1137: "LTR/RTL"

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miraclef
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Re: 1137: "LTR/RTL"

Postby miraclef » Wed Nov 21, 2012 4:45 pm UTC

Plutarch wrote:
evilspoons wrote:I'm not seeing anything interesting happening outside of the comic in Chrome or Internet Explorer. Was the thing removed or has it gone over my head?


I'm glad I'm not the only one! I can't see anything strange at all, in Safari or Firefox, I don't know what the joke is meant to be. Maybe it's just going completely over my head too. Could anyone tell me what I should be seeing in the comic?


Read the comic. That is the main joke.

The "cool" Easter egg comes from looking at the HTML source of the comic and then playing around with U+202e yourself. Try putting it somewhere in your own HTML source.

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alvinhochun
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Re: 1137: "LTR/RTL"

Postby alvinhochun » Wed Nov 21, 2012 4:49 pm UTC

Looks like the ‮HTE‭ typo in the comic is fixed...

dudecon
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Re: 1137: "LTR/RTL" The Joke Explained

Postby dudecon » Wed Nov 21, 2012 4:57 pm UTC

For everyone not getting it: here is the joke explained.
Spoiler:
In the comic:
Someone is telling Black Hat a boring story, so he uses a formatting character to reverse their speech, making them sound funny.

The (text) character inside the comic:
Text can be encoded in different ways. ASCII is a common method, and has 256 different characters, including the ones you see when you try to open a binary file using Notepad. There's an expanded encoding called UTF, which has all kinds of characters, some of which aren't actually displayed themselves, but are used to change how other characters are displayed.
The UTF code in the comic, "U+202e" is a single character which changes the text following it from "Left To Right" (the default, that you are reading now) to "Right To Left" (nettirw si txet siht yaw eht). Part of the joke is that it works even outside of the computer, part of an ongoing theme of computers (and computer programming especially) having supernatural powers.

The joke on the website:
If you examine the source of the page, you'll notice that the page title and the title just above the comic are written as "LTR" but they come out "RTL" when viewed in a browser. This is because of this same UTF code inserted just before the text. In some browsers this may cause errors. In any case, it makes talking about the comic difficult because if the HTML viewer does not "render" the text reversal you will see "LTR", whereas if it does render it, you will see "RTL".


And now you know.

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alvinhochun
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Re: 1137: "LTR/RTL"

Postby alvinhochun » Wed Nov 21, 2012 5:01 pm UTC

amire80 wrote:Thanks to this comic I reported a bug in Firefox. Search for bug number 813923 in Mozilla's Bugzilla. (Apparently, I can't post URLs here.)

I reported another bug on Chrome. http://code.google.com/p/chromium/issue ... ?id=162244

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orthogon
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Re: 1137: "LTR/RTL"

Postby orthogon » Wed Nov 21, 2012 5:17 pm UTC

alvinhochun wrote:
amire80 wrote:Thanks to this comic I reported a bug in Firefox. Search for bug number 813923 in Mozilla's Bugzilla. (Apparently, I can't post URLs here.)

I reported another bug on Chrome. http://code.google.com/p/chromium/issue ... ?id=162244

So. It has come to this.
notepad.exe is held up as a paragon of desirable behaviour.
Truly, every dog has its day.
xtifr wrote:... and orthogon merely sounds undecided.

VanI
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Re: 1137: "LTR/RTL" The Joke Explained

Postby VanI » Wed Nov 21, 2012 7:13 pm UTC

dudecon wrote:The UTF code in the comic, "U+202e"


Actually, "UTF" is one of the Unicode Transformation Formats - the binary encodings of a Unicode scalar value (ie, character code point). "U+202E" is the scalar value. The UTF-8 code for this character and its scalar value is E2 80 AE, UTF-16 is 202E, and UTF-32 is 0000202E.

Sorry, but the few of us Unicode geeks out here have to represent - my first script will be in the next published version.
I swear, a fireball lied to me just the other day...

sidran32
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Re: 1137: "LTR/RTL"

Postby sidran32 » Wed Nov 21, 2012 7:53 pm UTC

When I saw the title of the comic, I immediately thought RTL as in "Register-transfer level" and was excited because it's actually related to my field and I was curious how it would be treated, here. Turns out the comic is about something totally different.

That's ok, though, because it was still funny. And clever how it screwed with some of our browsers (though I'm using IE9, and I had to hover the button on the taskbar to even see anything reversed. Notepad++ (my default source editor) doesn't show the effect in the <title>...</title> line, either.

Still, ‮this was clever. I get a kick out of stuff like this!

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neremanth
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Re: 1137: "LTR/RTL"

Postby neremanth » Wed Nov 21, 2012 8:35 pm UTC

Just noticed the Archive has gone RTL as well. I wasn't expecting that!

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Splarka
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Re: 1137: "LTR/RTL"

Postby Splarka » Wed Nov 21, 2012 9:01 pm UTC

Every ‮rehto‬ word ‮ni‬ this ‮ecnetnes‬ is ‮,sdrawkcab‬ and ‮dednekoob‬ with ‮e202‬ and ‮.c202‬

Also, try visiting this awesome facebook link: http://‮@myspace.com/moc.koobecaf‬

I remember a few years ago there were spammers attempting to bypass filters with this trick until the filters simply started normalizing. There were also some lyrics websites trying to block copy-paste.
HTTP/1.1 - 203

Plutarch
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Re: 1137: "LTR/RTL" The Joke Explained

Postby Plutarch » Wed Nov 21, 2012 10:11 pm UTC

dudecon wrote:For everyone not getting it: here is the joke explained.
Spoiler:
In the comic:
Someone is telling Black Hat a boring story, so he uses a formatting character to reverse their speech, making them sound funny.

The (text) character inside the comic:
Text can be encoded in different ways. ASCII is a common method, and has 256 different characters, including the ones you see when you try to open a binary file using Notepad. There's an expanded encoding called UTF, which has all kinds of characters, some of which aren't actually displayed themselves, but are used to change how other characters are displayed.
The UTF code in the comic, "U+202e" is a single character which changes the text following it from "Left To Right" (the default, that you are reading now) to "Right To Left" (nettirw si txet siht yaw eht). Part of the joke is that it works even outside of the computer, part of an ongoing theme of computers (and computer programming especially) having supernatural powers.

The joke on the website:
If you examine the source of the page, you'll notice that the page title and the title just above the comic are written as "LTR" but they come out "RTL" when viewed in a browser. This is because of this same UTF code inserted just before the text. In some browsers this may cause errors. In any case, it makes talking about the comic difficult because if the HTML viewer does not "render" the text reversal you will see "LTR", whereas if it does render it, you will see "RTL".


And now you know.


Thanks, great detailed explanation.

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Cheese
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Re: 1137: "LTR/RTL"

Postby Cheese » Thu Nov 22, 2012 12:08 am UTC

Red Hal wrote:Cheese, it's taken a while, but we salute you.
<3
hermaj wrote:No-one. Will. Be. Taking. Cheese's. Spot.
Spoiler:
LE4dGOLEM wrote:Cheese is utterly correct on all fronts.
SecondTalon wrote:That thing that Cheese just said. Do that.
Meaux_Pas wrote:I hereby disagree and declare Cheese to be brilliant.
Image

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alvinhochun
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Re: 1137: "LTR/RTL"

Postby alvinhochun » Thu Nov 22, 2012 2:32 am UTC

neremanth wrote:Just noticed the Archive has gone RTL as well. I wasn't expecting that!

Chrome treats RTL override differently than IE so after a line break (<br />) the effect disappears. Don't know how Firefox's doing, though.

== EDIT: Firefox is doing the same as Chrome. ==

squonk
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Re: 1137: "LTR/RTL"

Postby squonk » Thu Nov 22, 2012 4:17 am UTC

alvinhochun wrote:Looks like the ‮HTE‭ typo in the comic is fixed...


But...but...Randall doesn't get do-overs!

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zemerick
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Re: 1137: "LTR/RTL"

Postby zemerick » Thu Nov 22, 2012 5:20 am UTC

Splarka wrote:Every ‮rehto‬ word ‮ni‬ this ‮ecnetnes‬ is ‮,sdrawkcab‬ and ‮dednekoob‬ with ‮e202‬ and ‮.c202‬

Also, try visiting this awesome facebook link: http://‮@myspace.com/moc.koobecaf‬

I remember a few years ago there were spammers attempting to bypass filters with this trick until the filters simply started normalizing. There were also some lyrics websites trying to block copy-paste.


Lol. I have an odd habit of highlighting stuff as I read it. ( Mostly originated from reading long messages so I don't lose my place, especially when scrolling is required. )

Yea...go back and try highlighting your post. It's trippy, hehe. It also makes it pretty clear where things are changed up at.

Note: This was on Google Chrome Beta 23 in case different browsers treat this differently.

Patrik3
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Re: 1137: "LTR/RTL"

Postby Patrik3 » Thu Nov 22, 2012 3:02 pm UTC

Do there exist any sidescrolling platformers which feature an Arabic level, where the direction of scroll suddenly reverts to the right? If not, that game needs making!

Edit: In fact, do Arabic ports of "Latin-language" (I forget the precise term) sidescrollers ever change the direction of scroll to fit their audience?

And... I know it's a controversial topic, that the brain has two distinct 'sides', but have there been any studies on effects of reading leftwards vs rightwards?

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orthogon
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Re: 1137: "LTR/RTL"

Postby orthogon » Thu Nov 22, 2012 3:34 pm UTC

Patrik3 wrote:Do there exist any sidescrolling platformers which feature an Arabic level, where the direction of scroll suddenly reverts to the right? If not, that game needs making!

Edit: In fact, do Arabic ports of "Latin-language" (I forget the precise term) sidescrollers ever change the direction of scroll to fit their audience?

And... I know it's a controversial topic, that the brain has two distinct 'sides', but have there been any studies on effects of reading leftwards vs rightwards?


These, sir, are excellent questions. I remember hearing that idea that you could tell if someone was lying depending if they look to the left (remembering) or the right (inventing) was debunked. It occurred to me that the left only represents the past in the sense that we write from left-to-right, so if this were true it would presumably be culturally dependent and not work for the illiterate.

Also: The question of whether I am alone on the Internet today has been answered. I realise it's Thanksgiving in the US, but it was unusually quiet when the statesiders who wouldn't be posting when they should be working wouldn't have shoulded have been working anyway even if it were a working day because it wouldn't be the day. If you see what I mean.
xtifr wrote:... and orthogon merely sounds undecided.

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Klear
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Re: 1137: "LTR/RTL"

Postby Klear » Thu Nov 22, 2012 3:56 pm UTC

You are not alone =)

BTW, AFAIK the rationale behind writing LTR is that when writing with right hand, as most people do, you don't smudge the ink with your hand. I wonder if there is some difference of writing techniques that could account for the different directions in different languages (for example, that in the period when arabic writing developed, they wrote in a way where it isn't an issue, such as carving)

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orthogon
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Re: 1137: "LTR/RTL"

Postby orthogon » Thu Nov 22, 2012 4:40 pm UTC

It seems that the first abjads were RTL and the Greek alphabet broke away from this via a stage where lines were alternately rtl and ltr:

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greek_alphabet#section_2

So rtl is the historical norm, and ltr is the novelty.

Edit: Agreed about the smudging issue, and there's also the problem of seeing what you've written. Left-handers have this problem in ltr, and often hold the pen in an awkward-looking way to work around it.
Last edited by orthogon on Thu Nov 22, 2012 4:44 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
xtifr wrote:... and orthogon merely sounds undecided.

rmsgrey
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Re: 1137: "LTR/RTL"

Postby rmsgrey » Thu Nov 22, 2012 4:43 pm UTC

orthogon wrote:I remember hearing that idea that you could tell if someone was lying depending if they look to the left (remembering) or the right (inventing) was debunked. It occurred to me that the left only represents the past in the sense that we write from left-to-right, so if this were true it would presumably be culturally dependent and not work for the illiterate.


Brief derail: I always wonder how much this sort of "tell" relies on the person with the tell being aware of the suggested tell in the first place - in other words, do people only look to their left to remember because they've unconsciously picked up the idea that that's what they're supposed to do?

truenorth
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Re: 1137: "LTR/RTL"

Postby truenorth » Thu Nov 22, 2012 10:26 pm UTC

alvinhochun wrote:Looks like the ‮HTE‭ typo in the comic is fixed...

And that was a typo of a typo - I'm sure it was meant to be HET.

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neremanth
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Re: 1137: "LTR/RTL"

Postby neremanth » Thu Nov 22, 2012 10:45 pm UTC

alvinhochun wrote:
neremanth wrote:Just noticed the Archive has gone RTL as well. I wasn't expecting that!

Chrome treats RTL override differently than IE so after a line break (<br />) the effect disappears. Don't know how Firefox's doing, though.

== EDIT: Firefox is doing the same as Chrome. ==

I was using Firefox - but an ancient version. (For long and complicated reasons). On my computer at home with up-to-date Firefox the Archive indeed displayed properly.

Still, it was quite interesting in an oh-my-god-my-eyes kind of way, even if it wasn't intentional.

Patrik3
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Re: 1137: "LTR/RTL"

Postby Patrik3 » Fri Nov 23, 2012 1:46 am UTC

orthogon wrote:These, sir, are excellent questions. I remember hearing that idea that you could tell if someone was lying depending if they look to the left (remembering) or the right (inventing) was debunked. It occurred to me that the left only represents the past in the sense that we write from left-to-right, so if this were true it would presumably be culturally dependent and not work for the illiterate.


This video is relevant. And brilliant and worth watching even if it isn't relevant. But it is relevant.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dFs9WO2B8uI

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dotancohen
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Re: 1137: "LTR/RTL"

Postby dotancohen » Sun Nov 25, 2012 10:47 am UTC

Istaro wrote:I just tried Googling for a single RLO character . . .

Your search - .stnemucod yna hctam ton did -

Suggestions:
• Try different keywords.


I've written about this. You can copy the RTL / LTR and related non-printing characters easily from here:
http://dotancohen.com/howto/rtl_right_to_left.html

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mathmannix
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Re: 1137: "LTR/RTL"

Postby mathmannix » Tue Dec 04, 2012 7:17 pm UTC

So is the archive always going to be backwards from now on? (For everything before this comic, anyway)
I hear velociraptor tastes like chicken.


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