> [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of steve rice > > > Unicode will marginalize workarounds, making this > > > matter unimportant again, as it mostly was before > > > computers. > > > > The problem is just what you mentioned, "over > > time". How much time > > has to pass? I remember first hearing of Unicode around > > 1990 and > > the first published version was in 1991. Here we are 17 > > years later > > and Unicode support is barely taking root. We still have a > > long way > > to go before support is anywhere near universal. > > The most common areas are reasonably well covered, as Risto > observed. Back in 2000 or thereabouts I housesat for an > elderly friend who had just bought a very cheap, no-frills > computer. I decided to check some Eo sites, and the Unicode > displayed correctly without any tweaking on my part. > Presumably Unicode has progressed since then. If by "most common areas" you mean web browsers, then yes. Otherwise it's a hit-and-miss (more miss than hit) situation. I have Outlook 2003, but if I send Unicode it will show "?????". Interestingly, I didn't have this problem before I "upgraded" to 2003. I've found lots of software that just doesn't support Unicode, or supports it only on certain levels. For example, some software may still have issues with right-to-left scripts. Smaller devices are less likely, but I was pleasantly surprised that both handheld MP3 players (including my dreaded IPOD) that I'd tried seemed to work. I've since given up on expensive MP3 players like that and installed a head unit into my new car which supports a USB hard drive. It recognizes Unicode in the ID3 tags but apparently converts them to another 8-bit encoding for display because it won't allow Cyrillic to be mixed with Roman characters that have diacritics. This is actually in the owner's manual, and these are the only scripts mentioned. I could go on with a really long list of gadgets that aren't Unicode ready, and just as much of a list of products that have limited support. In short, Unicode is a long way from being a universal that we can rely on.