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Why Unicode Gurmukhi?

  • Have you ever sent a file typed in a non-unicode Punjabi font like Punjabi Sans, GurbaniLipi, etc. and had to send the font file along with the file so that the recipient could read it properly?
  • Have you ever received a file typed in a non-unicode font like Punjabi Sans that was not available on your computer and tried reading it using a different font like GurbaniLipi?
  • Have you ever wondered how you could type in Gurmukhi in applications like Facebook where you did not have an option to change fonts?
  • Have you ever wished you could search in Gurmukhi in search engines?
  • Have you ever wanted to name files and folders on your computer in Gurmukhi?
Unicode Gurmukhi is an answer to all these problems and wishes!! Following are some advantages of unicode Gurmukhi:
  • Documents and web pages typed using a unicode Gurmukhi font will always be viewed in the correct Gurmukhi script even if the particular unicode Gurmukhi font used is unavailable on the computer you are using, as long as the operating system supports unicode. This is similar to how you can read an English document typed in a font unavailable on your computer. The computer switches to a default font, but the English script does not change. The default Gurmukhi font in Windows XP and later is Raavi which enables you to read any document written in unicode Gurmukhi.
  • If you have already installed the Gurmukhi Keyboard Layout on your computer, you can switch to Gurmukhi by a simple click of Alt-Shift. Once in the Punjabi language mode, you can type in Gurmukhi anywhere, may it be Facebook or Google chat!!
  • You can also name files or folders on your computer in Gurmukhi.
  • You can search the web in Gurmukhi by typing Gurmukhi in the search box of any search engine!!
  • Use of unicode Gurmukhi is revolutionary and opens up versatility in application and database development. You can search, query, or sort in Gurmukhi.
  • Unicode separates encoding from input meaning that the text does not depend on the keyboard layout used. Moreover, since unicode has a unique code for each character, the text will never depend on font used and will appear the same on every computer!

What is Unicode?

Unicode provides a unique number for every character, no matter what the platform, no matter what the program, no matter what the language. The Unicode Standard has been adopted by such industry leaders as Apple, HP, IBM, JustSystems, Microsoft, Oracle, SAP, Sun, Sybase, Unisys and many others. Unicode is required by modern standards such as XML, Java, ECMAScript (JavaScript), LDAP, CORBA 3.0, WML, etc., and is the official way to implement ISO/IEC 10646. It is supported in many operating systems, all modern browsers, and many other products. The emergence of the Unicode Standard, and the availability of tools supporting it, are among the most significant recent global software technology trends.

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.

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 membership of the consortium represents a broad spectrum of corporations and organizations in the computer and information processing industry. Founded in 1991 following several years of informal cooperation, the Unicode Consortium continues to develop and promote The Unicode Standard, aid in its implementation, and works to maintain quality control over future revisions to the Standard. The Unicode Consortium brings together software industry corporations and researchers at the leading edge of standardizing international character encoding. The outcome of this cooperation is the Unicode Standard, which provides the foundation for internationalization and localization of software.

Unicode is a 16 bit standard that allows use of more than 65000 characters in one font. It has support for major Indic (Indian) scripts that include Devanagari (Hindi, Marathi, Sanskrit), Bengali (Bengali, Assamese), Gurmukhi (Punjabi), Gujarati, Oriya, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam. Microsoft Windows XP/ Vista has full support for Indic scripts, including Gurmukhi. All future development regarding scripts will be based on Unicode.

Visit unicode.org for more information on the unicode consortium and standard.


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