From: Philippe Verdy (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Sun Jul 16 2006 - 06:56:28 CDT
I absolutely don't understand your need to be so agressive and irrespectuous against ISO. Continue like that, and you'll be banned from posting to this list. And also why reporting here lots of misconceptions?
There was nothing wrong in the ISO-8859 standard series. ISO just stopped working on this, because there remained nobody wanting to continue the work in maintaining a 7/8 bit standard, when all focus (and a very large consensus at ISO) was for accelerating the development of the newer ISO 10646 standard, that the indistry and lots of governments and organizations wanted to develop.
What is important to understand here is that ISO has changed its priority: instead of creating many non-interoperable 7/8 bit encodings, there was more value into creating a common international standard that would contain a universal repertoire of characters.
Nothing in the iso 10646 standard or Unicode forbids any country from deriving a 7/8 bit standard for their national usage and publishing it so that it can be supported with low or no cost by software vendors. nothing forbids them to even make its support required for use in future products sold in their countries, if they think it will be in the country's interest.
But honestly, the whole 7/8 bit encodings collection was becoming more and more problematic and impossible to maintain consistently while also ensuring interoperability! Only the ISO 10646 standard allowed to reconcile the past encompatible standards, offering a uniform way to handle international text and converting with much less errors between otherwise incompatible encodings.
The ISO body has NOT deprecated the ISO 646 and ISO 8859-* standard series because of course they are widely used (and will continue to be used at large scale for very long, probably many decennials, if not more than a century, unless there's a complete change of computing technogy and the changeover occurs at large scale; I even think that ISO 646/US and possibly ISO 8859-1 will even survive the ISO 10646 standard when it will be replaced by something better based on a new text encoding paradigm with additional objectives not addressed today in ISO 10646 and Unicode...)
Don't say that Unicode and ISO 10646 does not work. All proves today that these standards are very successful and that their implementation is advancing fast, and available on many computers, supported by most languages and tools now, and that efficient implementation is possible and available for all, on all types of systems (from the smallest hand-held device to the largest mainframes or server farms or computing grids).
The complete migration from legacy 7/8 bit encodings to ISO/IEC 10646 is an international ongoing effort which is successful and has really helped decreasing the digital divide between the richest countries that have the power to require support for their legacy 7/8-bit encodings in their languages, and the poorest countries that had languages whose 7/8-bit encoding was rarely supported. With ISO 10646, softwares can be written once to support input, handling and rendering of all languages and cultures of the world.
With ISO 10646 (and the help of Unicode in its effective implementation), it is now in fact much less expensive to convice commercial companies to support fully internationalizable softwares, because this single standard can be understood by everyone in the world, and it also allows collaboration with more parties than just a single supporting government or organization.
You want support for a language or script? youy don't need to develop a new standard. Instead you just need to document a minimum set of missing characters to support, and they will be added to the same existing standard, and easily supported in existing applications, after others have contributed input methods, keyboard drivers, fonts... and academic sources can already work on producing text corpus, and studying the rules needed to develop stable orthographies for many rare languages. Most of the technologies and usage policies will already be there and documented.
In other words, ISO 10646 really saves money everywhere in the world, unlike the past incompatible 7/8 bit encodings.
So, please, find better arguments than just sending such criticism against a fabulous and successful project, which was adopted so massively and so rapidly with a large consensus. Don't blame ISO (and Unicode) about one of its most successful standard! If it hd not existed, most US-born softwares would not support Chinese or Indian scripts, or would be completely unable to work in the Middle-East and translatable and localizable easily in lots of languages.
Today, thanks to ISO 10646, there are LOTS of softwares supported in many languages of the world, and lots of people ready to help in this localization. Do you still maintain that ISO is a "destructive force"? What does it destroy really? Languages and cultures are preserved, and not restricted or influence by the many technical limitations of past legacy 7/8 bit encodings.
And I completely reject your argument saying that the encoding was not tested. It is just an open standard that can be enhanced by additions, and by more precise usage policies, but it causes still less harm than a collection of non-interoperable limited standards. Over time, more and more languages and cultures are supported, including the smallest ones or extinct languages studied now by very few academics with little financial resources for their research.
Also, people get now the chance to develop their own regional languages, even if it is not official in their country, and exchange data with expatriated people in other countries, running other systems, connected with different technologies, but they can now share their discoveries, and speak to each other. the rarest cultures benefit from worldwide academic organizations, or passionated people that contribute texts and help documenting their native or studied languages.
When you are adding that the ISO 10646 and Unicode standard projects are run by "less intelligent people", you become really insultant, and I think that you simply fail to convince anyone here if you start by insulting them. If there are things you don't like in the standard, be precise and contribute! Go after your government to have it protect your own interests at ISO, or join the working team at Unicode to get a vote.
Or work in your own area, and start publishing your own research results, explaining why and where the current standard fails to solve your solutions, and try finding something else and documenting something that will really be better and easier to support on as many systems as ISO 10646 does today!
Just consider how fast it is now between a revision of the ISO 10646 and Unicode standards and its adoption in systems. And in most cases, softwares and protocols don't even need to be rewritten or even updated to support the new versions. And this single unified standard also allows larger competition between software providers or designers, meaning also lower costs for end-users.
From: "Sinnathurai Srivas" <email@example.com>
> Well, let me explicitly put a charge at ISO.
> ISO8859-x was a working atandard. ISO should never invent nor accepts any
> inventions while they are experimental.
> ISO was extremly foolish to deny the chance to other languages which wished
> or wishing to use a tried and tested encoding like 8859-x.
> ISO was extremly foolish to think that a non-tested encoding will work.
> after nealy 15 years, in computing terms is definitly an indication of
> something seriouly wrong.
> This (encoding) department of ISO seems to be run by less inteligent people,
> as it in many important matters have taken anti-ISO decisions.
> In this instant it is making standard a concept (Unicode or ISO 10646)
> rather than stabdardising some working technologies.!!!!!
> Standardising working technologies !!!!!
> Standardising working technologies !!!!! should only be the responsibility
> of ISO.
> Standardising working technologies !!!!! should only be the responsibility
> of ISO. Not inventing new technologies.!!!!
> This department of ISO has miserably failed and they do not seems to care a
> standard is not working proprly and they do not seem to care that they are
> denying the use of tried and tested technology like 8859.
> ISO do not seem to care that their promosie to do away with ISO (an illegal
> code by now) is not been considered even after nearly 15 years.
> ISO is a distructive force, as far as multilingual computing is concerned.
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