Re: Euro in 8859 character sets

From: Kenneth Whistler (
Date: Fri Apr 17 1998 - 12:44:57 EDT

Jony Rosenne asked re Euro in 8859:

> I understand why the Euro sign is wanted in Latin-1, Latin-0 and Greek, but
> I am not certain it is needed in other parts, such as Cyrillic, Arabic and
> Hebrew.
> I have no objection to vendors adding the sign to their private codes. The
> question is should it be added to the standards?

LPA stated:

> I think Euro should be included in Latin-2 most definetely, right?

Tom Garland stated:

> The Euro symbol should probably be added to all Latin parts to facilitate
> those in the 8 bit world who wish to use it.

Lazaros Tossounidis stated:

> However we firmly advocate the need of
> including the euro into 8-bit character sets
> (most of them and not only the 8859/1/7...)

I would like to remind everyone that for the 8-bit standards of the
ISO 8859 series, it is *not* simply a matter of adding the EURO SIGN
to an existing standard. Most of the 8859 series (with 8859-8 Hebrew
and 8859-6 Arabic being notable exceptions) are FULL, with no open
code values for the addition of new characters.

The EURO SIGN has been "added" to Latin-1, not by literally adding
it to Latin-1, but by creating a *new* part, ISO/IEC 8859-15, Latin-9
(rhetorically known as "Latin-0") with the EURO SIGN and a number
of other characters replacing some of the characters in the corresponding
positions of ISO/IEC 8859-1, Latin-1.

"Adding" the EURO SIGN to other 8859 parts will also require the creation
of corresponding new parts. In order to support the EURO SIGN in these
new parts, vendors will have to support this proliferation of new
8859 "code pages". While the current plan is to create these new parts
by minimal changes, substituting the EURO SIGN for the CURRENCY SIGN,
where it exists in the corresponding part, the net effect is still to
create a new part, which must be added to operating systems, databases,
and applications before it will be fully supported. I have no doubt
that this will occur, given the enormous pressure to support the EURO
SIGN for European IT systems, but the impact is further fragmentation of
the 8859 series into code page chaos. The EURO SIGN for Western Europe
is 8859 part *15* already, and that is just the tip of the iceberg.

And don't forget that a similar chaos is striking all the IBM
vendor code pages, PC and EBCDIC, to support the EURO SIGN in
European IT systems-- again because most of the code pages in
question were already full before the EURO SIGN became an issue.

Viva Unicode!


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