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Unicode Explained (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 28. Juni 2006


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Synopsis

Fundamentally, computers just deal with numbers. They store letters and other characters by assigning a number for each one. At one time, there were hundreds of different encoding systems for assigning these numbers - but that was before Unicode. Unicode enables a single software product or website to be targeted across multiple platforms, languages and countries without re-engineering. It's no wonder that industry giants like Apple, Hewlett-Packard, IBM and Microsoft have all adopted Unicode. Containing everything you need to understand Unicode, this comprehensive reference from O'Reilly takes you on a detailed guide through the complex character world. For starters, it explains how to identify and classify characters - whether they're common, uncommon, or exotic. It then shows you how to type them, utilize their properties, and process character data in a robust manner. The book is broken up into three distinct parts. The first few chapters provide you with a tutorial presentation of Unicode and character data. It gives you a firm grasp of the terminology you need to reference various components, including character sets, fonts and encodings, glyphs and character repertoires.

The middle section offers more detailed information about using Unicode and other character codes. It explains the principles and methods of defining character codes, describes some of the widely used codes, and presents code conversion techniques. It also discusses properties of characters, collation and sorting, line breaking rules and Unicode encodings. The final four chapters cover more advanced material, such as characters in HTML and XHTML. You simply can't afford to be without the nuggets of valuable information detailed in "Unicode Explained".

Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

Jukka Korpela is a consultant who specializes in character codes, localization, orthography, usability, and accessibility. After graduating from Helsinki University of Technology, he taught these subjects in the university's Computer Science department and worked on localization and accessibility issues at TIEKE before becoming a full-time author and consultant. His previous books on CSS and XHTML were published in Finland by Docendo press.

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18 von 18 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Focus Surprisingly Practical 16. Juli 2006
Von Brett Merkey - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' '

¶ I had another Unicode book on my desk for a long time. Hardbound, thick, impressive. Never found a way to derive useful information from it however. This book is different.

¶ I had high expectations for this book because the author, Jukka Korpela, is one of those erudite and patient people who work hard to raise the signal to noise ratio in Internet newsgroups and other forums. I certainly have quite a few posts from "Yucca" in my working archive of Web tips.

¶ Working with Web pages and applications, one can run into practical problems with text display. For Americans especially, often using default software configurations, some of the problems of displaying content in other languages can seem intractable. They are not of course -- but a bit of help from workers in the rest of the world can be a real lift. After all, they deal with these issues in a practical way more often.

¶ I had a nasty run-in (also known as "learning experience") with browser display issues when my "CSS Cheatsheet" rose in popularity in Google and other search engines. I decided to create a page quoting comments from linking sites in their native languages. Everything was fine until I got to Russian. I felt as if I were up against a conspiracy of browsers, tools, operating systems and even particular custom configurations!

¶ If you are like me and your focus is practical, I recommend:

The first two chapters in Part 1: Characters as Data; Writing Characters

All the advanced topics in Part 3: these 5 chapters covered character issues involved with programming and developing in the Internet environment.

¶ Overall, this book is well-organized and quite readable, with lots of relevant illustrations. Important material is repeated and summarized for greater clarity. The author also used lots of examples from Windows programs that are familiar to many of us. This is a real plus.
8 von 8 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
A great reference for all that is Unicode (and it's more than you think)... 10. September 2006
Von Thomas Duff - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
If you're like me, you probably think of Unicode as "expanded ASCII" and that's about it. But there is infinitely more to the subject than I thought, and Unicode Explained by Jukka K. Korpela is an exhaustive reference to all that is Unicode. And in this increasingly global computing environment, you will need to know this information...

Contents:

Part 1 - Working with Characters: Characters as Data; Writing Characters; Character Sets and Encoding

Part 2 - A Systematic Look at Unicode: The Structure of Unicode; Properties of Characters; Unicode Encodings

Part 3 - Advanced Unicode Topics: Characters and Languages; Character Usage; The Character Level and Above; Characters in Internet Protocols; Characters in Programming

Appendix - Tables for Writing Characters; Index

In concept, Unicode is real simple. An expanded character set using 16 bit encoding, and you can accommodate far more languages and symbols than straight ASCII. But the implementation is far more complex than that. Korpela starts with the basics of characters... what they are, what they mean, and the nuances involved. From there, you learn about how applications have to interpret the different encoding standards and handle things like case, sort orders, line breaks, etc. When I saw the size of the book (600+ pages), I wondered if the material was just a lot of reference tables that could be found online. Gladly, it's not... This is an exploration of everything that is Unicode, and you'd have to wade through a lot of web pages to even begin to glean the level and value of information that you'll find here.

If you have anything to do with programming or designing global software, this book purchase is a no-brainer. And even if you're not doing anything in that area right now, this is one of those reference titles that is worth having on your bookshelf and available for the first time you *do* need it. It won't take long to pay for itself...
6 von 6 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Very Comprehensive and Practical 7. Oktober 2007
Von Carsten Cumbrowski - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
I had to deal with Unicode in greater detail for two reasons. I am working on some old ASCII and ANSI text converter for the web to be able to show them in text format in a browser, rather than converting them to an image as existing tools do. The second reason is XML and the normalization of the content distributed via XML and processed or used by XSLT or DHTML apps.

I realized that the whole subject is a lot more complicated than I initially thought and the number of questions that needed an answer to move forward with what I was doing increased significantly. I was finding stuff on the web, a little bit here and a little bit there and had it one day, because progress was slow.

I stumbled one day across this book via a Google search, which returned passages from it from its Google Book search results. I found a very good answer to one of my questions and answers to some other questions that were lying around unanswered from before. I checked the index of the book to see what subjects it covers and realized that it pretty much covers all of them. So I went ahead to Amazon and bought it right there and then.

I am glad to this day that I found it and can recommend it to anybody who has only little or no knowledge of Unicode and struggles with getting a grip on all those standards for data encoding, which make it hard to keep the data within XML and text files intact across platforms and prevent your XML based application or tool from breaking because of illegal data in your content.
14 von 17 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Excellent explanation, but Windows-centric examples 1. Februar 2007
Von Daniel Delaney - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
This book is excellent. The author's writing style is easy to read and he pretty much explains everything about Unicode. It's perfect if you're working with multi-lingual Web sites or email, or just if you want to start using Unicode for all of your Web site development (something everyone should do).

The only thing disappointing about this book is that all of his examples and screen shots are for and from Windows. A reader could come away with the feeling that Mac OS X and Linux don't have as much support for Unicode as Windows which, of course, is not the case at all. The least he could have done is to mention and give screenshots of Linux's "Character Map" app and Mac OS X's built-in "Character Palette", both of which are pretty much just like the Windows "Character Map" app.

I'm surprised O'Reilly allowed a book about such a platform-neutral subject to be so Windows-centric. Hopefully they can hire someone to add Linux and Mac OS X examples into the second edition.
1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Clear, Contextual and Comprehensive 10. Mai 2008
Von Mark - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
The author presents Unicode well from all possible angles. He also explains related topics like character encodings, transfer encodings, ways to input the characters in popular software programs, font issues, portability. It is well written.

Its side notes are also interesting - explaining things like Arabic right-to-left with its contextual characters with 4 different forms; or how they mused over using one common Chinese Han character to be shared by Japanese , Koreans and Vietnamese versus including a version of each in their languages' ranges of individually separate characters.
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