A neat description of encoding characters

James Kass via Unicode unicode at unicode.org
Mon Dec 2 19:58:26 CST 2019

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 at 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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