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Comments, questions and answers don’t trim Unicode U200B when counting characters

On Firefox and IE I don't see an answer here but other must see one or have a lot of faith.

alt text

Taken from this.

Please comment if you see the same thing.

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marked as duplicate by Ian Elliott, BinaryMisfit Aug 18 '09 at 5:05

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

How did this question survive but the other closed? Clearly a duplicate… – Ian Elliott Aug 18 '09 at 1:37
up vote 1 down vote accepted

The person "answering" this question obviously didn't like the way that the question was posed (basically a "give-me-teh-codez" question). However, rather than editing the question to make it more useful to the community (which he can do, having > 2000 rep), he decided to just have a bit of fun and post a blank answer, which will usually get a couple up-votes for humour.

This is a known "feature" / bug / etc. of the system. As you can see, the comments can also be blank - it is done by putting in lots of Unicode 200B's (defined as "Zero Width Space", used for line break control, with no width), which are then trimmed out when the answer is displayed. See also this question for more information.

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And the first comment is different that second by 4 votes... nice. I can see the difference. – Philippe Carriere Aug 17 '09 at 23:39
​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ – a_m0d Aug 17 '09 at 23:40
Hey, first in, most karma! – a_m0d Aug 17 '09 at 23:41
Why can't I do it ? I get this message : * required - at least 15 characters – Philippe Carriere Aug 17 '09 at 23:43
Put a bunch of spaces! HTML collapses more than 1 space into 1. – deleted Aug 17 '09 at 23:47
I only put one U200B character at the end. I pad between it, and the rest of the comment, with spaces. – Brad Gilbert Aug 18 '09 at 0:02
@silence, Isaac Waller: Use the Unicode 200B character rather than spaces (either surround your spaces with 200B's, or just put 15 of the 200B's in the comment) – a_m0d Aug 18 '09 at 0:06
If you put that last comment in the form of a answer, I will gladly upvote it as it's an well explained one. – Philippe Carriere Aug 18 '09 at 0:32


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Community wiki-ed so that people can view source and see nothing there :) Seriously, though, even though you can't see anything, there are 15 of those Unicode 200B characters in there! – a_m0d Aug 18 '09 at 1:22
​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ – Anish Gupta Jul 25 '12 at 14:43

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