character encoding

(redirected from International character set)
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character encoding

(Or "character encoding scheme") A mapping of binary values to code positions and back; generally a 1:1 (bijective) mapping.

In the case of ASCII, this is generally a f(x)=x mapping: code point 65 maps to the byte value 65, and vice versa. This is possible because ASCII uses only code positions representable as single bytes, i.e., values between 0 and 255, at most. (US-ASCII only uses values 0 to 127, in fact.)

Unicode and many CJK coded character sets use many more than 255 positions, requiring more complex mappings: sometimes the characters are mapped onto pairs of bytes (see DBCS). In many cases, this breaks programs that assume a one-to-one mapping of bytes to characters, and so, for example, treat any occurrance of the byte value 13 as a carriage return. To avoid this problem, character encodings such as UTF-8 were devised.
This article is provided by FOLDOC - Free Online Dictionary of Computing (
References in periodicals archive ?
- Global functionality, which provides simultaneous support of multiple languages from a single gateway appliance including support for most international character sets. Currently supported languages include English, Japanese, German, French, Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese, Korean and Simplified and Traditional Chinese.
WorkFlows 2004, the staff client for Unicorn, will offer more streamlined screens with additional customization features and optional Unicode compliance (enabling users to store and retrieve all international character sets).
-- Support for Unicode through the UCS2 and UTF8 international character sets, making it easier to store and manipulate internationalized data;

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