UTF(4)                     Kernel Interfaces Manual                     UTF(4)

       UTF, Unicode, ASCII, rune - character set and format

       The Plan 9 character set and representation are based on Unicode and on
       a proposed X-Open multibyte FSS-UCS-TF (File System Safe Universal
       Character Set Transformation Format) encoding.  Unicode represents its
       characters in 16 bits; FSS-UCS-TF, or just UTF, represent such values
       in an 8-bit byte stream.

       In Plan 9, a rune is a 16-bit quantity representing a Unicode
       character.  Internally, programs may store characters as runes.
       However, any external manifestation of textual information, in files or
       at the interface between programs, uses a machine-independent, byte-
       stream encoding called UTF.

       UTF is designed so the 7-bit ASCII set (values hexadecimal 00 to 7F),
       appear only as themselves in the encoding.  Runes with values above 7F
       appear as sequences of two or more bytes with values only from 80 to

       The UTF encoding of Unicode is backward compatible with ASCII: programs
       presented only with ASCII work on Plan 9 even if not written to deal
       with UTF, as do programs that deal with uninterpreted byte streams.
       However, programs that perform semantic processing on ASCII graphic
       characters must convert from UTF to runes in order to work properly
       with non-ASCII input.  See rune(2).

       Letting numbers be binary, a rune x is converted to a multibyte UTF
       sequence as follows:

       01. x in [00000000.0bbbbbbb] → 0bbbbbbb
       10. x in [00000bbb.bbbbbbbb] → 110bbbbb, 10bbbbbb
       11. x in [bbbbbbbb.bbbbbbbb] → 1110bbbb, 10bbbbbb, 10bbbbbb

       Conversion 01 provides a one-byte sequence that spans the ASCII
       character set in a compatible way.  Conversions 10 and 11 represent
       higher-valued characters as sequences of two or three bytes with the
       high bit set.  Plan 9 does not support the 4, 5, and 6 byte sequences
       proposed by X-Open.  When there are multiple ways to encode a value,
       for example rune 0, the shortest encoding is used.

       In the inverse mapping, any sequence except those described above is
       incorrect and is converted to rune 0080.

       ascii(1), rune(3), keyboard(4), The Unicode Standard.