Re: OEM codepages in Windows (was: Japanese Windows Code Page?)

From: Frank da Cruz (
Date: Sun Feb 13 2000 - 10:59:50 EST

> I would like to get more details on the Bulgarian code page.
According to contacts in Bulgaria, a number of Bulgarian companies
just made up their own PC code pages. The one I'm familiar is
improperly called CP856 (the real CP856 is IBM Coded Character Set
00986/00856, "Hebrew PC, SAA Extension", which is similar to CP862
but not quite the same).

The Bulgarian CP856 has 32 Cyrillic letters in columns 8-B (in
alphabetical order) and the rest is CP437. Evidently the object
was to preserve as much of CP437 as possible, as it was with
Mazovia. You can find the table at:

along with tables for dozens of other character sets.

The capricious creation of code pages can hardly be avoided in a
world market devoid of standards. At one point, IBM was the
registrar and keeper of code pages, but I wonder if there is a
recognized central authority any more. An especially disturbing
trend is the modification of a code page definition after it is
published, resulting in two different code pages with the same

- Frank

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