Submitted Jonathon, Oct 12 2001 03:02 AM | Last updated Oct 12 2001 03:02 AM
A standard for representing characters as numeric values.
Whereas the ASCII standard uses single bytes, and is therefore limited to 256 characters, Unicode uses two bytes to represent each character. This allows Unicode to represent up to 65,536 characters.
At present, Unicode only contains about 30,000 meaningful characters. But that is enough to represent virtually every major written language in the world. Unicode includes, for example, the entire character sets for Chinese and Japanese.
Because Unicode can easily represent characters from so many languages, its use is standard to the Java programming language. This is yet another feature which helps to make Java such a portable language.