@media session 11

Global Design – Characters, Language & More

Richard Ishida

Richard is the W3C’s Internationalisation Activity Lead.

Character Encoding

  • There are many options, but Unicode is the best – it supports many languages in a single character set – making it easy to architect multilingual solutions, and have a mix of languages on a single page (if required).
  • Makes storing and retrieving multilingual data in a database much easier
  • Also provides extra characters such as © ™ etc
  • Has wide support in browsers, scripts, editors, databases etc.

You can declare the encoding in the HTML:

<meta http-equiv=”Content-Type” content=”text/html; charset=utf-8″ />

Or if you’re using XML:

<?xml version=”1.0″ encoding=”UTF-8″?>

Databases must be told to save data as utf-8 also – to maximize compatibility. For more details, see:

Richard’s presentation: slides (PDF) | audio (mp3)

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