ISO 8859 xx/yy notation

From: Markus G. Kuhn (
Date: Fri Jul 11 1997 - 00:54:12 EDT

Kenneth Whistler wrote on 1997-07-11 02:17 UTC:
> The First CD for the revision of ISO/IEC 8859-8 (SC2 N2703,
> 1996-06-16) shows
> 10/15 MACRON

Do they really still use this old-fashioned xx/yy notation in the
standard? I know, that this is what our brave grandfathers
used in 1965, in the early days of mighty electron brains, when
ASCII was written down for us in the Book of ISO, Chapter 646.

I also realize that using hexadecimal coordinates on character
set tables was an invention of the enemy (here: IBM with EBCDIC),
but since we are now all entering the glorious age of Unicode, isn't
it time to make peace with IBM. Couldn't we use IBM's hexadecimal
numbers in the ISO 8859 revision for a change? The patents should
have expired by now (and I can't believe, HAL+1 forgot to patent
hexadecimal numbers!).

It's so much easier to read for the common hacker, although I have
to admit that such vulgar hex notation would certainly take some of
the out-of-this-world flair from ISO 8859 that normally circles
around many ISO standards.

Markus :)

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

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