There are a few questions in the hot questions and in meta that make clever use of Unicode. The titles of these questions render poorly in the iOS app. For example:

hot question

clicked on

meta question

To clarify, the following things seem like bugs to me:

  1. In the feed view, there's no icon next to the question. Which stack exchange site is it from?

  2. The feed shows the title as escaped HTML entities (or whatever the proper term would be), whereas when you click on it, it shows missing Unicode characters.

  3. The title shows with missing Unicode characters. This might not be a bug, and just a consequence of the font used on iOS. I'm trying to determine that now. If it is due to the font, it might be worth revisiting the font and seeing if there's one that shows more characters than the current one.

    It looks like other apps on iOS have trouble rendering those characters, too. Apple's Mail message list:

apple mail list view

And in the message viewer it's different: apple mail message view

  • No, I haven't. I'll give it a try. However, just the fact that they render differently between the feed and the question view is, in my opinion, a bug. Jan 22, 2017 at 4:21
  • Good suggestion! I've updated it with some clarifications. Let me know if there's anything else that needs clarifying. Jan 22, 2017 at 4:29
  • Update looks fine to me. (Side note: you should not add "EDIT:" to edits in general... would be fixed in edit review queue :) ) Jan 22, 2017 at 4:48
  • "Doctor, it hurts when I do this." Well, you already know what the answer is. Jan 22, 2017 at 7:35
  • 6
    @CodyGray what is it I should not do? I don't understand. Jan 22, 2017 at 15:38
  • Not use silly titles like this, as discussed in the answers to that question. Jan 22, 2017 at 15:39
  • 12
    Well I didn't. I just saw them while browsing on the iOS app and was surprised. Jan 22, 2017 at 15:41
  • Based on experience with smartphones (especially Android) -- excluding the escaped entity on the feed -- this has something to do directly with the system font, so app developer might not even be possible to fix this. Jan 22, 2017 at 18:16
  • Yep, any meta is fine. I was actually answering this in a tab from yesterday and got the notice that the post had been migrated. Jan 24, 2017 at 22:47

1 Answer 1


There are two problems at play here.

The one that I can actually help with is that DTCoreText doesn't support HTML entity codes longer than 5 digits, and even for those five digit ones, anything outside of the UTF-16 range is broken.

I've submitted a pull request that expands the support to all UTF-32 codes.

The difference between the feed and the title on the actual question is just that for whatever reason an aggressive layer of entity conversion is happening in the feed model.

The other problem is that even when that pull request is accepted, the iOS UI fonts don't support those characters. You need to pester Apple on that one.


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