Re: (TC304.1229) Canadian contribution on inclusion of EURO SIGN on keyboards (ISO/IEC 9995-3)

From: Peter Svanberg (
Date: Sat Sep 27 1997 - 20:20:57 EDT

As I'm just now finishing a draft national Swedish keyboard
standard, based on 9995, to be sent out for consideration, I
know the subject rather well.

On Fri, 26 Sep 1997, Alain LaBontÚ SCT wrote:

> Here is an official Canadian contribution to JTC1/[SC18╣]/WG9
> requesting an amendment to ISO/IEC 9995-3 (Common

This contribution suggests to put EURO on E00 (key left of "1"
key in top row) on level 2 (normal shift key held down) in this
international group 2.

This means that to get the EURO symbol, you select group 2 in
some way (not specified in 9995; hopefully through holding down
a separate level 2 select key), hold down the normal shift key
and press the E00 key.

The current allocation on that position is SOFT HYPHEN, which
is described as "a character that currently has very little
use, if any, in applications".

If you are talking solely about the 8859-character SOFT HYPHEN,
maybe this is true. But if we widen it to "the function of
inputting hyphenation points in text" it is definitely not
true. When using a language like Swedish, with very long
compound words, you must have that functionality. (No,
automatic hyphenation can not handle all cases.) On the other
hand, just the character SOFT HYPHEN is not sufficient to
describe hyphenation behavior in some special cases in
languages such as Swedish and German. (Look at for more info on
this subject.)

The functionality exist in most word processors, and a unified
keyboard position to reach it wouldn't be bad. Isn't there
other characters in this keyboard group which are more
questionable? MUSIC NOTE? SMALL N WITH APOSTROPHE (I heard a
rumour that this character was a mistake)?

(By the way, an amendment of 9995 should probably also add the
missing CAPITAL ETH.)

> There is also an attempt in this contribution to harmonize
> national layouts for the EURO SIGN or at least set a common
> direction whenever possible.

The contribution suggests to put EURO in level 3 on E03, i.e.
level 3 select held down (usually Alt Gr) and pressing of the
key normally having the digit 3.

"Countries for which this would be a problem" is at least
Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Iceland and Estonia, as they have
POUND SIGN in that position. The file

gives more info. This table could be extended by someone having
the IBM book on keyboard layouts. (I don't have it here now.)

In the mentioned national Swedish standard draft we have
reserved level _2_ on E00 for future standardization, even
mentioning "future European currency symbol" in a vague note.
But that position is probably too much used for other
characters in most countries.

Level 3 on E05 is free in Scandinavia, is it also elsewhere?

Peter Svanberg, NADA, KTH		    E-mail:
Dept of Num An & CS,
Royal Inst of Tech			    Phone: +46 8 790 71 40
S-100 44  Stockholm, SWEDEN		    Fax:   +46 8 10 18 64

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