From: Philippe Verdy (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Thu Sep 22 2005 - 13:19:16 CDT
On Tue, 20 Sep 2005, Antoine Leca wrote:
> A widely different yet possible explanation is that on the 437 codepage
> on any PC screen on boot), the only French "extended" capitals were Æ, Ü
> É; the Æ digraph and Ü are very uncommon, so it may explain also the rule.
You forget other extended capital letters needed for French:
- 'Â', 'Ê', 'Î', 'Ô', 'Û' : all of them can be composed with the standard
French keyboard, using a "circumflex" dead key followed by the base vowel.
So there's no problem for them, either in capital or lowercase.
- 'Ä', 'Ë', 'Ï', 'Ö', 'Ÿ', in addition to 'Ü' already listed by you, can be
composed with the standard French keyboard, using a Shifted "tréma" dead key
followed by the base vowel. So there's no problem for them, either in
capital or lowercase.
(note that Ÿ is extremely rare, occuring only on rare French proper names
when written in all-capitals style; other words with diaeresis are quite
rare in common French; note that 'Ÿ' is absent from ISO-8859-1, but was
added to "Pan-European Latin" ISO-8859-15, due to its use in French)
- 'À', 'È' : can't be composed with the standard French keyboard, but can be
composed with the new french keyboard layout driver in Windows
- 'Ç' : can't be composed with any widely available driver, but 'ç' can be
composed with a simple single keystroke
- 'É' : same remark with a simple single keystroke for 'é' but no key
defined for the capital.
- 'æ' and 'Æ' digraph ligatures are part of French, but used only for
pedantic/scientific Latin words. They are not supported by standard drivers,
even though they are present in ISO-8859-1, CP437 and CP850.
- 'œ' and 'Œ' digraph ligatures are part of the normal and common French
orthography, but not composable in any widely available driver. These
letters are not part of CP437, CP850, ISO-8859-1 (this is the main reason it
is not supported by default drivers). My own driver uses (Shift+)AltGr+P. My
keyboard driver also maps other non-French letters 'ɔ' and 'Ɔ' (LATIN LETTER
OPEN O) to (Shift+)AltrGr+O, and non-French letters 'ø' and 'Ø' (LATIN
LETTER O WITH STROKE) to (Shift+)AltGr+Q. But my driver is also used to
write other languages than just French. The fact that I enter these letters
in this message makes that the message is only supported by Unicode
encoding. But the characters are part of ISO-8859-15.
Some are arguing that 'ñ' and 'Ñ' (part of CP437, CP850 and ISO-8859-1) are
also part of French as it includes some words imported from Spanish (such as
cañon or niño), but this orthography is pedantic, always temporary
historically, and deprecated by actual use of these words once they are no
more considerd as foreign words and actually imported into common language,
writing these words by using the normal French orthography with 'ni' instead
(English writers prefer using 'ny'). Well, the Microsoft driver for French
keyboard adds a dead key for the tilde, but it was not necessary for French
itself (in the past the key was not a dead key and was used to enter the
ASCII tilde symbol only). The combined letters are supported only because
they are already present in common 8-bit charsets.
Conclusion: ISO-8859-15 and Windows 1252 both have all the necessary
characters for French.
There's no reason to not map the only two missing (and very frequent) French
capital letters 'É', 'Ç' on the French keyboard. Optionally a French
keyboard should support 'œ'/'Œ', and could (possibly) support 'æ'/'Æ' but
there's much less need.
This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Thu Sep 22 2005 - 13:40:52 CDT