Re: Character identities

From: Marc Wilhelm Küster (
Date: Mon Oct 28 2002 - 02:32:21 EST

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    At 11:37 25.10.2002 -0700, Doug Ewell wrote:
    >Marc Wilhelm Küster <kuester at saphor dot net> wrote:
    > > As to the long s, it is not used for writing present-day German except
    > > in rare cases, notably in some scholarly editions and in the Fraktur
    > > script. Very few texts beyond the names of newspapers are nowadays
    > > produced in Fraktur. To put the long s on the German keyboard would be
    > > quite contrary to user requirements -- and if a requirement existed,
    > > it would be DIN's job to amend DIN 2137-2 and the upcoming DIN 2137-12
    > > to cater for it.
    >"Irrelevant," sure, but "contrary"? I don't see what harm could come
    >from adding a character to a previously unassigned key, especially in
    >the relatively obscure AltGr zone (Level 3). Most users could safely
    >ignore it, and most would never even know it was there.

    In principle, you are right. Unfortunately, there's quite a bit of software
    around that (mis-)uses unassigned AltGr-Keys for their own purposes - this
    includes, on Windows NT ff at least, software such as the localized MS
    Word. So, adding new assignments potentially clashes with existing software
    and should only be done if there is a sufficiently high public interest in
    doing so.

    >But yes, of course it would be DIN's job to standardize such a thing (or
    >Patrick Andries asked if a revised German keyboard standard would be
    >ignored in the market with the same cavalier attitude seen in Canada
    >(and the U.S.). My impression is that European manufacturers are held
    >more closely to conformance with national and international standards
    >than North American manufacturers, but I'd want some Europeans to back
    >me up on this.

    Speaking of Europe, it differs from country to country. In Germany
    certainly DIN 2137 is widely adhered to and changes to it would in all
    likelihood be taken up fast on the market.

    Best regards,

    Marc Küster

    >-Doug Ewell
    > Fullerton, California

    Marc Wilhelm Küster
    Saphor GmbH

    Fronländer 22
    D-72072 Tübingen

    Tel.: (+49) / (0)7472 / 949 100
    Fax: (+49) / (0)7472 / 949 114

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