with all alphabetic characters converted to uppercase.
encoding specifies the encoding of
str; if omitted, the internal character encoding
value will be used.
By contrast to strtoupper(), 'alphabetic' is determined by the Unicode character properties. Thus the behaviour of this function is not affected by locale settings and it can convert any characters that have 'alphabetic' property, such as a-umlaut (ä).
For more information about the Unicode properties, please see http://www.unicode.org/unicode/reports/tr21/.