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Character encoding using internationally accepted standards permits worldwide interchange of text in electronic form.Early binary repertoires include Bacon's cipher, Braille, International maritime signal flags, and the 4-digit encoding of Chinese characters for a Chinese telegraph code (Hans Schjellerup, 1869).Code points would then be represented in a variety of ways and with various default numbers of bits per character (code units) depending on context.To encode code points higher than the length of the code unit, such as above 256 for 8-bit units, the solution was to implement variable-width encodings where an escape sequence would signal that subsequent bits should be parsed as a higher code point.The basic variants of the Latin, Greek and Cyrillic alphabets can be broken down into letters, digits, punctuation, and a few special characters such as the space, which can all be arranged in simple linear sequences that are displayed in the same order they are read.But even with these alphabets, diacritics pose a complication: they can be regarded either as part of a single character containing a letter and diacritic (known as a precomposed character), or as separate characters.For example, in a given repertoire, the capital letter "A" in the Latin alphabet might be represented by the code point 65, the character "B" to 66, and so on.
Depending on the abstraction level and context, corresponding code points and the resulting code space may be regarded as bit patterns, octets, natural numbers, electrical pulses, etc.Representations of characters encoded using Morse code varied in length. IBM's Binary Coded Decimal (BCD) was a six-bit encoding scheme used by IBM in as early as 1959 in its 14 computers, and in its 7000 Series (for example, 704, 7040, 7 computers), as well as in associated peripherals.The Baudot code, a five-bit encoding, was created by Émile Baudot in 1870, patented in 1874, modified by Donald Murray in 1901, and standardized by CCITT as International Telegraph Alphabet No. Fieldata, a six- or seven-bit code, was introduced by the U. BCD extended existing simple four-bit numeric encoding to include alphabetic and special characters, mapping it easily to punch-card encoding which was already in widespread use. ASCII was introduced in 1963 and is a seven-bit encoding scheme used to encode letters, numerals, symbols, and device control codes as fixed-length codes using integers.The character repertoire is an abstract set of more than one million characters found in a wide variety of scripts including Latin, Cyrillic, Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Hebrew, and Aramaic.Other symbols such as musical notation are also included in the character repertoire.