Amazon botches unicode gift note

While ordering a gift for my girlfriend through Amazon, I included a music symbol () and a heart symbol () in the gift note. The printed gift note that Amazon shipped with the gift showed "♫" and "♥" where the symbols were supposed to be. Amazon's confirmation page had showed the symbols correctly.

8 Responses to “Amazon botches unicode gift note”

  1. Lenny Says:

    Did you enter the characters as Unicode or as character references?

  2. ant Says:

    Looks like Amazon are being lazy with their HTML-escaping code. I came across it in my own stuff a while back. Took way too much effort to fix :/

  3. Neil Says:

    I agree: it’s almost impossible to fix ealready-written ad-hoc HTML-escaping code, unless you do it right in the first place. It took me two web programming efforts involving endless anti-XSS and character fixup issues to realise that the only waty to do things was for every single byte of data to or from the Web or your database to go through _correct_ and _rigorously tested_ escaping and unescaping bottleneck code.

  4. Jesse Ruderman Says:

    I entered the characters as unicode by pasting them from Hixie’s Character Finder.

  5. Matt Says:

    Hey, maybe she appreciated the geekiness? If my girlfriend could recognise the ♥ symbol by its Unicode number, holy damn…

  6. Patrick Hall Says:

    Amazon seems to have bad Unicode support all around.

    It doesn’t seem to be possible to search for non Latin-script texts at all. For instance, here’s a search for the Hindi word for “India” — surely, they have such a book in their index?


    And no, I don’t know Hindi — I just found the word by going to for “India” and following the link to the Hindi article on the same topic.

  7. harry Says:

    Hi Jesse,

    It might sound wierd to you but, can I know how you manage to use this template for your blog, its not available on, if you could tell me to get template for my own blog, thanks harry

  8. Patrick Hall Says:

    Hmm, weird, that Hindi search returns an error now.

    Maybe they’re reading your weblog. ☺