Re: Code Pages in Western Europe

From: Alain LaBont\i\ (
Date: Thu Sep 09 1999 - 16:51:40 EDT

À 07:03 1999-09-09 -0700, a écrit :
>[...] for specific target languages (specifically German,
>French and Spanish). We are thinking the code page combination of 850 and
>437, should provide coverage for most of Europe.
>Issue #1:
>Our server will be designed such that, only one code page will be
>and can only be set by the Network Administrator. We will not support
>multiple code page environments. All clients must save files in the same
>code page format that has been set on the server.
>Are there any issues with this code page implementation?

[Alain] Yes... In email, which is the most frequent exposure for external
exchanges, for the 3 languages you're talking about, your customers will
typically be exposed at once to ISO/IEC 8859-1, Code page 1252 (which for
French has extra characters not present in the firts one and coded in an
unstandard fashion due to the lack of standards when it was relseased),
ISO/IEC 8859-15 (which is a corrected Latin 1 for French, Finnish and the
EURO SIGN), the Mac character set, and also code page 850 (mainly from OS/2
now bbut also DOS) and EBCDIC CECP character sets coming from IBM
mainframes... plus Unicode... Not all these character sets share the same
repertoire alphabetically.

Tagging is a must. Internal translation back and forth should anchor all
this using the Unicode/UCS character set (and fallbcaks be planned).

Unfortunately in MIME tagging, there is a flaw for characters transmitted
in 8-bit mode in email headers, a paradigm that corresponds to the reality
of users using those languages, typically.

>Issue #2:
>In other Western European languages, Portuguese for example, which requires
>code pages 850 and 860, will we be able to support this language with Code
>Page 850 only? Will lack of support for 860, present any problems?

[Alain] Yes and no. Yes for the character repertoire. No for all the
conversion flaws with the external world... There is also a big community
of Portuguese speakers in French-speaking countries (Paris is the second
Portuguese-speaking in Europe, for example) and CP 850 is insufficient for

Alain LaBonté

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