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Some of my libraries have a "w" after the name. What does this signify?

For example I have the following shared libraries in /usr/local/lib:

libncurses.so
libncursesw.so
libmenu.so
libmenuw.so
libform.so
libformw.so
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The “w” stands for “wide characters”, i.e. characters which occupy potentially more than one byte in memory; quoting the FAQ:

I chose to implement the wide-character support using a different library name, "ncursesw". Doing that allowed me to maintain compatibility with applications that used the existing "ncurses" library.

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  • The Wikipedia article, for those that want more information regarding wide characters.
    – KGIII
    Oct 31 '20 at 17:51

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