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Unicode Demystified by Richard Gillam

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What Unicode Is

Unicode is a standard method for representing written language in computers. So why do we need it? After all, probably dozens, if not hundreds, of ways of handling this issue already exist. That's exactly the point. Unicode isn't just another entry in the endless parade of text-encoding standards; it's an attempt to do away with all the others, or at least simplify their use, by creating a universal text encoding standard.

Let's back up for a second. The best-known and most widely used character encoding standard is the American Standard Code for Information Interchange (ASCII). The first version of ASCII was published in 1964 as a standard way of representing textual data in computer memory and sending it over communication links ...

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