OK, I admit it. I really didn't know what all this Unicode stuff was about before I read Joel's article, "The Absolute Minimum Every Software Developer Absolutely, Positively Must Know About Unicode and Character Sets (No Excuses!)."

I spend a fair amount of my work day exchanging data with other companies. I usually request that data be sent to me as fixed width ASCII files. Sometimes I even refer to it as "PLAIN TEXT."

All that stuff about "plain text = ascii = characters are 8 bits" is not only wrong, it's hopelessly wrong, and if you're still programming that way, you're not much better than a medical doctor who doesn't believe in germs. Please do not write another line of code...

I guess I stand corrected.