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Windows 7: Unicode based programs ?

25 Feb 2016   #1

XP Pro (x86) | 7 HP (x86) & (x64) | 7 Pro (x64)
Unicode based programs ?

How do I detrmine wether to install the Unicode version or non-unicode version ... of a program ?

I want to test Q-Dir an alternative WinExplorer app, but their download page offers these options.
I dont know which to download because I dont understand how Unicode editions are applicable
(I intend testing the portable versions, not that it is relevant, to my dilema)

DDG search: has not helped and this web-site is beyond my comprehension.

I assume English based programs are ASCII where as non English programs must be Unicode to render text in its intended language.
As a self taught programmer, for my own needs, I am aware of ASCII character sets, but not an expert.

Would appreciate any clarification -- thank you :)

My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Feb 2016   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

If you can choose, always select the Unicode version of a program.

As you say, being Unicode allows to understand text in non-English languages correctly no matter the system settings (ASCII is limited to English letters, numbers and the most common symbols only, and ANSI codepages are system-specific), so for it to work correctly with any possible text, Unicode builds are a must if the OS supports them.

Quick and dirty rule of thumb, if using a NT-based system, use Unicode if available (that is, for Windows NT, 2000, XP, 2003, 2008, Vista, 7, 8, 2012 and 10, use Unicode).

It's also important to note that it's not only a matter of using Unicode because you might use a non-English localized version, but any text the program handles is subject to bugs without full Unicode awareness. For example, a file manager must understand Unicode because you may have a file with a non-ASCII name, or more frequently, content that's not fully ASCII text (just try to open a chinese-named file with a non compliant program and you'll see what I mean)

If you're a programmer, then a basic understanding of Unicode is a must, as it's a fundamental topic in today systems, storage and data exchange. A good read about the topic is this one:
The Absolute Minimum Every Software Developer Absolutely, Positively Must Know About Unicode and Character Sets (No Excuses!) - Joel on Software
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Feb 2016   #3

XP Pro (x86) | 7 HP (x86) & (x64) | 7 Pro (x64)

Hi Alejandro

Thank you for such a concise and informative reply, very much appreciated.
How anybody at my age can be bored ... there is so much more to learn.

My System SpecsSystem Spec

25 Feb 2016   #4

XP Pro (x86) | 7 HP (x86) & (x64) | 7 Pro (x64)

Further to Unicode ... what is the difference between Unicode and Unicode BE
- text editor Metapad3.6 defaults to DOS and when creating INI files they must be saved as Unicode
- I am still learning :)
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Unicode based programs ?

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