RE: Compatible Systems

From: Chris Pratley (
Date: Fri Jan 30 1998 - 05:51:07 EST

FYI, this "weird" encoding was designed to give non-Unicode apps access to a
larger repertoire of characters but still maintain code point compatibility
with GB2312-80. Most DBCS-enabled apps that could already handle GB2312-80
are able to handle the larger set of characters on Win95 and NT4 Simplified
Chinese with no change to their code.

The Unicode conversion tables that are installed by default on Simplified
Chinese Win95 and NT4 systems handle conversions to and from GBK.

        -----Original Message-----
        From: Christian Wittern []
        Sent: Friday, January 30, 1998 1:39 AM
        To: Multiple Recipients of
        Subject: Re: Compatible Systems

> We have a three tiered application which we would like to covert
to UniCode
> in order to support a Chinese version of our application.
> 1) The Client tier would use MS Windows 95 Simplified Chinese.
> encoding scheme of UniCode does this Version of W95 support? UCS2
or UTF2

        This version of Windows uses GBK, which is sort of "Shift-Unicode
        Han-Characters only". It is constructed by assigning the characters
        not in GB 2312-80 to codepoints beginning at 8140, but shifting
        around the range A1A1~FEFE, which is already used in the usual
        encodings of GB 2312-80. As you might gather, it is a rather weird
        encoding, but at least you can be sure that any CJK-character in
        Unicode can be displayed on this system. I am pretty sure, that the
        built in conversion routines will take care of this, so if you use
        those, you would not have to mess around with GBK

        All the best,

        Christian Wittern Visit the Database of Chinese
Buddhist texts
        University of Goettingen at

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