/ Blog

Unicode’s Birthday is in October

August 11th 2016

Unicode DayAll this talk of Emoji Day over the last month got us thinking about Unicode – the underappreciated character set that makes cross-platform emoji possible. Actually, here at VeryTextual, we are always thinking about Unicode, but the Emoji Day celebrations got us particularly interested in celebrating Unicode.

As a quick recap, Unicode is a “character set” which is basically a set of a characters (a-z, A-Z, 0-9, accents, punctuation marks, emojis, etc) that computers treat as text. Unicode isn’t the only the character set (there are hundreds of others), but the advantage of Unicode is that it includes the characters of nearly all human languages currently in use, and some historic ones as well. This means that, using the same Unicode character set, I can type English (latin alphabet) as well as Traditional Chinese.

So anyway, roughly every year new characters are added to Unicode. The last update was in June 2016.  The first version of Unicode (1.0) was release in October of 1991. So why isn’t there a Unicode Day? Sandwiches have a day, ice cream has a day…. there’s even a National Picnic Day. If picnics get a day, we think Unicode certainly deserves one too. So this October, we will be launched a Unicode Day celebration in honor of Unicode! We’re still just getting this started, so if you have any suggestions, let us know.