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What is Unicode?

Unicode
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What is Unicode?

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From unicode.org: Fundamentally, computers just deal with numbers. They store letters and other characters by assigning a number for each one. Before Unicode was invented, there were hundreds of different encoding systems for assigning these numbers. No single encoding could contain enough characters: for example, the European Union alone requires several different encodings to cover all its languages. Even for a single language like English no single encoding was adequate for all the letters, punctuation, and technical symbols in common use. These encoding systems also conflict with one another. That is, two encodings can use the same number for two different characters, or use different numbers for the same character. Any given computer (especially servers) needs to support many different encodings; yet whenever data is passed between different encodings or platforms, that data always runs the risk of corruption. Unicode is changing all that! Unicode provides a unique number for ever

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Unicode is a type of text encoding that allows for the display of most of…

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Unicode is an international character set standard which supports all of the major scripts of the world, as well as common technical symbols. The original Unicode specification defined characters as fixed-width 16-bit entities, but the Unicode standard has since been changed to allow for characters whose representation requires more than 16 bits. The range of legal code points is now U+0000 to U+10FFFF. You can learn more about the Unicode standard at the Unicode Consortium web site.

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In the late 1980s, there have been two independent attempts to create a single unified character set. One was the ISO 10646 project of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), the other was the Unicode Project organized by a consortium of (initially mostly US) manufacturers of multi-lingual software. Fortunately, the participants of both projects realized in around 1991 that two different unified character sets is not exactly what the world needs. They joined their efforts and worked together on creating a single code table. Both projects still exist and publish their respective standards independently, however the Unicode Consortium and ISO/IEC JTC1/SC2 have agreed to keep the code tables of the Unicode and ISO 10646 standards compatible and they closely coordinate any further extensions. Unicode 1.1 corresponded to ISO 10646-1:1993, Unicode 3.0 corresponded to ISO 10646-1:2000, Unicode 3.2 added ISO 10646-2:2001, and Unicode 4.0 corresponds to ISO 10646:2003. All Uni

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for a short explanation of what Unicode is all about. That page is translated into more than 50 languages, to illustrate the use of the standard. See for yourself!

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