Ancient encodings (was: Where is the First> Last> convention documented?)

From: Michael Maxwell (
Date: Thu Sep 13 2007 - 16:38:26 CDT

  • Next message: Kenneth Whistler: "RE: Where is the First> Last> convention documented?"

    > The IBM EBCDIC control functions

    Relax, I'm not going to talk about control functions. Rather, I have a side interest in what I call the "half life of software", meaning how long one can expect a particular piece of software to be usable on anything but museum-piece computers (my guess is 5-10 years). I have found next to nothing on the topic.
    It occurs to me that character encodings are one part of this issue. I assumed that there was little or no data still in existence (aside from NASA's archives, maybe) that used EBCDIC; but maybe I'm wrong. Another encoding that has more or less disappeared is ISCII, as are (I hope) some of the proprietary encodings for Devanagari (although I wouldn't count on it :-(). Perhaps the ISO 88NN encodings are on their way out, although I'm sure there's still lots of data in that format today.
    Has anyone looked into this? I'll suggest responding to me personally, as I doubt that this is of general interest to this list. (Feel free to tell me otherwise.)
       Mike Maxwell
       CASL/ U MD

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