My previous avatar was almost 3 years old, and I was getting tired of it. I decided to replace my avatar on my website for my IndieWebCamp Austin hack day project. But if you know me, you know I can't do anything the easy way. For my hack day project I made the avatar on each post in my website change depending on the emoji I use in the post!
Now that I have pages showing all posts that use a specific emoji such as 👍, I found myself wanting to be able to click the emoji in my posts to see other posts with that emoji. This is the same as how my autolinked hashtags work, where you can click on any hashtag in a post and see other posts with that hashtag.
I wanted to find all emoji in a string, including info about them, for my next #100Days project. However I couldn't find a library that does this. The closes I found was iamcal's Emoji conversion library, which can replace emoji in a string with HTML tags, as well as the EmojiOne library which can replace emoji in a string with shortcodes.
When someone types an emoji in Slack, it shows up in the API as a text description surrounded by colons. For example, 😻 is :heart_eyes_cat: when it comes through the API. Previously, the gateway would just send the text through to IRC, which doesn't look great for IRC users.