What could be the necessary prerequisites to be taken when developing an application with Unicode support in the context of

  1. Web applications
  2. Desktop applications
  3. Embedded applications

Prerequisites to be taken care of relating to

  • Type casting and conversion
  • Data Storage
  • Fallback in case of no Unicode support
  • Transition from a database without Unicode support to a database with Unicode support

Answers pertaining to real-world projects are preferred

closed as not a real question by user8 Jan 17 '12 at 18:59

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    This depends heavily on which frameworks, libraries, and language(s) you're using. – user16764 Jan 17 '12 at 14:56
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    This seems like it could be a very good question, but can you narrow the scope a bit? The way it is written now it could practically require a book for a proper answer. – rjzii Jan 17 '12 at 14:57
  • Can this be split into multiple questions – Ubermensch Jan 17 '12 at 15:08
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    "Can this be split into multiple questions"? Yes. Edit this one. Add others. Please focus, also. Python already does all of this for you. No "prerequisites". – S.Lott Jan 17 '12 at 15:10
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    "But all applications aren't built on Python"? What? Please explain by updating the question. – S.Lott Jan 17 '12 at 15:14

Python already works in Unicode.

Type casting and conversion.

Doesn't mean much. If you mean decoding bytes to find Unicode characters or encoding Unicode characters into bytes, then this is present in the language, libraries, etc.

Data Storage

Is generally bytes. Therefore, the IO libraries encode to write and decode to read. They default to OS settings, but you can override them.

Fallback in case of no Unicode support

It's not clear what this can even mean.

Transition from a database without Unicode support to a database with Unicode support

This is a one-time translation from ASCII data to Unicode. Some RDBMS's have tools for this. Other RDBMS's require you to export the data, change the schema (or DB settings) and reimport the data.


In any recent and decent development environment, the main prerequisite is good developers. Given that, it's the non-Unicode part that's hard (is this input ISO-8859-1 or -15?).

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