Umlaut and diaeresis

From: Michael Everson (
Date: Tue Jun 15 1999 - 11:40:13 EDT

Last month, I prepared a liaison statement to ISO TC46/SC4 which I
presented at the TC46 meetings in Paris. This reiterated the request of
ISO/IEC JTC1/SC2 for TC46 to cease character set development (which they
have done, two years since) and to transfer their standards to SC2.

In response, and subject to agreement by SC2 that the standards will be
maintained, TC46 agreed to transfer those standards for which acceptable
mappings to ISO/IEC 10646 exist. At present these include:

ISO 5426:1980 (has x48 diaeresis and x49 umlaut, both mapped to U+0308)
ISO 5427:1984
ISO 6438:1996
ISO 10585:1996
ISO 10586:1996
ISO 11822:1996

Seven character sets for which all characters have not been mapped to
ISO/IEC 10646 (and therefore which cannot be transferred now) include:

ISO 5426-2:1996
ISO 5428:1984
ISO 6630:186
ISO 6861:1996
ISO 6862:1996
ISO 8957:1996
ISO 10754:1996

So anyway roundtrip conversion with 5426 is no longer a reason for encoding
two characters for umlaut and diaeresis. Anyway they would be impossible to
manage. What do you do when cataloguing a book by a German and a Frenchman
both? Use two different codes? How about books in French by Germans or
books in German by Frenchmen? &c. &c.

Michael Everson * Everson Gunn Teoranta *
15 Port Chaeimhghein Íochtarach; Baile Átha Cliath 2; Éire/Ireland
Guthán: +353 1 478 2597 ** Facsa: +353 1 478 2597 (by arrangement)
27 Páirc an Fhéithlinn;  Baile an Bhóthair;  Co. Átha Cliath; Éire

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