RE: New Draft ISO 8859-0

From: Seeds, Glen (
Date: Tue Jul 08 1997 - 08:42:00 EDT

Surely the plus/minus sign is more heavily used than the cent sign?

>From: Alain LaBont/e'/ SCT[]
>Sent: July 7, 1997 4:33 PM
>To: comp-software-international@SENATOR-BEDFELLOW.MIT.EDU;
>Subject: Re: New Draft ISO 8859-0
>Erland Sommarskog writes on
>>Markus Kuhn <> skriver:
>>>They want to replace the frankly quite useless characters:
>>>A8 DIAERESIS (standalone, spacing character)
>>>B4 ACUTE ACCENT (standalone, spacing character)
>>>B8 CEDILLA (standalone, spacing character)
>[Erland] :
>>They're also suggesting dropping the following six:
>> 10/06 BROKEN BAR
>> 10/02 CENT SIGN
>>Broken bar is a character I've never understood why it exists, and
>>possibly the cent sign is little used. But the other four certainly
>>looks reasonable. There's even ± key on my keyboard. On the other
>>hand, who is using the macro[n] sign (¯) or or that matter the logical
>>not (¬)?
>[Alain] :
>The macron sign should in fact have been called the overline character (as
>in Latin 1 it is not, generally speaking, used as a diacritic [in fact, to
>artificially represent the macron diacritical mark, I have myself, on
>several occasions, used the *underline* character on the line above a
>letter rather than the spacing macron of ISO/IEC 8859-1 for scholar French
>-- to represent words borrowed from Arabic, for example
> _
>qat ]). That said, the Latin 1 "macron" deserves other purposes: it is the
>complement of the underline character.
>It is used to make *primitive* box drawing, as in the following:
>And the NOT SIGN is used in PL/1.
>It also appears that the currency sign is used for certain control stuff in
>some environments (as a field separator in certain packages, or, at British
>Airways [if my memory is good], as a SUBTOTAL indicator). But that is not a
>problem any more, we needed 2 characters less than the initial proposal (to
>finally correct Latin 1 for 3 missing French characters and 4 missing
>Finnish characters) and at this moment we sacrificed the PLUS-MINUS SIGN
>for the EURO SIGN and kept the CURRENCY SIGN and the CENT SIGN intact.
>Now for the PLUS-MINUS sign: it is not perfectly ideal that we give it up
>in favour of the SPUTNIK-like CURRENCY SIGN, but it can use +- as a
>fallback. And there is always a possibility to continue to use Latin 1 for
>specific purposes which do not already use the EURO sign. For new
>applications the fallback can be used. This appears reasonable.
>Of course for reallocating a full table, something has to be sacrificed.
>But impact should be minimal, that's what we did in all good faith and good
>will, conscious that not absolutely everybody will be satisfied. However it
>is a new part of ISO/IEC 8859, not modifying Latin 1 which continues to
>exist, not for EURO SIGN usage, though.
>Alain LaBonté
>PS: I have all the sacrificed characters on my own keyboard, which is *the*
>Canadian keyboard standard (CAN/CSA Z243.200-1992, based on ISO/IEC 9995-3
>for international character usage), but they can easily be sacrificed in
>practice for something more useful *in the 8-bit world*. In ISO/IEC 9995-3
>all the sacrificed characters plus all the new ones, except EURO SIGN, can
>be entered... this is excellent for ISO/IEC 10646... although this ISO
>keyboard standard (as well as the Canadian standard, due for revision) will
>have to be modified for EURO SIGN.
>The new ISO/IEC 8859 part does not intend to compete with the UCS but
>rather to rectify things in the 8-bit world and create links with mainframe
>[and other environment] applications (which need to build conversion tables
>from legitimate standard character sets -- for very good technical reasons,
>in particular in the predominent EBCDIC market world which can't implement
>in the 8-bit world character sets with more than 191 graphic characters --
>à la Windows [in itself a goodie, but with a missing link]). This is *the*
>missing link, so that the EURO and two official European languages can be
>used integrally in a standard way (: (;

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