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Unicode Demystified by Richard Gillam

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Multiple Representations

Having discussed the importance of the principle of unification, we must also consider the opposite property—the fact that Unicode provides alternate representations for many characters. As we saw earlier, Unicode's designers placed a high premium on respect for existing practice and interoperability with existing character encoding standards. In many cases, they sacrificed some measure of architectural purity in pursuit of the greater good (i.e., people actually using Unicode). As a result, Unicode includes code point assignments for a lot of characters that were included solely or primarily to allow for round-trip compatibility with some legacy standard, a broad category of characters known more or less informally as ...

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