From: Magda Danish (Unicode) [EMAIL PROTECTED]
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Subject: Major Enhancements to the Unicode Standard: Enabling International Domain
Names, Expanding Worldwide Accessibility, and Reducing the Digital Divide
Date: Wed, 27 Aug 2003 06:11:25 -0700
Major Enhancements to the Unicode Standard:
Enabling International Domain Names, Expanding Worldwide Accessibility,
and Reducing the Digital Divide
Mountain View, CA, August 27, 2003 -- The Unicode Consortium and
Addison-Wesley announce publication of Version 4.0 of the Unicode
Standard. Unicode is the fundamental specification for the
representation of text, at the core of all modern software, programming
languages, and standards, including Windows, Java, C#, Perl, XML, HTML,
DB2, Oracle, and many others.
Unicode is also central to the new internationalized domain names, which
allow everyone in the world to have URLs in their own languages. This is
yet another case where Unicode opens the door to more of the world's
different cultures, helping to break down the digital divide.
Version 4.0 strengthens Unicode support for worldwide communication,
software availability, and publishing. The text has been extensively
rewritten, and incorporates specifications that were previously only
available as separate documents. The clarified specification of
conformance requirements incorporates the most highly developed
character encoding model in existence, encompassing the wide variety of
types of characters needed by the world's languages, and permitting
compatibility with all modern computer architectures.
Record-breaking character content
Version 4.0 encodes over 96,000 characters, twice as many as Version
3.0, and includes two record-breaking collections of encoded characters.
The largest encoded character collection for Chinese characters in the
history of computing has doubled in size yet again to encompass over
2000 years of Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Vietnamese literary usage,
including all the main classical dictionaries of these languages.
Version 4.0 also encodes the largest set of characters for mathematical
and technical publishing in existence. The character repertoires of
Version 4.0 and International Standard ISO/IEC 10646 are fully
Reducing the digital divide
To meet the needs of all linguistic communities, the Unicode Standard
and associated standards are continually being extended, not only in
terms of the addition of characters, but also in specifying *how* those
characters work, such as:
- how text sorts or matches in different languages
- how text behaves for East Asian languages (e.g. vertically) or in
Middle Eastern languages (from right to left)
- how text should upper- or lowercase
- how text breaks into lines or words
- how text behaves in Regular Expressions (a key tool used in a vast
number of web servers)
Small linguistic communities all over the world have the opportunity to
get mainstream software working right out of the box, instead of waiting
years for special adaptations that may never come.
For more information on the scripts encoded in the Unicode Standard, see
Version 4.0 is published by Addison-Wesley (ISBN 0-321-18578-1), and is
available from the Unicode Consortium or through the book trade. The
text and code charts of Version 4.0 are also available on the
Consortium's Web site www.unicode.org.
About the Unicode Consortium
The Unicode Consortium is a non-profit organization founded to develop,
extend and promote use of the Unicode Standard, which specifies the
representation of text in modern software products and standards.
Members of the Consortium are a broad spectrum of corporations and
organizations in the computer and information technology industry. Full
members are: Adobe Systems, Apple Computer, Basis Technology, Government
of India (Ministry of Information Technology), Government of Pakistan
(National Language Authority), HP, IBM, Justsystem, Microsoft, Oracle,
PeopleSoft, RLG, SAP, Sun Microsystems, and Sybase.
Membership in the Unicode Consortium is open to organizations and
individuals anywhere in the world who support the Unicode Standard and
wish to assist in its extension and implementation.
For additional information on Unicode, contact the Unicode Consortium,
Addison-Wesley (www.awprofessional.com) is the leading publisher of
quality computer science and engineering books and software for
technical professionals, developed and authored by the world's leading
technology experts. It is a unit of Pearson Technology Group, the
world's largest provider of consumer and professional computer,
information technology, engineering and reference content. Pearson
Technology Group is an operating