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I would like to develop a web application that uses Unicode. The problem is that I don't know if the user supports the full Unicode set or not.

Is the Unicode support dependent on the browser or the operating system? How well do the common browsers/OS behave when working with Unicode?

The goal is to find big subsets of mainly supported Unicode characters (with the fact that I accept to not support old tech).

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3 Answers 3

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is the unicode support depends on the browser or the operating system ?

Both

how well main browsers/OS behave ?

Current versions of the most popular browsers support (most of) Unicode (so long as you have fonts available that contain glyphs for the scripts you want to render). You need to make sure your web-server provides the appropriate character-set and encoding indications in HTTP headers and/or in HTML.

See Wikipedia, Unicode consortium and Alan Wood

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Thank you for the links. Alan Wood's website is full of useful info. –  Martin Trigaux Apr 16 '12 at 14:41

Unicode support is reasonably universal by now in browsers. However, this does not mean that all characters are supported. The Unicode Standard does not require that any specific collection of characters be supported. No font covers all of Unicode, and the odds of finding an implementation where even the union of installed fonts covers all of Unicode are infinitesimally small. Well, very small at least.

If you just need to have characters rendered, then the main problem is with fonts, though some browsers are less capable of using all the installed fonts than others. If you need other support, such as correct right-to-left rendering when needed, or Unicode-style line breaking rules, then it’s more an issue with browsers.

To summarize, you probably need to refine your question considerably in order to get practically useful answers.

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The project is an url shortener that uses unicode for the uri. I want to have as much different char as possible (to have the more compact url as possible) so I'm looking for sets of unicode characters where I know I can iterate. I have found this post concerning the unicode in the uri: stackoverflow.com/questions/2742852/unicode-characters-in-urls –  Martin Trigaux Apr 16 '12 at 14:38

Propably only the latin1 is safe. I'm coding own web project and testing it with many browsers, but one time one guy has come to office and show me that polish characters in website url's path part was percentage-encoded. Currently I'm looking for browser with similar behaviour for test, but every (new) version has url's unicode support. I know that was Safari only, but don't know it was mac or win and version. I have not problems with new Safari on Windows 7. Damn guy!

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I found my case. When you assign some non-latin1 characters to location.hash in JavaScript and your browser is Safari, that you must expect an unconsistency getting location.hash changed value. –  kbec May 17 '12 at 19:27

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