This acronym refers to a standard set of characters. A huge amount of characters (more than 136.000 as of the last version) is contained and actively maintained. Generally used as the basis of many types of character encodings – that is to say, a defined set of characters for a specific purpose – whoever creates the character set selects the characters they need for their purpose from the UCS and assmebles them into the aforementioned format.
Technipages Explains UCS
In other words, the UCS serves as a catalogue of characters that people can pick and choose from for their purposes. The larger UCS is maintained and regularly updated by the International Organization for Standards – they are the ones who created the set of standards, meeting a very real need.
Since not everywhere in the world uses the same characters, having approved sets of them could help in making sure that products and software remained marketable in places like China or Korea, where Roman lettering simply wasn’t used.
A second project with the same purpose competed with the UCS for a while – the Unicode project also collected special characters in a centralised list. Eventually, the two started to cooperate in order to create one comprehensive list. The two lists are now identical, although Unicode is updated and re-released more frequently.
Where UCS really is only a set of characters, Unicode also includes some rules for collation as well as rules on character placement for right to left written scripts like Hebrew, making it easier to use for projects that feature this type of writing or need to be compatible.
Common Uses of UCS
- UCS is a comprehensive character collection from which character encoding can be performed.
- Compared to Unicode, the UCS consists purely of vanilla characters.
- UCS characters feature non-Roman lettering as well as special characters – tens of thousands of them.
Common Misuses of UCS
- UCS is another form of PCS – the Universal Communication System.