Re: 'code unit' and 'code point' meaning check

From: Otto Stolz (
Date: Thu May 15 2003 - 12:29:59 EDT

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    Ben Dougall wrote:

    > <guess> that area is full of surrogates. so they need another code point
    > to make up a single character. on their own 0xd800-0xdfff are 1/2
    > characters :) </guess>

    Oh, no! Again, you are confusing code-points and code-units
    (in other words: Unicode and its UTFs).

    Code points:

    - In Unicode, a surrogate code-point is not assigned any character.
       Hence, these code-points are illegal, hence none of these can be
       contained in actual (legal) data.

    Code units:

    - In UTF-8, there is no such thing as a surrogate code-unit,
       as the code units are only 8 bits wide.

    - In UTF-16, a pair of surrogate code-units encodes a character
       beyond the BMP (and a non-surrogate code-unit encodes a character
       in the BMP).

    - In UTF-32, a surrogate code-unit is illegal, as it would
       encode an illegal surrogate code-point.

    In a nutshell: Unicode is not UTF-16.

    Best wishes,
       Otto Stolz

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