When you develop a mono-lingual application are you using unicode/utf8???

I find it really unneccessary (even though many people would disagree), to use Unicode in an Arabic-only application or web app, I really recommend using the standard encoding of arabic text (about 99% of the worldwide arabic electronic text is encoded in windows-1256). I really would have preferred to use iso8859-6 but nobody uses it.
I only see utf8/unicode as an option if you need to mix many languages in the same string or database column.

Here’s the comparison for arabic text:

Feature UTF-8 Win-1256
Size of a character VariableMostly 2 bytes, except for numbers, english text, spaces, and special characters (i.e. normal ascii text) that use 1 byte 1 byte
Finding a character by byte counting/shifting impossible easy
Number of Languages in the same string or database column infinite 2 (Arabic and English)
Handling Strings special normal

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