Unicode in web pages

From: Stephen Toner (toners5@hotmail.com)
Date: Mon Sep 04 2000 - 03:21:42 EDT

I'm fairly new to unicode and have a few problems trying to input it from a
I need to take input from a web-page, and store it in a database. Web pages
are then driven from this database. We want to use unicode to allow
multi-lingual support. I was wondering if anyone could tell me of any
issues likely to be faced in this process.
Our database is capable of storing unicode, but I'm not sure if what is
reaching the database is actually unicode. Using IE 5.5, a textarea in a
form is submitted containing any entered text. I have tried specifying the
page's character set as UTF-8. What then reaches the database is a series
of ASCII values with foreign characters such as Japanese, or accented
characters, converted to a few symbols. I don't know if this is unicode,
where when I look at it in the database the multi-byte characters can be
seen as a combination of single byte (gibberish) characters.
If this isn't unicode do I need to put in some sort of converter to change
to &#xxxx; format? Some web sites seem to say that for html, unicode must
be changed to this numeric character reference format.
I would appreciate any advice.
Thanks in advance,
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