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Unicode Demystified by Richard Gillam

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Converting Between Unicode and Other Standards

It would be nice if all digitally encoded text in the world were already in Unicode—but it isn't, and it never will be. Not only do innumerable pieces of encoded text and computer programs that process text predate the introduction of Unicode and will never be updated, but there are and will always be documents, computer systems, and user communities that don't and won't use Unicode. While one can hope that over time the computing public will move more and more toward using Unicode exclusively for the encoding of text, the reality is that some text will always be encoded using non-Unicode encodings, and Unicode-based systems will frequently have to contend with text encoded in these encodings.

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