New Features (July, 2001)


Cyrillic (Russian) files coded in Unicode are now supported by Volga-Writer. Files that were saved in Unicode can now be retrieved and edited, and re-saved in the same version of Unicode.


In the ASCII system, the numerical value of any character is limited to two bytes, i.e., any value from 0 to 255. In order to accommodate other character sets, such as Cyrillic, at least some part of the numerical range must be redefined, and thus another Code Page is generated. With the advent of many languages, other than English, to computers, the multiplicity of code pages becomes extremely inefficient. From this difficulty sprang the obvious solution: define all characters in all languages with a single array of numbers. By increasing the numerical range for character definition to four bytes, we now have an available range from 0 to 65,535. Currently almost 50,000 characters from well over 100 languages are allocated numbers in the Unicode system. Many computer applications are now catching up to the Unicode, including the latest Windows operating systems. However, the computer keyboard presents some restrictions, since there are a limited number of keystrokes conveniently available, so that for the present, most non-English word processing applications (including HTML and JAVA) still resort to code page switching. For details on Unicode, see: .  An excellent book on the subject is: "Unicode. A Primer", by Tony Graham (M&T Books, 2000).

A separate application is included: Russian Text Converter (Rusconv.exe). This program can be used by itself, or accessed from Volga-Writer. Russian text files can be saved in several different code maps in the ASCII system. The most common one in use today are: Code Page 1251; Code Page 866 (DOS); KOI-8; and keystroke equivalents. The 4-byte Unicode is included. The Russian Text Converter can retrieve a text file containing Russian, can determine which code map is in use by that file, and convert the file into a new one in any one of the above code maps.


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