Google published an interesting graph generated from their internal data based on their indexed web pages.
A quick summary of popular encodings based on the graph:
- Unicode – almost 50% and rapidly rising
- ASCII – 20% and falling
- Western European* – 20% and falling
- Rest – 10% and falling
Conclusion: if you do something with the web, make sure you support Unicode.
When you are using Delphi, and need help with transitioning to Unicode: contact me.
* Western European encodings: Windows-1252, ISO-8859-1 and ISO-8859-15.
Reference: Official Google Blog: Unicode nearing 50% of the web.
Some people mentioned (either in the comments or otherwise) that a some sites pretend they emit Unicode, but in fact they don’t.
This doesn’t relieve you from making sure you support Unicode: Don’t pretend you support Unicode, but do it properly!
Examples of bad support for Unicode are not limited to the visible web, but also applications talking to the web, and to webservices (one of my own experiences is explained in StUF – receiving data from a provider where UTF-8 is in fact ISO-8859: it shows an example where a vendor does Unicode support really wrong).
So: when you support Unicode, support it properly.