Java and unicode

From: William Overington (
Date: Mon Jul 24 2000 - 05:46:30 EDT

I am learning Java and learning the applying of unicode within Java

Perhaps readers might like to know of my experiences of using Java and
unicode together.

I learned Java from the free course at and got the
Java Development Kit, a later version than the one originally used for the
course, from the site. It is possible to download the
software either as one file or as 23 files each less than 1.4 megabytes.
The 23 separate files need joining together to produce the equivalent single
file as if one had downloaded it all in one file. However, I found the 23
files method much more convenient. I was given help on unicode by various
people in this group.

In order to gain experience of using Java and unicode together I decided to
write a program to carry out the decoding method that is described in
chapter 8 of my electronic book The Eutotokens of Learning that is in which is our family webspace. The
chapter is called "Software Unicorns". The decoding method starts about a
quarter of the way into the chapter. The chapter is all in one web page.
One may simply search for the first usage of the word unicorns, not counting
the use in the title, and proceed from there if one wishes. There are also
four diagrams detailing the coding format included. Readers are welcome to
read the rest of the book should they so wish, but there is no need to do so
if one simply wishes to look at the decoding method. The text relates to a
method of being able to send Esperanto text using ascii 7 bit printing
characters and have it automatically decoded. There is also a software
unicorn screensaver available, accessed from the home page index. In
programming the decoding method I wrote an applet such that the encoded text
is keyed into a text area by the user at run time and the decoded text is
then automatically drawn out using the drawString method. There is no need
to bother about using the ZZZSTELOJ _ initialization part, simply proceed as
if that has already been done before the applet started. The system
involves the twelve Esperanto accented characters. The dialog fount that is
used by default does not support these characters, but changing the font to
Helvetica solves that problem. I found that the practical programming of
the method in Java using unicode characters taught me a lot about both and
about how they interact, so I thought that I would mention it here in case
anyone might like to try it.

William Overington

24 July 2000

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