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Friday, December 15, 2017

What is Unicode !

A universal 16-bit (two bytestandard character set for representing plain text in computer processing, which includes the major modern scripts; classical forms of Greek, Sanskrit, and Pali; the symbols used in Braille; mathematical and technical symbols; and over 21,000 East Asian ideographs--7,000 more than the East Asian Character Code (EACC) used in USMARC. Many more scripts have been proposed for inclusion and are under consideration.
Development of Unicode began in 1987 when Joe Becker and Lee Collins of Xerox and Mark Davis of Apple sought to devise a character set as simple as ASCII to meet the needs of the entire computing world. Joe Becker is credited with coining the term, which stands for "unique, universal, and uniform character encoding." The Research Libraries Group (RLG), developer of EACC, joined the project in its early stages, and in 1991 the Unicode Consortium was established to develop and promote the new standard. At the same time, the Joint Technical Committee 1 (JTC 1) of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) were also working on a global character set. In 1992, the two initiatives merged. Since then, Unicode has been synchronized with ISO/IEC 10646.

The current version of Unicode can define approximately 65,000 characters, with extensions to accommodate an additional 1 million characters. Duplication is avoided by assigning a single code when a character is common to more than one language. The standard also provides guidelines for sorting and searching, compression and transmission, transcoding to other standards, and truncationLibrary issues center on the use of Unicode data in machine-readable bibliographic records, since large numbers of existing records are encoded in 7- and 8-bit character sets. The MARBI Committee of the American Library Association (ALA), responsible for advising the Library of Congress on the USMARC formats, has delegated work on the use of Unicode to its Subcommittee on Character Sets and to special task forces. Unicode is currently used in Java from Sun, Windows NT and Internet Explorer from Microsoft, Netscape Navigator, the Macintosh operating system from Apple, and database applications from Oracle, Sybase, etc. Many vendors of integrated library systems are moving toward implementation of Unicode in their systemsClick here to learn more about the Unicode Standard.

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