I’m taking a sabbatical of sorts (a comment worthy of it’s own complete journal entry) and I’ve been working on several projects that require significant use of characters outside of ASCII, mainly – though not exclusively – European languages represented by iso-8859-1 (aka Latin-1). Outside of html, the problem I’ve always had to deal with is how to handle non-ASCII characters on applications that ONLY support ASCII (don’t get me started on this one…) – or worse, support iso-8859-1 input but only support ASCII sorting and searching (REALLY don’t get me started on this one…) Handling non-ASCII characters in various text and programming tools that do support them (and making the ones that don’t support them well deal) is a new issue for me – and kind of fun. I’ve been struck by how little information there is for beginners on using non-ASCII characters (again, outside of html). The major exception I’ve found is ISO 8859-1 National Character Set FAQ.
Character Sets and languages other than English