On 2019-12-03 12:59 AM, Richard Wordingham via Unicode wrote:
On Mon, 2 Dec 2019 12:01:52 +0000
"Costello, Roger L. via Unicode" <unicode@unicode.org> wrote:

 From the book titled "Computer Power and Human Reason" by Joseph
Weizenbaum, p.74-75

Suppose that the alphabet with which we wish to concern ourselves
consists of 256 distinct symbols...
Why should I wish to concern myself with only one alphabet?

You shouldn't.  But suppose you did.  That's the hypothetical set-up for the illustration.

When that book was published in 1976, that illustration may have helped some people gain a better understanding of computer encoding.

Nowadays a character string might be required to produce a glyph which the user community considers to be a "character" (or letter) in its writing system.  Adding variation selectors, invisible 'formatting' characters, and non-alphabetic symbols to the mix has moved computer encoding way beyond 1976.

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