Re: MACRON in ISO 8859-1

From: Alain LaBont/e'/ SCT (
Date: Fri Nov 01 1996 - 08:14:03 EST

A 11:44 08/07/97 -0700, Kenneth Whistler a écrit :
>Alain noted:
>> 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
>Please don't muddy the semantics of this character. It is
>clearly identified as:
>in 8859-1 and in 10646.
>It contrasts with:
>in 10646.
>If people overload 0xAF MACRON in 8859-1 implementations to do box
>drawing or overlining, that is up to them, but the intent and meaning
>of the character in 8859-1 is now defined by reference to the
>universal character standard, ISO/IEC 10646.

There are two points of view. Yours is the one that SC2 should probably
have adopted a while ago, it is the point of view of UNICODE.

SC2 does not define the semantics of characters, so everybody can do
whatever he/she wants. However, as you say, if conversion is important,
that becomes an issue. I guess that for priomitive box drawing, that would
not be a big issue (we've seen this in Canada when we converted from IBM
437 or IBM 863 to IBM 850).

Thanks for the comment though, some concerns exist which are not that
dramatic when the problem occurs. This one is of this nature.

From now on, I'll be difficult to reach by email for some days (and next
Tuesday I'm on vacation until August 10 inclusively, back home -- it's the
world upside down, I leave a resort where I work like a monk to go home to
take my vacation!)

Alain LaBonté

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