When we first start out programming we don’t really care about character encoding. A string is a string, and as long as it works and behaves as expected so there is no reason to worry about it.

Sooner or later we will run into character encoding issues. The common wisdom is to switch every character encoding option you can find to UTF-8 and then hope for the best. This works up to a point, but we’re not really prepared for anything more complex than debugging database error messages or figuring out why your website isn’t rendering text properly.

I have found very interesting and handy Unicode cheat sheets, which can help you to be a better programmer. You can download the PDF here.


  1. Official Site of Unicode Consortium
  2. Unicode Charts
  3. Wikipedia article on Unicode

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