Migrating Software to Supplementary Characters
Vladimir Weinstein & Mark Davis- IBM Corporation
Until recently, it was not necessary for software to deal with supplementary code points, those from U+10000 to U+10FFFF. With the assignment of over 40,000 supplementary characters in Unicode 3.1 and the definition of new national codepage standards that map to these new characters, it is important to modify BMP-only software to handle the full range of Unicode code points.
Typically, only a small percentage of code needs to be changed. This affects mostly low-level handling of 16-bit code units and data structures containing per-character data.This presentation discusses the changes required to handle all of Unicode vs. just the BMP subset, concentrating on 16-bit Unicode -- the most common processing form. It describes techniques for finding the small percentage of code that typically needs to be changed, and shows how to modify such code. Detailed examples for Java and C/C++ use the many helper functions from ICU to illustrate practical solutions.
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