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When I discovered that the popular web development tool PHP has almost complete ignorance of character encoding issues, blithely using 8 bits for characters, making it darn near impossible to develop good international web applications, I thought, enough is enough.

So I have an announcement to make: if you are a programmer working in 2003 and you don’t know the basics of characters, character sets, encodings, and Unicode, and I catch you, I’m going to punish you by making you peel onions for 6 months in a submarine. I swear I will.

The Absolute Minimum Every Software Developer Absolutely, Positively Must Know About Unicode and Character Sets (No Excuses!)

About the author.

I'm Joel Spolsky, co-founder of Trello and Fog Creek Software, and CEO of Stack Overflow. More about me.