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6.3 Restartable Multibyte Conversion Functions

The ISO C standard defines functions to convert strings from a multibyte representation to wide character strings. There are a number of peculiarities:

Despite these limitations the ISO C functions can be used in many contexts. In graphical user interfaces, for instance, it is not uncommon to have functions that require text to be displayed in a wide character string if the text is not simple ASCII. The text itself might come from a file with translations and the user should decide about the current locale, which determines the translation and therefore also the external encoding used. In such a situation (and many others) the functions described here are perfect. If more freedom while performing the conversion is necessary take a look at the iconv functions (see Generic Charset Conversion).