Report on WG15 Rapporteur Group

Randall Atkinson randall at
Thu Mar 15 12:43:27 AEST 1990

From: randall at (Randall Atkinson)

As one who is fairly active in the multilingual computing
side of things, I'm fairly certain that it just isn't worth
it to try to make ISO 646 the basis of *anything* for the
practical reason that it wasn't well thought out to begin with
and has already been superceded by the ISO 8859/* family of
8-bit character sets.

The latter fully support European linguistic needs (yes, including
Danish and Icelandic and ...) and can be used quite nicely with
most UNIX shells that I'm familiar with.

I thought that trigraphs got excessive attention back when ANSI C
was being developed and I fear that excessive attention will be
devoted to ISO 646 when there are other areas of internationalisation
that really deserve being thought about and solved cleanly.

Most of the vendors of hardware in Europe are supporting ISO 8859/1
now, so it is the real long term solution to European needs anyway.
Worrying about support for ISO 646 is a mistake, worrying about
supporting ISO 8859/* and the Asian need for larger character sets 
being fully supported and ways of handling date formats and such
aren't a mistake at all.

Volume-Number: Volume 18, Number 73

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