unicode - Computer Definition
An international character set that was built to represent all characters using a 2-byte (16-bit) format. About 30,000 characters from languages around the globe have been assigned characters in a format agreed upon internationally.
The programming language Java and the Windows operating system use Unicode characters by storing them in memory as 16-bit values. In the C/C++ programming language, a character is 8 bits. In Windows and Java, “utilizing Unicode” means using UTF-16 as the character-encoding standard to not only manipulate text in memory but also pass strings to APIs. Windows developers interchangeably use the terms “Unicode string” and “wide string” (meaning “a string of 16-bit characters”).
See Also: Bit and Bit Challenges; Programming Languages C, C++, Perl, and Java.
Orendorff, J. Unicode for Programmers (draft). [Online, March 1, 2002.] Orendorff Website. http://www.jorendorff.com/articles/unicode/index.html.