Re: New Draft ISO 8859-0

From: Tony Harminc (
Date: Mon Jul 14 1997 - 19:43:23 EDT

On 14 Jul 97 at 15:29, Hohberger, Clive P. wrote:

> Latin 0 (yes, zero) attempts to correct 8859/1 Latin 1 by providing
> a new base set.

Am I correct in taking this to mean that you are seriously proposing
"Latin 0" (or presumably ISO 8859-0) as the name for this new
character set/code page ? I've not complained as long as people use
it as a sort of jocular nonce name, but 0 is much too symbolic a
character to use casually. Such a proposal carries all sorts of
implications that this character set is *the* base for latin
characters, with some better claim than the existing latin-n (n > 1)
sets. Please let's just use the next number in sequence - 11 or
whatever we're up to now.

> The Eurocurrency code is EUR. It's symbol is a graphic looking like a
> small "c" with 2 horizontal lines through it. Like the dollar sign,
> which has both alpha form USD, and graphic "$" forms.

I'm trying hard to stay polite here... To say that the symbol "$" is
the graphic form of alpha "USD" is simply absurd. There are at least
six countries that have a currency called Dollar, and ten more that
use the symbol "$" for a currency with a different name. It might be
nice if each currency had a unique one character symbol, but it isn't
the case now. Looking at the IBM National Language Design Guide
Vol2 (not an authoritative source, but a very handy one), I see that
Costa Rica and El Salvador both use a currency symbol that looks a
lot like your description of the Euro sign. The UK and Ireland both
use stlg. Japan and China use yen. The two Koreas use the same
W-with-bar for their two currencies. Perhaps the only obviously
unambiguous symbol is the Thai B-with-vertical-bar.

Clearly it's up to the EU to choose how to represent their new
currency, but I am certainly skeptical about the need. Probably the
symbol will end up as a local one like $, with EUR used when
there's ambiguity, as with CAD, USD, AUD, MXN etc.


Tony Harminc

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