Unicode Consortium

The Unicode Consortium ( Unicode, Inc. ) is a nonprofit organization under California law, a development of the Unicode Standard and publishes. The consortium is funded entirely by membership fees. Membership is open to all natural and legal persons worldwide who are willing to pay the membership fee and to commit themselves to the goals of the organization. Meanwhile, virtually all belong to large software companies such as Adobe Systems, Apple, Microsoft, Google, HP, IBM, Oracle, SAP, Xerox, etc., the Unicode Consortium.

President of the Unicode Consortium is Mark Davis from Google (as of August 2009).

The Unicode Consortium is working closely with the International Organization for Standardization ( ISO), which with respect to the character encoding of Unicode perfectly matching standard ISO 10646 is out. The development of ISO 15924 (script codes) has been officially delegated to the Unicode Consortium.

History of the standardization of coding systems

One of the earliest forms of digitization was the Morse code. This was replaced with the introduction of teletypes from the telegraph networks and replaced by Baudot code and Murray code.

In the early electronic data processing were about 60 different encodings in use before the 1972 set 7-bit ASCII standard has largely prevailed. As its name ( " American Standard Code for Information Interchange " ) suggests, the ASCII was originally used to represent the characters of the English language. Thus, various modifications of the national ASCII standards have been laid down in the ISO Standard 646.

The ISO -646 - coding offered no way to represent simultaneously with different national character sets encoded data. For example, the ASCII encoding for the lower 128 characters of the code space in ISO 8859 to 8 bits (256 characters) has been extended in order to represent, for example, most of the special characters of European languages ​​simultaneously while maintaining.

Even an 8 -bit code provides enough space to accommodate all special characters at the same time, which is why there are ISO 8859 alone 15 regional versions. On the establishment of a viable Chinese character set to 8-bit encoding is not to be thought. The increasing internationalization but requires a uniform character encoding to ensure a smooth exchange of documents. Unicode is now the indispensable standard for the international electronic exchange of information.

The first experiments with a 16- bit code made ​​Joseph D. Becker in the early 1980s at Xerox PARC. The first computer with 16 -bit writings in 1981 was the Xerox Star, but had no commercial success. Becker designed with fellow employees of Apple in 1990 the Unicode Standard 1.0. In 1991, then the Unicode Consortium was founded.