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In article <42FD9944.firstname.lastname@example.org> you write:
>I believe the current Unicode character range, and the one that was
>effective for the XML 1.0 standard, is 0x20-0x10000 (note 17 bits)
The maximum is 0x10FFFF, one less than 17 * 2^16, which is the
same as the range covered by UTF-16.
You may be able to get away with using the UTF-16 16-bit words as if
they were characters. That is, it may not matter to your code that
some characters consist of two 16-bit words. In which case you can be
sure they are all less than 0xFFFE.