Re: Hexadecimal in many scripts (ISO 14755)

From: Markus Kuhn (
Date: Mon Jun 07 1999 - 13:20:02 EDT

John Cowan wrote on 1999-06-07 16:10 UTC:
> Addison Phillips wrote:
> > The decimal value is probably better than hex for human entry anyway:
> However, readily available tables and books universally use the
> hex values; indeed, a hex mode was added to XML/SGML for this
> very reason.

Another reason in favour of hex entry as opposed to decimal is that
Unicode was essentially laid out on a 16x8x512 matrix, and the
hexadecimal notation preserves much of this layout. I recognize
mathematical characters as having the form U+22xx and subscript digits
as having the form U+208y (where y is the digit). All this and more is
lost completely in the decimal notation.

The only advantage of decimal entry that I could think of is that it
allows use of the numeric keypad.

However, a clever implementor could simplify hex entry on numeric
keypads by supporting the use of the keys

  NumLock, / , *, -,



as hex digits A-F (and perhaps the . as an alternative to SPACE to
separate characters). All this of course only when Ctrl-Shift is

Is the order of the operator and function keys on the numeric keypad
reasonably well standardized throughout the world? (I hope so, because
typewriter's didn't have it, so national standards committees for
typewriters had little opportunity to mess up things here as well as


Markus G. Kuhn, Computer Laboratory, University of Cambridge, UK
Email: mkuhn at,  WWW: <>

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