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On the newly created French Language & Usage (private beta started today), I tried to have a tag named évolution, but the accent on the é is lost. The SE engine really should allow accents on tags.

I encourage you to read The Absolute Minimum Every Software Developer Absolutely, Positively Must Know About Unicode and Character Sets (No Excuses!)

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I wish I could +2 for the blog post link. ;O) –  M. Tibbits Aug 17 '11 at 22:22
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It might require changing the database's collation. I suspect this is far more tricky to implement than it looks. –  Frédéric Hamidi Aug 17 '11 at 22:22
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I don't see how the blog post applies. The system clearly accounts for special characters, it just doesn't choose to use them all in certain situations. é isn't showing as a box or causing the system to crash or anything. –  Matthew Read Aug 17 '11 at 22:29
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This is more of a feature request than a bug, as the sidebar when entering tags is pretty clear that you're intentionally limited to [a-z 0-9 + # - .]. –  Tim Stone Aug 17 '11 at 22:59
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Adding too many "localization" features will become really messy if done too piecemeal. The localization of the Stack Exchange really should be done as a comprehensive addition to the core functionality. See: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/82176/… –  Robert Cartaino Aug 22 '11 at 15:38
    
@Robert: apart from a vague post 5 months ago, nothing is happening (and the communities concerned, despite asking, don't seem to have been involved). So, is there progress on this front? –  F'x Aug 22 '11 at 15:49
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@FX: Like that last post, any dates or specifics I could add would be wildly speculative. We've made progress by launching four non-English sites in the last three months and accommodating their immediate needs. We have your feature-request and we hear you. It simply takes time and resources to work in this development effort with the many of other features being added to Stack Exchange. See: meta.french.stackexchange.com/questions/105/… –  Robert Cartaino Aug 22 '11 at 16:01
    
@Robert: I know it takes time, but I know that when it's not yet started, it's gonna take even more time :) Taking time is one thing, having no idea what's the plan is something else… –  F'x Aug 22 '11 at 16:03
    
@Tim Is defective-by-design a bug or a feature request? –  F'x Aug 25 '11 at 8:56
    
@FX A feature-request, since there isn't a misbehaviour of the system here, just an additional use case that the system would have to be extended to account for. –  Tim Stone Aug 25 '11 at 13:01

1 Answer 1

If you type évolution into the tag list when creating a question, will still be suggested. Likewise searching evolution will show posts with either version, and searching évolution will shows posts with either version. In sum, the accenting has no effect on the system at all.

I can see why you might not like it, but consider that tags already replace spaces with hypens and upper case letters with lower case letters. Tags aren't supposed to accurately represent proper names, accented letters, symbols, etc; they're supposed to be both useful and simple, and they are. Why complicate it?

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Let's say the tag system replaces every vowel by an E. How would you feel about that? It's simple, but dead wrong. –  F'x Aug 17 '11 at 22:19
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The challenge is that the Stack Exchange network infrastructure is really designed for English. However, I agree that it should support these Unicode characters in tags (or at least ASCII!!). –  M. Tibbits Aug 17 '11 at 22:21
    
That would impact readability greatly. The effect of removing an accent is much smaller. As I said, though, I can see why you might not like it. tolkien is "dead wrong" for the proper name Tolkien, but so? @M.Tibbits é is part of extended ASCII, so Unicode wouldn't even be needed :P –  Matthew Read Aug 17 '11 at 22:21
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@Matthew: much smaller to whom? Tomorrow, a Chinese Language SE opens, if we follow your lead, we’ll hear “but really, using ASCII instead of CJK you don't loose much” :) –  F'x Aug 17 '11 at 22:25
    
No, I don't think the Chinese site should use English tags. That's pretty clearly not what I'm saying. If readability was the only concern, the French would simply abandon accents altogether and replace é et al with unique characters that are easier to distinguish. Would you advocate that? I don't. –  Matthew Read Aug 17 '11 at 22:32

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