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Marc Wandschneider is a professional software developer with well over fifteen years of industry experience (yes, he really is that old). He travels the globe working on interesting projects and gives talks at conferences and trade shows whenever possible.

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Jan 30, 2009 | 21:24:50
An iPhone bug fix 18 months in the making
By marcwan

A few years ago, I had a Palm Treo, which was a pretty cool device – for 2004. The two big problems were its weight – dropping it would immediately break the glass, something I discovered four times in one calendar year – and its lack of UTF-8 support, which made entering accents and weird (read: Asian) characters impossible.

Fast-forward a few years to the iPhone, and finally you have a handset that is both 100% UTF-8 and actually shipping with a worldwide font so you can view emails and pages in Chinese, Japanese, and Arabic, and even enter contacts with names in those languages.

But there was a bug: Contacts entered in Chinese characters would not be sorted correctly – they were just lumped at the bottom and you just knew to tap “Z” when you wanted to text or email your Chinese colleague or friend.

The iPhone 2.2 firmware finally fixes this. They now sort names correctly, with Chinese names sorted by pinyin. (Oddly enough, Japanese names are still not sorted by romaji.) In fact, they’ve supplemented the UI for contact names so that you can enter (in Latin characters) how the name is pronounced and how it should be sorted.

An already cool device keeps getting cooler.

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