UNICODE: the new face of Kannada Script
Unicode is the new and accepted standard of the
computing industry for bringing in a more consistent encoding, representation and handling of text that is
expressed in most of the world’s writing systems. This code has been developed in conjunction with the
Universal Character set standard and has been published in book form as The Unicode Standard. Unicode
6.0 is the latest major revision as of 2011.
The Unicode Consortium, the non-profit organization
that manages and co-ordinates the development of Unicode, has set itself an ambitious goal of eventually
substituting the present character encoding schemes with Unicode and also bring them under its standard
Unicode Transformation Format (UTF) schemes. The goal is to replace the existing schemes as most of them are
limited in size and scope and are not compatible with multilingual environments. The success of Unicode at
unifying character sets has led to a stage that there is a widespread and predominant use in the
internationalization and localization of computer software.
Kannada is one among the first 24 scripts and characters that have been added to Unicode’s initial
repertoire of Version 1.0.0 in as early as October 1991. Although a great deal of textual information is
still stored in legacy encodings Unicode is fast replacing these legacy encodings and has become the dominant
scheme for internal processing as well as storage of text in building new information processing systems.
Kannada Unicode is available on Windows 95, 98, 2000, XP, Vista, 7 and Windows ME through Microsoft layer for