Submitted randomZ, Apr 04 2004 06:10 AM | Last updated Apr 04 2004 06:10 AM
Unicode is a standard which describes character encoding, similar to ASCII. However, in contrast to ASCII and other encodings, Unicode tries to encompass all characters ever needed.
While ASCII is limited to one-byte units and therefore 256 different characters, Unicode uses three different encoding forms:
UTF-8 uses 8-bit units; UTF-16 uses 16-bit units; UTF-32 uses 32-bit units.
All three of these forms can make use of all characters covered by the standard; in UTF-8 and UTF-16, a character may however consist of more than one unit.
The web site of the Unicode consortium is http://www.unicode.org/