Re: DIN 5007, Swiss Sorting

From: Michael Everson (
Date: Tue Mar 14 2000 - 06:07:55 EST

Ar 06:08 -0800 2000-03-13, scríobh Markus Kuhn:
>Michael Everson wrote on 2000-03-13 13:34 UTC:
>Sounds convincing.

How pleasant to have the logic respected for once. I never said it was
flawless, but only that it made sense as a set of criteria for making what
in the end is an arbitrary choice.

>You might add that ASCII ordering also did it always that way.

The US and UK Mac OSes have always done so as well.

>Does DIN 5007 come with any rationale for its aA sorting order?

Who knows? But in German there is the capitalization of nouns to consider.

Ar 07:02 -0800 2000-03-13, scríobh Mark Davis:
>The discussion on is
>not particularly convincing.

Well there's no pleasing everyone. What WOULD be convincing, Mark? That
little document is there to answer Markus' request for reasons for making
the (arbitrary) choice instead of citing "traditional practice".

With regard to "traditional practice", for the English language, as I
showed in, more
dictionaries that I examined preferred caps before smalls than preferred
smalls before caps. This refutes Alain LaBonté's persistent and unfounded
claim that there is "no preference". There IS a preference, at least the
data certainly leans to one side rather than to the other.

>Using outlines, pairs of letters written together (which would naturally
>follow titlecase convention), and history as evidence for collation order
>is a complete stretch. The only real evidence is provided by actual
>collation orders in practice.

So you and Markus have differing criteria. But I have shown both.

>There, different sources vary quite a bit. The Concise Oxford Dictionary
>is not the only authority -- the English language does not (thank the
>gods) depend on a centralized authority like the French Academy.

What rhetoric. I have shown:

1. That tradition tends to prefer caps before smalls in a wide variety of

2. That there are some logical reasons for making that choice, and
apparently fewer for making the other.

3. That the stated editorial practice of Oxford is caps before smalls.

4. That the stated editorial practice of Webster is smalls before caps.

Ken Whistler is right: implementations need to provide both options. All I
can say is that the implementations need to make the ability to choose easy
for the end user, or the tailorability is pointless.

Michael Everson ** Everson Gunn Teoranta **
15 Port Chaeimhghein Íochtarach; Baile Átha Cliath 2; Éire/Ireland
Vox +353 1 478 2597 ** Fax +353 1 478 2597 ** Mob +353 86 807 9169
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