Re: Code Point -- What is the integer?

From: Frank Yung-Fong Tang (
Date: Thu Apr 28 2005 - 10:18:00 CST

  • Next message: Edward H. Trager: "Re: Code Point -- What is the integer?"

    Basically, your question is why should we use Hexdecimal to represent
    Unicode instead of using Decimal to represent Unicode, right?

    It is hard for a non Engineer to understand those hexdecimal. 100% agree
    with you that Decimal is much easier to understand regardless the reader is
    engineer or non engineer. But a bigger question is why should a non engineer
    ever need to know those number at all.

    Also. Although in one way you can think about those U+ is a number, it is
    really an 'ID' for non engineer. The fact that ASCII A is assign to 0x41 (or
    Decimal 65) and B is assign to 0x42 (66) should have no significant meaning
    for non engineers. The only place they may need to refence to those id is if
    they wan to use vi to type in A into html directly or using Unicode
    input method to type in those code points. For that purpose, wheather it is
    decimal or hexdecimal does not make any difference.

    On the other hand, Hexdecimal is much much easier for engineers like me to
    debug and trace program that involve with Unicode. When I see a bytes in
    hexdecimal in my debugger, it is much easier to convert it to binary (only 0
    and 1) comparing converting a decimal number into binary. Therefore, if I
    see a 'A' in my input, I can easily look at Unicode book and find the hex is
    0x41 and I can convert it in my brain to binary as 0100 0001 without even
    using pen and paper. And optionally I can easily convert to UTF-8 with just
    pen and paper. (easy for the case of ASCII characters, but a little be
    harder for Tamil. But I can do it by hand and Uniocde book without computer)

    So... the short answer from me are:
    Unicode specification/standard is designed for engineers to read but not for
    normal users to read
    Unicode enabled products that hide the detail of Unicode code points is for
    normal users to use
    Unicode enabled products that show the hexdecimal code point of Unicode is
    for engineering users to use, at least that feature is.


    Frank Yung-Fong Tang
    Šýšţém Årçĥîţéçţ

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