Re: US-ASCII (was: Re: Invalid UTF-8 sequences)

From: Kenneth Whistler (
Date: Fri Dec 10 2004 - 14:06:12 CST

  • Next message: Tim Greenwood: "Re: US-ASCII (was: Re: Invalid UTF-8 sequences)"

    > If any
    > criticism was present, it referred to the redundant "US-" prefix in
    > "US-ASCII", not to Unicode, and even that wasn't really criticism, just my
    > lack of understanding /why/.

    In addition to Doug's historical clarification, you need to
    understand this as a perfectly normal linguistic process of
    attributive disambiguation of a term which had grown ambiguous
    in usage.

    Many, many people using computers, including some software engineers,
    don't even know what the acronym ASCII stands for, or that
    the "A" was derived from "American" originally.

    ASCII proliferated into parlance meaning basically the default
    7- or 8-bit character set of personal computers (<== note that
    that term itself is now archaic and disappearing), and in particular the
    common set of characters printed on most keycaps. In some
    contexts, ASCII meant and still means "not EBCDIC".

    "US-ASCII" was invented as a term, I believe, in part to tie
    usage back explicitly to ANSI X 3.4, whose repertoire is
    identical to U+0000..U+007F, including the implied usage of
    a particular set of ISO 6429 controls for C0 ... and opposed
    to ISO 646 IRV, or any particular national variant of ISO 646,
    including even the US variant of ISO 646, or Code Page 437, or
    some other unspecified "ASCII" code page.


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