Unicode in the Curriculum? (Julian Bradfield)

Elizabeth J. Pyatt ejp10 at psu.edu
Mon Jan 4 08:44:38 CST 2016

Like some others on the list, I believe Unicode should be mentioned at different points in a programming curriculum, particularly at the time when ASCII would be taught. Font design and typography is perhaps a different topic, but if it’s mentioned, why not mention CSS/font options for different scripts?

Any cloud based tool with ambitions to be a force in the global market MUST use Unicode. Tools such as Twitter, Word Press, Wikipedia, Facebook, Google Docs, Apple Mail/Outlook/Thunderbird and others work with multiple languages because of Unicode. And yes we all want to use our emojis! Optimal Unicode support means getting it right the first time to support thousands of languages instead of adding language support one by one.

Even “English only” pages, particularly educational pages, can include characters outside of Latin 1 such as math and technical symbols, smart curly quotes, long dashes, math symbols, and yes non-English words. I long for the day when I will no longer see phrases with mangled punctuation like: “They%!re half their size%#Weight Loss Winners”. Thanks to Unicode savvy Web designers, it’s a sight seen much less than 10 years ago.


Elizabeth J. Pyatt, Ph.D.
Instructional Designer
Teaching and Learning with Technology
Penn State University
ejp10 at psu.edu, (814) 865-0805 or (814) 865-2030 (Main Office)

210 Rider Building  (formerly Rider II)
227 W. Beaver Avenue
State College, PA   16801-4819

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