Text strings like (*) and :) are automatically turned into smileys in comments. This is a gross misfeature for a tool targeted towards programmers who will be writing things like
(use a slice like 3: or 4:)
all the time. Teams shouldn't have to configure the text renderer to disable this. Smileys do not add enough value to be worth the cases where they interfere with work.
There is an open issue on this here as well: https://jira.atlassian.com/browse/JRA-39164. The question is, can Atlassian devs clarify why previous similar issues have been marked wontfix, and why there's been no response on this topic?
To answer the question in the title, the answer is that nowadays, emoticons are so ubiquitous, most users tend to use them, and people were raising "please render emoticons" with Atlassian quite a lot. Most of the developers I know tend not to put actual code into JIRA, it's often done in the review ir as a direct edit. When they do put code in a JIRA text field, they often want to write about it, and quote the code in a distinctly separate style or section, and they use the
macro to do it.
The issue you've found is the one that those of us who do NOT work that way are following because, while I'm happy that it's enabled by default, I really do want an easy way to turn it off.
On the later question, Atlassian tend to mark issues as not going to be fixed if they're looking to implement it as part of another piece, or as a duplicate. Although for this case, it looks like the "duplicate" resolution could have been more used, rather than "won't fix" (where the developer is thinking "I'm not doing this because we've got other stuff which will fix it for us", but the users see "Developer says no")
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