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6 Character Set Handling

Character sets used in the early days of computing had only six, seven, or eight bits for each character: there was never a case where more than eight bits (one byte) were used to represent a single character. The limitations of this approach became more apparent as more people grappled with non-Roman character sets, where not all the characters that make up a language’s character set can be represented by 2^8 choices. This chapter shows the functionality that was added to the C library to support multiple character sets.