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How to add support for standard mobile smileys / emoticons in vBulletin?

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  • How to add support for standard mobile smileys / emoticons in vBulletin?

    When accessing vBulletin from the mobile (e.g. through the mobile apps), it is very natural for users to make use of the standard smileys/emoticons accessible directly from their mobile phone keyboard, i.e. the standard unicode smilies that more or less all communication apps and email clients use today, but if a thread where such smileys/emoticons have been used is viewed in e.g. the Chrome web browser or Windows, all these smileys/emoticons are just displayed as "unicode error squares".

    Isn't there any way for vBulletin to translate these to the corresponding smiley/emoticon images, and make a smiley pack for this and distribute it with vBulletin as default?

    If nothing else, does anyone know if anyone made such a third-party smiley-pack? It would be highly attractive to lots of people, that's for sure!

    PS.
    I already looked in the emoticon section of vbulletin.org, but did not find anything like that there.

  • #2
    1. Your database has to use the utf8mb4 character set and a utf8mb4 collation.
    2. Your language (in the AdminCP) has to be set to UTF-8.
    3. On vBulletin 5.5.2 and earlier, you need to empty the field "Blank Character Stripper" under Settings -> Options -> Censorship Options.

    New installations have a properly configured database and languages. Upgrades from vBulletin 3 and 4 do not. If you meet the requirements then you can simply copy and paste the emoticon in or use your device's built in virtual keyboard to insert them.

    I have a brief test here: https://forums.rabidbadger.io/rabidb...2017-emoticons

    In a future version, we are looking to make inserting these popular characters easier. I don't have an ETA on that though.
    Translations provided by Google.

    Wayne Luke
    The Rabid Badger - a vBulletin Cloud demonstration site.
    vBulletin 5 API - Full / Mobile
    Vote for your favorite feature requests and the bugs you want to see fixed.

    Comment


    • #3
      I'm running 5.5.2, installed just a few days ago, and I just emptied the field "Blank Character Stripper" under Settings -> Options -> Censorship Options, and they still only display as "unicode squares".

      How can I verify those database settings that you mention above?

      On the other hand, many of the emoticons in your own referenced test thread do the same (i.e. display as squares), so perhaps it is a deficiency in the browser character set then?

      Good to hear that you're working on it though, because this is absolutely increasingly important (or even, way overdue many would argue I'd guess)!

      Comment


      • #4
        They display properly for me. Well the font doesn't have a glyph for one of them but it still shows a smiley. What font are you using on your site?
        Click image for larger version  Name:	2019-06-13_19-00-51.png Views:	0 Size:	117.4 KB ID:	4416801




        Your database application would be able to list the character set and collation of your database tables. They are also available in the AdminCP under Maintenance -> Diagnostics -> System Information. Set it to Table Status.

        You can change the HTML character set under Languages & Phrases -> Language Manager. Edit your Language. It should be UTF-8 (it is case sensitive).
        Translations provided by Google.

        Wayne Luke
        The Rabid Badger - a vBulletin Cloud demonstration site.
        vBulletin 5 API - Full / Mobile
        Vote for your favorite feature requests and the bugs you want to see fixed.

        Comment


        • #5
          Here is another test on a completely different server.
          Click image for larger version

Name:	2019-06-13_19-03-54.png
Views:	94
Size:	295.2 KB
ID:	4416803

          Translations provided by Google.

          Wayne Luke
          The Rabid Badger - a vBulletin Cloud demonstration site.
          vBulletin 5 API - Full / Mobile
          Vote for your favorite feature requests and the bugs you want to see fixed.

          Comment


          • #6
            Very strange, this is how your test thread looks for me (in the most recent Chrome browser, on Windows 7):

            Comment


            • Wayne Luke
              Wayne Luke commented
              Editing a comment
              Your Windows 7 fonts may not be compatible.

          • #7
            Oh, and my tables say "utf8mb4_general_ci" collation when I check them like you describe above under maintenance, is that ok then?

            Comment


            • Wayne Luke
              Wayne Luke commented
              Editing a comment
              That should be fine.

          • #8
            Here it is in the most recent Chrome on Windows 10, still lacking a bunch of emoticons unfortunately:



            What OS are you using for the screen captures that you posted above in this thread?

            Comment


            • #9
              Windows 10 1903 using a Chromium based browser (Edge Dev Channel actually). I am actually using the Insider Preview of Windows 10 but I haven't had problems viewing the Emoji when I tried.

              They are font based and new ones are added every single year. The fonts have to be updated with the operating system when this happens.
              Translations provided by Google.

              Wayne Luke
              The Rabid Badger - a vBulletin Cloud demonstration site.
              vBulletin 5 API - Full / Mobile
              Vote for your favorite feature requests and the bugs you want to see fixed.

              Comment


              • #10
                Thanks for the info, and sure, I understand it's not vBulletin's fault (unless you are choosing some kind of inoptimal font for the emoticons, when other better ones could be chose, but I have no idea if this is the case), I just think it's strange that you can see more emoticons on Chrome(ium) in Windows 10 when I cannot?

                Comment


                • #11
                  FWIW, I see all of the icons in Wayne's link using Windows 10 Build 17763 using current versions of Chrome, Edge, and Opera.
                  VB 5.5.5
                  PHP 7.2
                  MySQL 5.7.24

                  Comment


                  • #12
                    Ok, thanks, that's even stranger. I may miss one feature update on the test machine in question though, but didn't know these things (fonts etc) were so regularly updated in those.

                    Comment

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