Unicode dataset

Ben Richardson benr at CALM.WA.GOV.AU
Tue Apr 13 03:12:45 CEST 1999

- From: Steven Culliver

> Be careful. Unicode is not the same as ISO8859-1, and Netscape (and 
> other browers, except IE) often use ISO8859-1 as their default. Thus 
> the standard hash-codes for browsers actually based on ISO.
> The whole issue gets more complicated when you use the browser to read 
> web pages other than 8859-1, such ISO 8859-2 which is eastern european 
> characters. This can be the default settings for some browsers so 
> careful with assumptions.

The Unicode character set is backwards compatible to the iso-8859-1 
character set, meaning that all the characters in iso-8859-1 map to the 
same character in Unicode. So in that respect, Unicode is indeed the 
same as iso-8859-1. Browsers set to read Unicode see the pages as 
intended. The difference is that Unicode is a much larger character set, 
designed for a truly *World Wide* Web, not just the english-speaking 

.From the Unicode website: "Java, Windows NT, AIX, NetWare 4.0, 
QuickDraw GX [Macintosh graphics API], are but a few of the 
applications, which are Unicode Standard compliant."

This means that the desktop operating systems are either compliant or 
nearly there. Sure, be careful, but not too careful!

Ben Richardson               benr at calm.wa.gov.au
Western Australian Herbarium
Locked Bag 104
Bentley Delivery Centre WA 6983

More information about the delta-l mailing list