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Java™ Network Programming and Distributed Computing by Michael Reilly, David Reilly

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4.4. Readers and Writers

While input streams and output streams may be used to read and write text as well as bytes of information and primitive data types, a better alternative is to use readers and writers. Readers and writers were introduced in JDK1.1 to better support Unicode character streams.

4.4.1. What Are Unicode Characters?

Unicode is an extended character set. Most people think of characters as being composed of 8 bits of data, offering a range of 256 possible characters. Low ASCII (0–127) characters are followed by high ASCII characters (128–255). The high ASCII characters represent characters and symbols such as those used in foreign languages or punctuation. However, people quickly realized that even 256 characters were not enough ...

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