Meta Stack Exchange is where users like you discuss bugs, features, and support issues that affect the software powering all 155 Stack Exchange communities.

What is meta?
Here's how it works:
  1. Any Stack Exchange user can ask a question
  2. The community provides support, votes on ideas, and reports bugs
  3. Your voice helps shape the way Stack Exchange operates

I read that fullstops are encoded as aspûnet on SQLServerPEdia:

StackOverflow limits you to five tags per question (answers aren't tagged), and all five are stored in this field. For example, for question 305223, the Tags field is "<offtopic><fun><not-programming-related><jon-skeet>" [...] StackOverflow allows periods in the tag, like the .NET tag and ASP.NET tag. However, in the database, these are stored as "aspûnet". Just something to be aware of.

So:

  • What functional benefits does encoding fullstops as aspûnet yield?
  • Also, what functional benefits does surrounding a tag with <> yield?
share|improve this question
    
Hmmm, wondering if the û is not some encoding problem with that very website? It also has an issue with space in "Stack Overflow". ;-) – Arjan Dec 23 '10 at 14:36
    
Perhaps this question should be migrated to SO? It's really a programming question that the subject matter of which is related to SO; but it can be for any other app. – Mohamad Dec 23 '10 at 14:48
    
(@Mel, there's no migration path from MSO to other sites.) – Arjan Dec 23 '10 at 14:56
    
@Arjan: a '.' is encoded the same way in virtually all encodings in the world, so no. – Andreas Bonini Dec 23 '10 at 20:52
    
@Kop, I was thinking about the dot being replaced by some other character or sequence, that somehow erroneously displayed as û on the site. Like a Unicode û is 0xC3BB in UTF-8. Hence, if the dot would have been encoded as 8-bit ASCII û then erroneously assuming UTF-8 would get one to see the û. Of course, encoding the dot as 8-bit ASCII û makes no sense at all, but there's many other options, especially when there's multiple erroneous encodings/decodings. Anyway, the dot does not seem to be encoded at all. Or: not anymore? – Arjan Dec 23 '10 at 21:40
    
(In 8-bit ASCII, û is 0xFB, or 11111011.) – Arjan Dec 23 '10 at 21:42
up vote 2 down vote accepted

I don't think the encoding of the dot is used (anymore):

select Tags
from Posts
where Id = 3397235;​

tags                
------------------- 
<c#><.net><asp.net> 

And using <...> seems just some random way to ensure one can keep the tags apart using some characters that will not appear in any tag itself? Just guessing though. Also, using a separator rather than both some prefix and suffix, makes queries such as where Tags like '%<.net>%' a bit harder. But then I don't know if such ill-performing queries would be used.

share|improve this answer
    
Would it not make sense to use a coma delimited list to separate the tags? – Mohamad Dec 23 '10 at 14:58
    
I guess one might not have expected a dot or hash in the tags either, when designing the database. Hence: can one be sure the comma is never used in a future tag? (Just guessing.) – Arjan Dec 23 '10 at 14:59
    
Also, a delimiter is harder in like queries. See my edit, @Mel. – Arjan Dec 23 '10 at 15:22
    
I believe the tags field is full-text indexed. – Jon Seigel Dec 23 '10 at 18:25

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .