Re: ISO 6937

From: Alain LaBont\i\ (
Date: Wed Apr 08 1998 - 14:34:27 EDT

A 09:33 98-04-08 -0700, Tex Texin a écrit :
>Anyone have information on Teletext, apparently code page ISO 6937[?].
>I am told it has 313 characters. Apparently it has more than 256 because
>characters are composed by matching diacritics with other characters.
>I am interested in the characters supported by this set, as well as
>software that might support it, especially if Windows based.

[Alain] :
It has around 330 characters (I don't remember the exact number but it is
more than 313 and at least 330; however there would be a theoretical
possibility of technically handling more : it does this by composition but
only allows one accent per character and thus excludes Vietnamese for a
reason I never understood). It supports at least 40 European languages
using the Latin script with a variable code (8 bits or 16 bits when
composition is used, 24 bits when normal characters are composed to be

Its repertoire can be input (in a code-independent way, thus perfectly
suitable for Unicode, or Latin-1, or Latin-9, or IBM 850, or the Mac
character set) by ISO/IEC 9995-3 keyboard, group 2, in conjunction with any
national keyboard layout, in theory.

There exists many Canadian implementations of this ISO/IEC 9995-3 keyboard
group 2 (many different OEMs provide both keyboard drivers and engraved
keyboards -- the keyboard I currently use to write this message is an
actual implementation), based on CAN/CSA Z243.200-1992 (which has both
Canadian national layout [group 1] and the ISO group 2]) and one is
provided with the latest version of Windows NT. This one allows to enter
all characters of the ISO/IEC 6937 répertoire, but using Unicode under the
hood, of course. This one version was developed by Microsoft and I
understand it is provided in a standard way with at least the French
version of Windows NT (at least in Canada). The only keyboard available on
the Macintosh for French in Canada is also a combined implementation of
these two keyboard standards.

To come back on the chaarcter set, the current editor of ISO/IEC 6937 is
Keld Simonsen. Imho it should be revised to include teh EURO SIGN, just as
ISO/IEC 9995-3 is being revised to provide a key position (independently of
coding) for this symbol.

Btw, always imho, the most interesting thing in ISO/IEC 6937 is its
répertoire, not its coding.

Canadian ordering standard CAN/CSA Z243.4.1 also sorts the whole
répertoire. And CAN/CSA Z243.230 defines code-independent LOCALEs (one
French, one English) based on this répertoire, both provided with 3
charmaps (one for ISO/IEC 8859-1 [one more charmap to be added, the same as
8859-1 plus the extra characters of -15], one for ISO/IEC 6937, and one for
the UCS]).


Alain LaBonté
Project editor, ISO/IEC 9995 series (international keyboards)
Chair CAC/JTC1/WG5 (Canadian WG on user system interfaces)

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.2 : Tue Jul 10 2001 - 17:20:40 EDT