From: Jonathan Rosenne (
Date: Wed Jul 09 1997 - 17:02:02 EDT

At 01:50 09/07/97 -0700, Unicode Discussion wrote:
>On Jul 8, 16:30, Tony Harminc <> wrote:
>> Contrary to common opinion, there is nothing in any mainframe
>> hardware or software that restricts the byte values in a string.
>O yes, there is one thing: the Fortran runtime system (which belongs
>to the the mainframe software, doesn't it) has used the X'FF' byte
>as a string terminator; hence this byte value could not be used
>in a string.

When we used punched paper tape for input, all ones was used to erase a
mistake, hence the use of 3f, 7f or ff (depending on whether one uses 6, 7
or 8 bits) to represent nothing. It was ignored by some readers, and thus
could not enter the computer as a character.


This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.2 : Tue Jul 10 2001 - 17:20:35 EDT