Google Announces Unicode Progress


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Google's made an announcement regarding Unicode, and believe it or not, there's something for everyone here.  Programmers should be interested to know that Unicode is becoming more popular at a rapid pace.  Normal Google users, meanwhile, will be happy to learn that searches should now turn up additional useful results.

Let's start with the stuff that's easier to understand.  On the Official Google Blog, Mark Davis explained today, "[T]he characters 'fi' can either be represented as two characters ('f' and 'i'), or a special display form '?'.  A Google search for [financials] or [office] used to not see these as equivalent - to the software they would just look like *nancials and of*ce."

Davis then continued, "But no longer - after extensive testing, we just recently turned on support for these and thousands of other characters; your searches will now also find these documents."

As for the news that may only mean something to a smaller set of people, well, Google's been tracking Unicode usage for a while based on its index, and the search giant believes Unicode has itself nearly earned the "giant" moniker.  The graph below shows that usage is almost at 50 percent.

According to Davis, Google's ability to deal with different languages should improve as Unicode becomes more common.

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