RE: Double Byte enabled

From: Murray Sargent (
Date: Wed Apr 05 2000 - 18:14:45 EDT

"Double-byte enabled" is very different from "Unicode enabled". The former
refers to apps that can navigate, maybe edit, and display DBCS text such as
Shift-JIS. Typically the ASCII characters in a DBCS character repertoire
are represented by single bytes and most, if not all, other characters are
represented by a lead byte followed by a trail byte. So you have a mix of
single and double byte characters. It gets particularly tricky, since some
lead bytes can also be trail bytes. Accordingly if you land in the middle
of the text it can be tricky to figure out where a character boundary is
(finding it used to be a favorite interview question at Microsoft).

In your document, it would be better to say something about making sure
applications are Unicode enabled. Double-byte enabling used to be
desirable, but now it should only be needed for import/export code.


> -----Original Message-----
> From: Suzanne Topping []
> Sent: Wednesday, April 05, 2000 2:45 PM
> To: Unicode List
> Subject: Double Byte enabled
> Question for y'all:
> Does the term "double-byte enabled" accurately describe Unicode-based
> apps?
> Seems antiquated and inaccurate.
> I'm editing a document which says something about making sure applications
> are double-byte enabled, and I'd like to come up with a more appropriate
> and
> current phrase.
> I assume there is a better term, but I can't think of what has really
> replaced it. Perhaps even "multi-byte enabled"?
> Any ideas?
> --++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
> Suzanne Topping
> Localization Unlimited
> (Globalization Process Improvement Consulting and Training)
> In association with BizWonk (TM)
> Phone: 716-473-0791
> Fax: 716-231-2013
> Email:
> (Send me an email to join the North East Localization Special Interest
> Group, an email distribution list which acts as a discussion forum for
> localization issues.)

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