 2010-12-20

This pages collects cultural symbols, industrial symbols, dinbats, or other weird chars of Unicode.

checkmarks ✓ ✔ ✗ ✘ ☐ ☑ ☒ 𐄂 ⍻ ❍ ❏ ❐ ❑ ❒; multiplication x ✕ ✖ ╳; office ✂ ✄ ✁ ✃ ✉; bullets and deco ❦ ❗ ❡ ❢ ❣ ❤ ❥ ❧ ☙; deco matching pairs ❛ ❜ ❝ ❞ ❨ ❩ ❪ ❫ ❬ ❭ ❮ ❯ ❰ ❱ ❲ ❳ ❴ ❵; unsorted ☚ ☛ ☜ ☝ ☞ ☟;

star ★ ☆ ✦ ✧ ✩ ✪ ✫ ✬ ✭ ✮ ✯ ✰ ✴ ✵ ✶ ✷ ✸ ✹ ❂; sparkle ❇ ❈ snowflake ❄ ❅ ❆; florette ✿ ❀ ❁ ✾; asterisks * ⁎ ∗ ✱ ✲ ✳ ✺ ✻ ✼ ✽ ❃ ❉ ❊ ❋ ﹡ *; 4-spoked asterisk ✢ ✣ ✤ ✥;

cross ✙ ✚ ✛ ✜ ✝ ✞ ✟ ✠ ♰ ♱ ☦ ☨ ☩; cultural ☓ ✡ ☧ ☪ ☫ ☬ ☭ ⚒ ☘ ⚜ ☸ ☥; staff ⚕ ⚚ ☤ taoism ☯ ☰ ☱ ☲ ☳ ☴ ☵ ☶ ☷ ⚊ ⚋ ⚌ ⚍ ⚎ ⚏;

industrial ☠ ☢ ☣ ⚛ ⚡; recycle ♲ ♳ ♴ ♵ ♶ ♷ ♸ ♹ ♺ ♻ ♼ ♽ ♾;

peace ☺ ☹ ☻ ☮ ✌; sex ♀ ♂ ⚨ ⚩ ⚦ ⚲; sex relations ⚢ ⚣ ⚤ ⚥ ⚧; marriage ⚭ ⚮ ⚯; modern icons ♨ ♿ ⚠ ☡ ✈ ✆ ☎ ☏ ☕; weather ☀ ☼ ☁ ☂ ☔ ☃ ☇ ☈;

chess ♔ ♕ ♖ ♗ ♘ ♙ ♚ ♛ ♜ ♝ ♞ ♟; card games ♥ ♠ ♦ ♣ ♡ ♤ ♢ ♧; dice ⚀ ⚁ ⚂ ⚃ ⚄ ⚅; other ⛀ ⛁ ⛂ ⛃ ☖ ☗; misc ⚆ ⚇ ⚈ ⚉; music ♩ ♪ ♫ ♬ ♭ ♮ ♯; sports ⚽ ⚾;

ancient signs ⚐ ⚑ ⚓ ⚔ ⚖ ⚗; misc ; greek gods ⚳ ⚴ ⚵ ⚶ ⚷ ⚸ ⚻; sun ☀ ☼ ☉ 🜚 🌞; moon ☽ 🌛 🌕 🌝 ☾ 🌜 🌑 🌚; planets asteroids comets ☿ ♀ ⊕ ♁ ♂ ♃ ♄ ⛢ ♅ ♆ ♇ ⚳ ⚴ ⚵ ☄; zodiac constellations ♈ ♉ ♊ ♋ ♌ ♍ ♎ ♏ ♐ ♑ ♒ ♓; misc astronomy ☊ ☋ ☌ ☍;

circled numbers ❶ ❷ ❸ ❹ ❺ ❻ ❼ ❽ ❾ ❿ ➀ ➁ ➂ ➃ ➄ ➅ ➆ ➇ ➈ ➉ ➊ ➋ ➌ ➍ ➎ ➏ ➐ ➑ ➒ ➓; unsorted ⚹ ⚺; unsorted ⚙ ⚝ ⚞ ⚟ ⚪ ⚫ ⚬ ⚰ ⚱ ⚼ ⚿ ⛄ ⛅ ⛆ ⛇ ⛈ ⛉ ⛊ ⛋ ⛌ ⛍ ⛎ ⛏ ⛐ ⛑ ⛒ ⛓ ⛔ ⛕ ⛖ ⛗ ⛘ ⛙ ⛚ ⛛ ⛜ ⛝ ⛞ ⛟ ⛠ ⛡ ⛢ ⛣ ⛤ ⛥ ⛦ ⛧ ⛨ ⛩ ⛪ ⛫ ⛬ ⛭ ⛮ ⛯ ⛰ ⛱ ⛲ ⛳ ⛴ ⛵ ⛶ ⛷ ⛸ ⛹ ⛺ ⛻ ⛼ ⛽ ⛾; vertical bar ❘ ❙ ❚; unsorted ❖ ※; unsorted ƒ ␥ ␦;

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Second Life Login Name, Display Name

Perm url with updates: http://xahlee.org/sl/sl_login_name_display_name.html

Second Life Login Name, Display Name

A video tutorial from the Phoenix Viewer team.

〈Display Names on Phoenix Viewer〉 By Jessica Lyon.

Here's a short summary about the display confusion.

Old Login Name: First Name, Last Name

In the past, sl login name has 2 parts: first name, last name. The first name is freely choosen by user when they opened a account, while last name is from Linden Labs (a list of last names you pick from a menu).

For example, my first name is “Xah”. My last name is “Toll”, which is from Linden Labs.

New Login Name: Just One Name

Starting sometimes this year (2010), Linden Labs made some changes. New account no longer have a “last name”. This is more compatible with most websites. More intuitive and easier to remember.

How to Login in Different Viewers

If you have both first and last name, and in a viewer that has only one name field, type both of your names together, separated by space. For example, my first name is “Xah”, my last name is “Toll”, so in the single login field i type “Xah Toll”.

If you only have one login name and using a viewer that has both first and last name fields, type “resident” in the last name part.

What's Display Name

To make matters more confusing, Linden Labs introduced the “display name” concept around 2010-10. Display Name has nothing to do with login name. Display name is just a name that is displayed over your avatar.

Display name is like a nick name that you like people to know you as.

Setting Your Display Name

In LL Viewer 2, go to the Profile in menu “Me‣My profile”, then click the “wench” icon at the top.

In Phoenix Viewer, go to menu “Edit‣Display Name...”.

Viewing Other's Display Name

Go to menu “Me‣Preferences” 【Ctrl+p】, then “General” tab, then check mark the “Usernames” box. (For LL Viewer version 2.4.0 (216989) Dec 15 2010)


Here's some LL resources on display name.