A Case Study on Unicode Integration: Microsoft Visual Basic, version 3.0 to version 7.0
Michael Kaplan - Trigeminal Software, Inc.
Visual Basic is Microsoft's most popular development platform, and they currently claim 3 million developers are using it. Since version 4.0, it has integrated Unicode, but there have always been issues with what they implemented for developers. It actually makes VB a perfect case study for what happens when you do not consider all of the issues that are important when adding Unicode support to a software product.
Specific issues with how Unicode is used (and not used) in VB are highlighted, for all versions 4.0 through the new VB.NET, which finally solves many (but not all!) of the issues. In the end, you will understand a great deal about both the right and the wrong choices they made, and how to avoid the same issues in your own Unicode integrations.
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