The Unicode Consortium
The Unicode Consortium is a non-profit organization founded to develop, extend and promote use of the Unicode Standard, which specifies the representation of text in modern software products and standards.
The significance of Unicode
Incorporating Unicode into client-server or multi-tiered applications and websites offers significant cost savings over the use of legacy character sets. Unicode enables a single software product or a single website to be targeted across multiple platforms, languages and countries without re-engineering. It allows data to be transported through many different systems without corruption.
Indian Languages on Unicode
The Unicode Standard has incorporated Indian scripts under the group named Asian Scripts (Chapter 9, Unicode Standard 3.0). The Indian scripts included are Devnagari, Bengali, Gurumukhi, Gujarati, Oriya, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam. The Indian language block of Unicode Standard is based on ISCII-88.
The Unicode standard encodes Indian language characters in the same relative positions A0-F4 in ISCII-88 standard. This parallel code layout emphasizes the structural similarities of the Brahmi scripts and follows the intention of the standard to enable one to one mappings between analogous coding positions in different scripts in the family.
When Unicode Standard Version 1.0 was published, The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) published a new version of ISCII in Indian Standard (IS) 13194:1991. This new version partially modified the layout and reprtoire of ISCII-1988 standard. Because of these events the Unicode standard does not precisely follow the layout of current version of ISCII. Nevertheless the Unicode standard remains a superset of the ISCII-1991 repertoire except for a number of new Vedic extension characters defined in IS 13194:1991 Annex G-Extended Character Set for Vedic. Modern, non-Vedic texts encoded with IS-1991 may be automatically be converted to Unicode code values and back to their original encoding without loss of information.
For more information about the Unicode Consortium and its activities you may follow this link: www.unicode.org
* The information provided here has been take from www.unicode.org and ‘The Unicode Standard Version 3.0’ published by the Unicode Consortium.
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