Re: ASCII and Unicode lifespan

From: Peter Kirk (
Date: Wed May 18 2005 - 07:18:45 CDT

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    On 18/05/2005 11:34, Raymond Mercier wrote:

    > ...
    > However, while we are having fun with standards, can someone explain
    > why the length of A4 paper (European not U.S.) 29.7 cm, is identical
    > to the Roman foot ? Coincidence, or the product of sideways thinking
    > by some eurocrat ?

    Coincidence. European paper sizes, which are actually ISO international
    standard paper sizes, are derived as follows, taken from

    > ISO 216 defines the *A series* of paper sizes based on these simple
    > principles:
    > * The height divided by the width of all formats is the square
    > root of two (1.4142).
    > * Format A0 has an area of one square meter.
    > * Format A1 is A0 cut into two equal pieces. In other words, the
    > height of A1 is the width of A0 and the width of A1 is half the
    > height of A0.
    > * All smaller A series formats are defined in the same way. If you
    > cut format An parallel to its shorter side into two equal pieces
    > of paper, these will have format A(n+1).
    > * The standardized height and width of the paper formats is a
    > rounded number of millimeters.

    > The United States, Canada, and in part Mexico, are today the only
    > industrialized nations in which the ISO standard paper sizes are not
    > yet widely used.

    Some of these paper sizes were a French standard as long ago as 1794!
    The modern form of the system was introduced as a German standard in
    1922, and in most of Europe by the 1950's - ironically last of all in
    France in 1967. So this is nothing to do with the "eurocrats" of the
    European Union.

    Peter Kirk (personal) (work)
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