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Unicode Consortium Releases the Unicode Standard Version 4.1

Version 4.1 of the Unicode Standard Released

Mountain View, CA, USA. March 31, 2005.

The Unicode Consortium announced today the release of the latest version of the Unicode Standard, Version 4.1.0. This version adds 1,273 new characters, including those necessary to complete roundtrip mapping of the HKSCS and GB 18030 standards, five new currency signs, some characters for Indic and Korean, and eight new scripts. In addition, there have been a number of significant additions and changes to the Unicode Character Database properties, which determine the behavior of characters in modern software.

Unicode 4.1 adds two new Unicode Standard Annexes: UAX #31: Identifier and Pattern Syntax and UAX #34: Unicode Named Character Sequences, and makes significant changes to other Unicode Standard Annexes. UAX #31 is of particular interest as a result of the broader incorporation of Unicode in protocols and programming languages. Applications from programming languages to international domain names require stable mechanisms for distinguishing both identifiers and syntax characters, even as characters for additional languages are added to the Unicode Standard.

The release of Unicode 4.1 will be soon followed by a new release of the Unicode Collation Algorithm, for language-sensitive sorting, searching, and matching; by Unicode Regular Expressions, setting the standard for handling Unicode character in regular expressions; and by a new draft of Unicode Security Considerations, for dealing with security issues posed by the large number of visually-similar characters in Unicode.

For complete details on Unicode 4.1, see Those interested in the latest developments in software globalization can attend the next Unicode conference, April 6-8, 2005 in Berlin, Germany.

About the Unicode Standard

The Unicode Standard is a fundamental component of all modern software and information technology protocols. It provides a uniform, universal architecture and encoding for all languages of the world — with over 96,000 characters currently encoded — and is the basis for processing, storage, and seamless data interchange of text data worldwide. Unicode is required by modern standards such as XML, Java, C#, ECMAScript (JavaScript), LDAP, CORBA 3.0, WML, IDN, etc., and is the official way to implement ISO/IEC 10646.

About the Unicode Consortium

The Unicode Consortium is a non-profit organization founded to develop, extend and promote software globalization. The membership of the consortium represents a broad spectrum of corporations and organizations in the computer and information processing industry. Full members (the highest level) are: Adobe Systems, L'Agence intergouvernementale de la Francophonie, Apple Computer, Government of India — Ministry of Information Technology, Government of Pakistan — National Language Authority, HP, IBM, Justsystem, Microsoft, Monotype Imaging, Oracle, RLG, SAP, Sun Microsystems, and Sybase. In addition, there are about 100 Supporting, Associate, Liaison, and Individual members.

Prepared by Robin Cover for The XML Cover Pages archive. General references in "XML and Unicode."

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