Re: Latin00 (was Re: MES as an ISO standard?)

From: Markus G. Kuhn (
Date: Mon Jul 07 1997 - 02:48:01 EDT

Alain LaBont SCT wrote on 1997-07-07 02:43 UTC:
> It will likely be revised to change the EURO symbol position to replace the
> PLUS OR MINUS sign rather than the sputnik-like currency symbol used in
> some applications as a FIELD SEPARATOR and by some other applications for
> SUBTOTAL accounting function. The CENT sign is likely to remain intact to
> avoid confusion. All this was developed within the list of open characters
> identified at the beginning of the proposal, two of which will finally
> remain intact because we do not need them so far to achieve a well-defined
> correction-of-Latin-1 goal combined with the provision of the EURO sign.

But the plus-minus sign is widely used: It appears in many technical
documents to describe tolerances. It is certainly among the more useful
of the ISO 8859-1 characters. I have used it on one of my own
Web pages: <>.

In my opinion really useless characters in Latin 1 are:


the vulgar fractions, and the non-combining diacritical marks. What was
the original rationale to put those in Latin-1 anyway?
Better kill those first before touching the plus-minus.

On the other hand, who cares about yet another ISO 8859 part anyway when
we are about to get 16-bit flying? With Latin-1 so widely implemented in
both the Microsoft and Unix world, it is very unlikely that Latin-0 will
become any faster implemented than Unicode subsets like MES, EES, Microsoft's
WGL4, etc. I feel somewhat uncomfortable with seeing another almost Latin-1
standard that will just make the final migration to Unicode slightly more
difficult. Latin-0 will probably do more harm than good, in the best case
it will be completely ignored.

Just my 20.1


Markus G. Kuhn, Computer Science grad student, Purdue
University, Indiana, USA -- email:

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