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J2ME and Unicode


javaIf you've ever run into problems faced with multi-lingual text differences, Jason's latest article will solve just that.  Learn how to make use of Unicode character-sets when developing in a J2ME-based environment, where you'll more than likely have a need to develop MIDlets in multiple languages.

Author Info:
By: Jason Lam
Rating: 5 stars5 stars5 stars5 stars5 stars / 99
December 26, 2003
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
  1. · J2ME and Unicode
  2. · Enabling the J2ME Emulator with Unicode
  3. · Simple Unicode Test
  4. · Read Unicode File
  5. · Reading a Text File with Unicode Codes
  6. · Conclusion

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J2ME and Unicode
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What and Why Unicode

Unicode is a unique representation of a character; these characters range from Latin, Hebrew, and Japanese unique symbols.  This character set is a universal standard called the ISO/IEC 10646, and can be compared to using ASCII.  Like ASCII, a number represents each character; however, ASCII is limited to 7 bits, or in other words 128 character limitations.  This has been able to cover everything in English-like languages and a few other symbols but, what about other languages and other symbols? 

As the computer industry grew, especially in other countries, where the English language is not the dominant character set, new encoding schemes where invented.  This can potentially cause problems when older systems, on different encoding schemes, interface with newer systems, or when systems from one country interface with a system from another country.  The systems either become corrupt or simply crash due to the inability to communicate with each other.  That is why Unicode was invented.  The following statement is taken from http://www.unicode.org, and best summarizes what Unicode is and why we can benefit from it:

Unicode provides a unique number for every character, no matter what the platform, no matter what the program, no matter what the language. The Unicode Standard has been adopted by such industry leaders as Apple, HP, IBM, JustSystem, Microsoft, Oracle, SAP, Sun, Sybase, Unisys and many others. Unicode is required by modern standards such as XML, Java, ECMAScript (JavaScript), LDAP, CORBA 3.0, WML, etc., and is the official way to implement ISO/IEC 10646. It is supported in many operating systems, all modern browsers, and many other products. The emergence of the Unicode Standard, and the availability of tools supporting it, are among the most significant recent global software technology trends.

As stated in the summary, Unicode is supported by a wide variety of languages and platforms; this includes Java and, more specifically, J2ME.  Fortunately when Java was created they included Unicode support.  To use this handy feature simply use u escape sequences.


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