Casting int to char in java - do I use ASCII?

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Q: When casting an int to a char in Java, it seems that the default result is the ASCII character corresponding to that int value. My question is, is there some way to specify a different character set to be used when casting?

(Background info: I'm working on a project in which I read in a string of binary characters, convert it into chunks, and convert the chunks into their values in decimal, ints, which I then cast as chars. I then need to be able to "expand" the resulting compressed characters back to binary by reversing the process. I have been able to do this, but currently I have only been able to compress up to 6 "bits" into a single character, because when I allow for larger amounts, there are some values in the range which do not seem to be handled well by ASCII; they become boxes or question marks and when they are cast back into an int, their original value has not been preserved. If I could use another character set, I imagine I could avoid this problem and compress the binary by 8 bits at a time, which is my goal.)

I hope this was clear, and thanks in advance!


Your problem has nothing to do with ASCII or character sets.

In Java, a char is just a 16-bit integer. When casting ints (which are 32-bit integers) to chars, the only thing you are doing is keeping the 16 least significant bits of the int, and discarding the upper 16 bits. This is called a narrowing conversion.

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