This week's book giveaway is in the OCPJP forum. We're giving away four copies of OCA/OCP Java SE 7 Programmer I & II Study Guide and have Kathy Sierra & Bert Bates on-line! See this thread for details.
You can read more about Unicode in the JLS, §3.10.4 Character Literals. In short, Unicode format encapsulates all characters in the World, unlike ASCII. When you compile a Java program, Unicode characters are translated very early in the process. Therefore, when it actually came time to compile that code, the compiler would see the line:
This is obviously valid. Of course, had we put tick marks around it, we would have ended up with this:
This is also legal, but it's also quite different. The number 8 and the character value of the number 8 are not one in the same. I hope that helps, Corey [ June 06, 2002: Message edited by: Corey McGlone ]