July 1, 2010

Tamil Moves To Next Level


 My Dear Readers,

The Tamil Nadu State Government has recently issued an order that it moves to 16-bit encoding (Unicode) from 8-bit encoding.

P.W.C. Davidar, Information Technology Secretary for Tamil Nadu state said that the Government order was issued on June 23, 2010. He told at the concluding session (27.6.2010) of the Ninth World Tamil Internet Conference 2010.

My dear readers this is a right time to know about Unicode.

What is Unicode? 
Unicode gives a unique number for every character.

Why we need number for character?
Computer deals with numbers (0 and 1) only. Computers able to store character with the help of number format only.

Who is a predecessor of Unicode?
ASCII (American Standard Code for Information Interchange)

What is the drawback of ASCII?
Computer does not able to store a Tamil character like அ, ஆ, இ through ASCII code.

What is the advantage of Unicode?
Unicode supports all languages character including Tamil character like அ, ஆ, இ.

Unicode Vs ASCII

  1. Unicode uses 16 bit number to store information. ASCII uses 8 bit number to store information.
  2. Unicode have more than one Lakh character. But ASCII has 256 characters only.
  3. Unicode has a capability to represent all languages including Tamil, Malayalam, Kannada and Telugu. On other hand ASCII can represent English and few western languages only.
What is the Unicode for Tamil Characters?
In the following table you can find Unicode for Tamil Vowels and Consonants.

Unicode for Tamil Vowels - தமிழ் உயிரெழுத்து

Unicode for Tamil Consonants - தமிழ் மெய்யெழுத்து

What is the range for Tamil Characters?
0B80 – 0BFF

Where I can learn more about Unicode?

OK, What can I do for Tamil computing?
I hope at least you will remember the Unicode range (0B80 – 0BFF) for Tamil Characters.