All About Unicode - Needs, and Advantages You Should Know

All About Unicode
Computers only deal with numbers and store letters and other characters but assigning a number for each one of them. The computers made use of different systems that were called character encodings for assigning the numbers. However, these early character encodings were limited and did not have enough characters to cover all the languages that exist in the world, and this led to conflict. With Unicode everything underwent a change; it is a standard system that provided a unique number for every character regardless of the platform, device, application, or language being used.

It was readily embraced by all modern software developers and allows the data to be transported through various platforms, devices, and applications without corruption. Told by a dissertation help firm, the good thing about using Unicode is that it is supported by all major operating systems, search engines, browsers, and smartphones, as well as the internet and the World Wide Web, which helps to implement so many programs and languages easily. As the Unicode standard made its place and its tools supported the operating system, it has become the most significant global software technology trends of the current times.

The Unicode standard was first introduced in October 1991 and became popular as it allowed for many characters to be grouped in a single encoding. With seventeen planes and each comprising of 65,536 code points or 256 rows of 256 code points, Unicode standard provides software developers a large platform to experiment and play with.

The Important Thing To Know About Unicode:
Unicode code points are simple numbers in a vast range hex 0 – 10FFFF. These points are used in their abbreviated form and use U- but U+ is used when just four digits are being used that indicate a coding unit. The four key original design goals that led to the development of Unicode are:
  • To create a universal standard that would cover all the writing systems
  • To use an efficient means of coding that would help to avoid mechanisms such as code page switch, shift sequence, and special characters
  • To make use of a standard encoding width in which each character is encoded as a 16-bit value
  • To come up with a definite encoding program in which any given 16-bit value always represented the same character no matter where it is placed in the data

Many believe that Unicode has been successful in achieving its goals while others are not so happy with what has been done. However, there is no objection to the fact that some compromises were needed as nothing is perfect.

Advantages Of Unicode:
  • Simplified Application Development – when an application component makes use of the Unicode, all the symbols needed by the application for reading and writing character data reside in a single code. It makes the process of application development very easy and convenient.
  • Easy Migration Of Existing Code - Unicode Transformation Format or UTF-8 includes the traditional ASCII characters in its first 127 positions and assigns each of these characters its traditional ASCII value. It makes it very easy to adapt the existing ASCII applications to the Unicode.
  • Convenient Sharing And Access Of Data - OpenEdge clients that make use of the incompatible code pages have the convenience of reading and writing a single UTF-8 database. The OpenEdge will automatically convert the code page as the data will pass between the client and database, making things very easy to share and transfer.
  • Effective Worldwide Usage – the UTF-8 database and r-code files can be read in multiple languages which makes it easy to use them anywhere in the world, making Unicode all the more effective and useful.
  • Web Compatibility - with its numerous features, Unicode is fast on its way to becoming the universal code page of the web; an increasing number of web standards now require it and look forward to it for fulfilling their user needs.
  • Multilingual Applications – applications that use Unicode can support multiple languages in data, the user interface as well reports making it very easy to be used.
  • Interoperation Facility – Active-X and Java clients are based on Unicode, which means they can communicate with the UTF-8 database and AppServers very efficiently.

What makes Unicode so important as well as beneficial is its ability to enable any character, letter, or symbol to be represented with just a single standard. Due to this unique feature of unifying character sets has made Unicode highly popular and increased its usage in the internationalization as well as localization of computer software.

Albert Barkley

Hello, my name is Albert Barkley. I am working as education consultant with a UK based firm after completion of my PhD. I like to write on different social, tech and education trends.

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