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52 votes

Could we have avoided the whole UTF-16 fiasco?

The designers of Unicode did consider whether 16 bits would be sufficient, and decided that they would be, based on their assumptions: Unicode gives higher priority to ensuring utility for the ...
Stephen Kitt's user avatar
47 votes
Accepted

Why did Windows 3.0 fail in Japan?

I'm not sure if I would attribute much to that article. Bullfrag is a well-known clickbait site which is all about cross-linking and advertisement, not really about the content. Likewise the number of ...
Raffzahn's user avatar
  • 220k
39 votes
Accepted

What mid-1970s to mid-1980s home computers had their graphics characters added to Unicode 13?

The new additions mentioned are mostly to be found in the new Symbols for Legacy Computing block (PDF link) covering the 1FB00–1FBFF codepoint range. This block includes: a large number of BLOCK ...
natevw's user avatar
  • 2,937
30 votes
Accepted

How was the order of Unicode block-quadrant characters chosen?

U+2596–U+259F were added in Unicode 3.2.0 (see the relevant delta code chart), as a result of this proposal. None of the available documents explain the sequence of code points chosen — worse than ...
Stephen Kitt's user avatar
28 votes

Could we have avoided the whole UTF-16 fiasco?

Cultural factors played a role. Western creators of Unicode expected that unifying East Asian ideographs would be similar to unifying Western fonts (roman, italics...) and that they get to decide ...
Jirka Hanika's user avatar
17 votes

Could we have avoided the whole UTF-16 fiasco?

But would it have been conceivable for the inventors of Unicode to forsee that 16 bits would not be sufficient, to think of UTF-8 at the beginning, and only specify UTF-8 and UTF-32 as valid ...
cjs's user avatar
  • 25k
17 votes

Could we have avoided the whole UTF-16 fiasco?

Unicode represented a compromise among a number of competing objectives. Probably its biggest failing is its presumption that a single storage format could be suitable for string storage, string ...
supercat's user avatar
  • 35.7k
14 votes
Accepted

What's the correct Unicode code point for the Apple IIe's "delete" symbol?

TL;DR: There is no 'REVERSE FIVE-BY-FIVE CENTERED CHECKER BOARD' (*1) in all of Unicode's blocks. Closest by looks and positioning might be the "REVERSE FOUR-BY-FOUR CHECKER BOARD" U+1FBA6 ...
Raffzahn's user avatar
  • 220k
11 votes

How do I interpret the old Mac character set?

The character set is known as "Mac OS Roman". The official mapping from Mac OS Roman to Unicode can be found on unicode.org. While the character set is similar to Windows-1252 and ISO-8859-1, having ...
fadden's user avatar
  • 9,020
10 votes

How do I interpret the old Mac character set?

From a more practical point of view, the program to convert between different character sets is called iconv. It can be used on the command line from the OS X (Mac) terminal, as well as in most Linux ...
felixphew's user avatar
  • 612
9 votes

Could we have avoided the whole UTF-16 fiasco?

Yes, absolutely, if not for some big players in the Unicode consortium heavily pushing an agenda for a 16-bit fixed-size character set early-on. On the ISO 10646 side, it was always assumed that a 16-...
R.. GitHub STOP HELPING ICE's user avatar
9 votes

Could we have avoided the whole UTF-16 fiasco?

TL;DR: UTF-8 and any other variable-length encodings are good "external", "exchange" format, but bad "internal processing" format. You start from a very wrong premise that "UTF-16 was kind of a ...
Oleg V. Volkov's user avatar
9 votes

What's the correct Unicode code point for the Apple IIe's "delete" symbol?

Only because @trikly asked (in this comment), from the relevant Unicode documentation(PDF), the three new "Specific symbols for delete" that have been accepted for future inclusion in the ...
FeRD's user avatar
  • 381
7 votes

How was the order of Unicode block-quadrant characters chosen?

To start with it's important to keep in mind that Unicode is not intended and does not provide any means of binary sequence, other than no two characters having the same code point. Thus any addition ...
Raffzahn's user avatar
  • 220k
7 votes

How widely used were C1 control codes?

Within DEC, "all the time". Why send two bytes down a wire at a lousy 300-to-1200 bps when one byte would do? DEC terminals from the VT200 series onwards supported an 8-bit character set ...
dave's user avatar
  • 35.2k
6 votes

How widely used were C1 control codes?

However, C1 have hardly left any impression nowadays beyond 0x85 Next Line. Not restricted to C1. Not much of any control character has still an 'impression' nowadays. Unicode just ignores other C1 ...
Raffzahn's user avatar
  • 220k
4 votes

What's the correct Unicode code point for the Apple IIe's "delete" symbol?

In order to determine what Unicode symbol should be associated with that character, one would have to ascertain what the dot pattern was supposed to represent. The particular pattern of dots used for ...
supercat's user avatar
  • 35.7k
3 votes

Could we have avoided the whole UTF-16 fiasco?

It could have been avoided if Unicode had taken a more reasonable path, but being Design by Committee, that was practically guaranteed not to happen. If desired, the BMP (= 16 bits of Unicode) plus ...
Damon's user avatar
  • 189
2 votes

Are the control characters any useful nowadays?

One example of the classic ASCII control codes being used today would be ETX and EOF. On a Unix-like system in the terminal, Ctrl-C is ETX and will normally quit the program, and ctrl-D is EOF and is ...
RETRAC's user avatar
  • 13.6k
2 votes

Are the control characters any useful nowadays?

I posit that the original use of control characters was strictly for non-textual usage. In other words, things that don't print. In ye olden times, that was the primary way to communicate anything ...
manassehkatz-Moving 2 Codidact's user avatar
1 vote

What mid-1970s to mid-1980s home computers had their graphics characters added to Unicode 13?

Since the BBC Micro had a Teletext chip (SAA5050) and used it for its MODE 7 and the Teletext character set was added (I believe in that revision), it had its character set added, although, maybe just ...
Richard Broadhurst's user avatar

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