Book Review: Land of Big Numbers - Te-Ping Chen


Book cover.

I've had a long-held fascination with China. I took Mandarin at University and, a few years ago, I was lucky enough to go to Beijing. So I was excited to pick up this book of short stories about modern China. It is a mixed lot of tales about Chinese people both in and outside of…

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How Do You Sort Chinese Numbers?


Imagine you have a series of number you wish to sort. Sorting is a well known computer science problem - generally speaking you compare one value to the next and then move the item either up or down a list. With "English" characters, that's fairly easy. When a computer sees the character 1 it's really…

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Why can't you send email to a Chinese address?


We all know what an email address looks like and how to validate them, right? A few years ago I got the Chinese domain name 莎士比亚.org. You can browse to it, link to it, and send email to it. Or can you? When I tried two years ago, none of the major email providers supported…

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How Do You Pronounce Your Domain Name?


I was listening to a podcast recently which was kind enough to mention one of my blog posts. The presenter said: ...and you should Google for this, because I'm really not sure how to pronounce this. Is it shu-huk-spur? dot mobby? Le sigh! It's a conversation I have most weeks when I'm on the phone…

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Introducing 莎士比亚.org - Readable Shakespeare Plays In Chinese


I'm very pleased to announce the launch of 莎士比亚.org - beautiful and readable copies of Shakespeare plays in Chinese. If you would like to help, the text is available on GitHub for people to correct. Why? I've long held a fascination with Shakespeare - hence the name of this website. At university I studied Mandarin…

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Is GitHub Racist?


One of the interesting aspects of privilege is how it lays bare our unconscious assumptions about the world. A male software developer may never consider that a user would want or need to change their name. Thus they would design a product which ignored the millions of women changing their names after marriage. It's very…

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Subsetting (Chinese) Fonts


There are loads of really delightful Simplified and Traditional Chinese True Type Fonts available on the web. There's only one issue - the file sizes are really large. In many cases, too large to effectively use as a web-font. For example, this calligraphy style font is 3.4MB. The beautiful Paper Cut Font weighs in at…

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