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The number system or numeral system is a way of naming or representing the number. It's a system used in computer architecture for naming or describing numeric values.
There are several types of the number system. But among them, the four are well known and are in our everyday use.
The number is expressed in the binary system or base-2 numeral system in a binary number system. The binary describes the number by employing only 0 and 1.
Ancient Egypt, China, and India already adopted that numbering system for various reasons if we look at the past. Today, that numeral system has become an integral part of the modern world's electronics and computer architecture language. It's the most efficient system for detecting an electrical signal on (1) and off (0) states.
In the modern world, almost all the electronics and computer architectures are based on that system because of its direct implementation in digital circuits using logic gates.
What is Bit in the binary numeral system?
Every binary digit is called a "Bit." Each binary number consists of several digits (bits). For example
The text you are currently reading on your digital device consists of binary codes. But, you are reading this because those binary codes are decoded to human-readable plain text.
For example, hello in binary will be 01001000 01100101 01101100 01101100 01101111.
Encoding is converting characters in human languages to a binary format to make them processable for computers.
ASCII, the short form of the American Standard Code for Information Interchange, is a primary character encoding scheme. ASNI (American National Standards Institute) mainly developed that fixed-length encoding scheme in 1960 for electronic communications in the United States. That scheme specifically encodes the Latin alphabets (a-z, A-Z), numbers (0 to 9), and common symbols (+, -, /, ", ! etc.) present in the US and US-based digital systems.
The ASCII character set contains 128 characters, with each character having a unique value between 0 to 127. The 7-bit binary number represents each ASCII character in its character set because the 7-bit binary number can hold the value from 0 to 127.
In ASCII, the bit-width/length (the length of binary number used by the encoding scheme to represent the character) is 7. But in our computing system, the memory is made up of small unit cells, each containing 8-bit (byte). Even though ASCII needs 7-bit to encode the character, but stores as 8-bit by keeping the first bit zero. Thus, in actuality, the ASCII bit-width is 8.
Note: The encoded binary value for capital and lower case letters also differs. For example,
It's just a little hack to note. Check the first three digits in the string that defines either its upper or lower case. If it's 010, then it's upper case. If it's 011, then it's a lower case letter.
The ASCII character set can represent the limited number of characters available, with each character getting fixed eight bits (1 byte). In that way, you will get 256 different ways to group eight 1s and 0s if you do math calculations. Thus, it gives us 256 different ways to represent the character in ASCII.
As the computing system expands globally, the computer system stores the text in a language other than English, which includes non-ASCII characters. To accommodate the non-ASCII characters, people started thinking about using the numbers 128 to 255 still available on a single byte.
Like the ASCII, the Unicode assigns a unique code called code point (the decimal value associated with each character in character set) to each character. But Unicode is a more sophisticated system that can produce more than a million code points. Thus, making it a better attempt to create a single character set representing every character present in every imaginable language. For example, in Unicode, the code points are written as U+2587, where "U" means the Unicode, and numbers are hexadecimal.
Unicode is a universal standard to encode all languages, maintained by Unicode Consortium. It even includes emojis. But, Unicode alone does not perform the task of storing the words in binary format. The computer system needs a more sophisticated way to translate Unicode into binary form to store its characters in text files. Here's where UTF-8 comes in, which helps in keeping and representing those code points.
UTF-8, a short form of Unicode Transformation Format - 8 bits, is an 8-bit variable encoded scheme designed to harmonize with ASCII encoding. Unlike ASCII, a fixed-length encoding scheme uses a fixed 1 byte to encode. UTF-8 uses 1 or up to 4 bytes to encode the characters. That encoded scheme uses its UTF character set to do the encoding.
The UTF-8 can translate any Unicode character to its unique binary string and translate back the binary string to Unicode character.
In the UTF-8, the first 256 characters in the character set are represented as one byte. Characters that appear above are encoded as two-byte, three-byte, and eventually four-byte binary units.
But the question is, why does UTF-8 convert some characters to one byte and others to up to four-byte? The simple answer is to save the memory. To use less space to represent more common characters (ASCII character set). Suppose if encoded each Unicode character to four-byte, a single English written file would be four times in size.
Another benefit of UTF-8 encoding is its compatibility with ASCII. The first 128 characters of the Unicode character set match with the ASCII character set and translate those assigned 128 characters to the exact binary string as in ASCII.
Using a binary converter is simple and involves, few steps to follow.