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UNICODE(7)		   Linux Programmer's Manual		    UNICODE(7)

       unicode - universal character set

       The  international  standard  ISO 10646 defines the Universal Character
       Set (UCS).  UCS contains all characters	of  all	 other	character  set
       standards.   It	also  guarantees  "round-trip compatibility"; in other
       words, conversion tables can be built such that no information is  lost
       when a string is converted from any other encoding to UCS and back.

       UCS contains the characters required to represent practically all known
       languages.  This includes not only the Latin, Greek, Cyrillic,  Hebrew,
       Arabic,	Armenian, and Georgian scripts, but also Chinese, Japanese and
       Korean Han ideographs as well as scripts such  as  Hiragana,  Katakana,
       Hangul,	Devanagari, Bengali, Gurmukhi, Gujarati, Oriya, Tamil, Telugu,
       Kannada,	 Malayalam,  Thai,  Lao,  Khmer,  Bopomofo,  Tibetan,	Runic,
       Ethiopic, Canadian Syllabics, Cherokee, Mongolian, Ogham, Myanmar, Sin-
       hala, Thaana, Yi, and others.  For scripts not yet covered, research on
       how  to	best encode them for computer usage is still going on and they
       will be added eventually.   This	 might	eventually  include  not  only
       Hieroglyphs and various historic Indo-European languages, but even some
       selected artistic scripts such as Tengwar,  Cirth,  and	Klingon.   UCS
       also  covers  a large number of graphical, typographical, mathematical,
       and scientific symbols, including those provided	 by  TeX,  Postscript,
       APL,  MS-DOS,  MS-Windows,  Macintosh,  OCR fonts, as well as many word
       processing and publishing systems, and more are being added.

       The UCS standard (ISO 10646) describes a 31-bit character set architec-
       ture  consisting	 of  128  24-bit  groups, each divided into 256 16-bit
       planes made up of 256 8-bit rows with 256  column  positions,  one  for
       each character.	Part 1 of the standard (ISO 10646-1) defines the first
       65534 code positions (0x0000 to 0xfffd), which form the Basic Multilin-
       gual  Plane  (BMP), that is plane 0 in group 0.	Part 2 of the standard
       (ISO 10646-2) adds characters to group 0 outside	 the  BMP  in  several
       supplementary  planes  in  the range 0x10000 to 0x10ffff.  There are no
       plans to add characters beyond 0x10ffff to the standard,	 therefore  of
       the  entire  code  space, only a small fraction of group 0 will ever be
       actually used in the foreseeable future.	 The BMP contains all  charac-
       ters found in the commonly used other character sets.  The supplemental
       planes added by ISO 10646-2 cover only more exotic characters for  spe-
       cial scientific, dictionary printing, publishing industry, higher-level
       protocol and enthusiast needs.

       The representation of each UCS character as a 2-byte word  is  referred
       to  as  the  UCS-2 form (only for BMP characters), whereas UCS-4 is the
       representation of each character by a 4-byte word.  In addition,	 there
       exist  two  encoding  forms UTF-8 for backward compatibility with ASCII
       processing software and UTF-16 for the backward-compatible handling  of
       non-BMP characters up to 0x10ffff by UCS-2 software.

       The UCS characters 0x0000 to 0x007f are identical to those of the clas-
       sic US-ASCII character set and the characters in the  range  0x0000  to
       0x00ff are identical to those in ISO 8859-1 (Latin-1).

   Combining characters
       Some  code  points  in  UCS have been assigned to combining characters.
       These are similar to the nonspacing accent keys	on  a  typewriter.   A
       combining character just adds an accent to the previous character.  The
       most important accented characters have codes of their own in UCS, how-
       ever,  the  combining  character mechanism allows us to add accents and
       other diacritical marks to any  character.   The	 combining  characters
       always follow the character which they modify.  For example, the German
       character Umlaut-A ("Latin capital letter A with diaeresis") can either
       be  represented by the precomposed UCS code 0x00c4, or alternatively as
       the combination of a normal "Latin capital  letter  A"  followed	 by  a
       "combining diaeresis": 0x0041 0x0308.

       Combining  characters  are essential for instance for encoding the Thai
       script or for mathematical typesetting and users of  the	 International
       Phonetic Alphabet.

   Implementation levels
       As  not	all  systems  are expected to support advanced mechanisms like
       combining characters, ISO 10646-1 specifies the following three	imple-
       mentation levels of UCS:

       Level 1	Combining  characters  and  Hangul Jamo (a variant encoding of
		the Korean script, where a Hangul syllable glyph is coded as a
		triplet or pair of vowel/consonant codes) are not supported.

       Level 2	In  addition  to level 1, combining characters are now allowed
		for some languages where they are essential (e.g., Thai,  Lao,
		Hebrew, Arabic, Devanagari, Malayalam).

       Level 3	All UCS characters are supported.

       The  Unicode  3.0 Standard published by the Unicode Consortium contains
       exactly the UCS Basic Multilingual Plane at implementation level 3,  as
       described  in  ISO  10646-1:2000.   Unicode  3.1 added the supplemental
       planes of ISO 10646-2.  The Unicode standard and technical reports pub-
       lished by the Unicode Consortium provide much additional information on
       the semantics and recommended usages of various characters.  They  pro-
       vide guidelines and algorithms for editing, sorting, comparing, normal-
       izing, converting, and displaying Unicode strings.

   Unicode under Linux
       Under GNU/Linux, the C type wchar_t is a signed	32-bit	integer	 type.
       Its  values  are always interpreted by the C library as UCS code values
       (in all locales), a convention that is signaled by the GNU C library to
       applications  by	 defining the constant __STDC_ISO_10646__ as specified
       in the ISO C99 standard.

       UCS/Unicode can be used just like ASCII in input/output streams, termi-
       nal  communication,  plaintext  files, filenames, and environment vari-
       ables in the ASCII compatible UTF-8 multibyte encoding.	To signal  the
       use  of UTF-8 as the character encoding to all applications, a suitable
       locale  has  to	be   selected	via   environment   variables	(e.g.,

       The  nl_langinfo(CODESET)  function  returns  the  name of the selected
       encoding.  Library functions such as wctomb(3) and mbsrtowcs(3) can  be
       used  to transform the internal wchar_t characters and strings into the
       system character encoding and back and wcwidth(3) tells, how many posi-
       tions (0-2) the cursor is advanced by the output of a character.

   Private Use Areas (PUA)
       In  the Basic Multilingual Plane, the range 0xe000 to 0xf8ff will never
       be assigned to any characters by the standard and is reserved for  pri-
       vate usage.  For the Linux community, this private area has been subdi-
       vided further into the range 0xe000 to 0xefff which can be  used	 indi-
       vidually	 by  any  end-user  and	 the Linux zone in the range 0xf000 to
       0xf8ff where extensions are coordinated among  all  Linux  users.   The
       registry	 of the characters assigned to the Linux zone is maintained by
       LANANA and the registry	itself	is  Documentation/unicode.txt  in  the
       Linux kernel sources.

       Two  other  planes are reserved for private usage, plane 15 (Supplemen-
       tary Private Use Area-A, range 0xf0000 to 0xffffd) and plane  16	 (Sup-
       plementary Private Use Area-B, range 0x100000 to 0x10fffd).

       *  Information  technology  -- Universal Multiple-Octet Coded Character
	  Set (UCS) -- Part 1:	Architecture  and  Basic  Multilingual	Plane.
	  International	 Standard  ISO/IEC 10646-1, International Organization
	  for Standardization, Geneva, 2000.

	  This	is  the	 official  specification  of  UCS  .   Available  from

       *  The Unicode Standard, Version 3.0.  The Unicode Consortium, Addison-
	  Wesley, Reading, MA, 2000, ISBN 0-201-61633-5.

       *  S. Harbison, G. Steele. C: A Reference Manual. Fourth edition, Pren-
	  tice Hall, Englewood Cliffs, 1995, ISBN 0-13-326224-3.

	  A  good reference book about the C programming language.  The fourth
	  edition covers the 1994 Amendment 1 to the ISO C90  standard,	 which
	  adds a large number of new C library functions for handling wide and
	  multibyte character encodings, but it does not yet  cover  ISO  C99,
	  which improved wide and multibyte character support even further.

       *  Unicode Technical Reports.

       *  Markus Kuhn: UTF-8 and Unicode FAQ for UNIX/Linux.

       *  Bruno Haible: Unicode HOWTO.

       locale(1), setlocale(3), charsets(7), utf-8(7)

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GNU				  2016-03-15			    UNICODE(7)