Almost one year ago, Unicode 7.0.0 was released. At that time it added support for almost 3000 new characters. On 2015-06-17, exactly one year and one day later Unicode 8.0.0 was announced. What does it change?
The Unicode Standard is a character coding system designed to support the worldwide interchange, processing, and display of the written texts of the diverse languages and technical disciplines of the modern world. In addition, it supports classical and historical texts of many written languages.
Formally, a version of the Unicode Standard is defined by an edition of the core specification, The Unicode Standard, together with the Code Charts, Unicode Standard Annexes and the Unicode Character Database. The detailed breakdown of the contents of each version are given on Archive of Unicode Versions.
Basically it’s global character set altogether with set of rules covering usage of Unicode characters and global data interoperability (see also CLDR project). Newest version of standard adds 7,716 new characters to existing 113,021. Most of them are Chinese, Japan and Korean ideographs, but among those changes Unicode adds support for new languages like Ik used in Uganda.
To give you image why i’m exaggerating on Ik: Ik language is one of languages noted by Unesco as severely endangered. For that reason Unicode approach to archive its characters or language rules before it disappears – is definitely worth appreciating.
Unicode emoji characters
Newest standard also introduces Unicode Emoji, a document describing emoji characters, providing design guidelines and giving background information about emoji characters.
The term emoticon refers to a series of text characters that is meant to represent some gesture or facial expression like well known winking face emoticon ;) Emoji was invented to represent same facial expressions, things such as weather, cars or icons connected with feelings. Above emoticon have its substitute in Unicode Emoji coded as 1F609. You can insert it into HTML using 😉 and it’ll appear as ?
Every environment can map emoji characters to different appearance, so same character would look different on Android and different on iPhone. You can display full chart of all available emojis at Unicode full emoji list.
Version 8 adds about 50 new emoji characters including some new faces, lion, hot dog, unicorn or bottle of champagne (I included it in the title of this article, if you see it – your browser font handles newest Unicode). You must remember one thing, there’s no single font covering all characters as Unicode Consortium is continually adding more and of them.
And how do you handle Unicode in your apps? Do you see ��� very often? ;)
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