Twitter is a free social networking and micro-blogging service that enables its users to send and read messages known as tweets. Tweets are text-based posts of up to 140characters displayed on the author's profile page and delivered to the author's subscribers who are known as followers. Senders can restrict delivery to those in their circle of friends or, by default, allow open access. Users can send and receive tweets via the Twitter website, Short Message Service (SMS) or external applications. While the service, itself, costs nothing to use, accessing it through SMS may incur phone service provider fees.
Sunday, October 4, 2009
What Is Unicode?
- It is the international standard whose goal is to specify a code matching every character needed by every written human language to a single code point (integer). Unicode Consortium (unicode.org) - a non-profit organization founded to develop, extend and promote use of the Unicode Standard - specifies the representation of text in modern software products and standards.
- It is the international standard that includes support for all major scripts of the World and is adopted by all current major computer operating systems (OS). This solves a major problem for creators of texts, as it is now possible to fully transcribe texts in multiple languages without requiring ASCII (American Standard Code for Information Interchange) transliterations, special fonts or browsing software. Enabling it also takes care of both left-to-right and right-to-left scripts.
- Unicode has become an industry standard. Microsoft software uses Unicode at its core. Hence, whether we realize it or not, we are using Unicode already!
- Indian (Indic) languages: it provides support for many Indic scripts including Gurmukhi.
What are advantages of using Unicode for Gurmukhi?With a Unicode compatible computer system you can:
- Search the entire web in Gurmukhi as you can do now for English. Major search engines already support Unicode Gurmukhi.
- Create programs in Gurmukhi.
- Have your web page titles and text in Gurmukhi.
- If you have a Unicode Gurmukhi keyboard installed on your computer, you may create the "message" of your email to us in Gurmukhi (in conjunction with the "Contact Us" feature of our website).
- Also, if you have a Unicode Gurmukhi keyboard installed on your computer, you may create your "message" while using our "Tell-A-Friend" feature provided the computer of your friend you are sending the message to is Unicode compatible, otherwise his/her browser will not display it correctly.
- Sort and organize data on your entire computer with ease.
- Exchange data with other users without having to worry about specific fonts, confusion or data loss; and avoid the hassles of upper-case lower-case and spacing problems that happen when many available non-Unicode Gurmukhi fonts are used. For example, if a Chinese guy in China opens a Gurmukhi document, it will open it as Gurmukhi document and not as Chinese.
- Name files and folders using Gurmukhi.
- Documents and web-pages made with Unicode text, when viewed with an appropriate web-browser on a computer with support for Unicode, will always be viewed in the right script even if the font in which web-pages are made is not installed into the system (just as English text is always English, even if the font in which it is made is missing).
What are disadvantages of using Unicode for Gurmukhi?Although Unicode is a good solution for Gurmukhi, some minor disadvantages are as follows:
- People with older computers may not take full advantage of this new international standard.
- Not all features of Gurmukhi (particularly the older Gurmukhi used in the Bani) can be represented yet. However, this is not a problem for modern Punjabi.
- Using Unicode Gurmukhi requires some readjustment in the way it is approached in comparison to font-based Gurmukhi. For example, you may have to use a different keyboard layout.