Latin 1 Western-Eurocentric?

From: Alain LaBont\i\ (
Date: Wed Aug 26 1998 - 05:25:50 EDT

A 11:15 98-08-25 -0700, Glen Perkins a écrit :
>[...] Latin-1 is not at all sufficient for "all scripts based on Latin".
>It's Western-Eurocentric.

[Alain] :
... if you exclude French, which ISO/IEC 8859-1 can't handle integrally
(and France is Western-European, isn't it ?) (; That said, your conclusion
that Latin 1 is not sufficient converges with mine, it is not contradictory.
I only disagree with the remark that Latin 1 is Western-Eurocentric. It is
not even at this height. (;

[Glen] :
>Most Americans and Brits use Windows or Macintosh for most documents. Win
>and Mac have used 8-bit encodings from day one. This discussion is all about
>"legacy documents". Well, outside of some email and unix configuration
>files, you simply can't assume that a US or UK document is encoded in 7-bit
>"US-ASCII". It almost never is (even if some header claims it is).
>We use curly quotes and apostrophes, we use diacritics on many common
>English words and to write the names of a large number of our citizens. [...]

[Alain] :
Ah! Those nice words are dear to my heart, thanks for the intention and the
idealism (sincerely appreciated). However in practice I count on the
fingers of a single slightly mutilated hand the number of Angles and
Americans who dare to write my name correctly even if they indeed have the
tools (except for the keyboard (; ). Yesterday again, an appreciated
American colleague, who asked me to correct a snail-mailing list, said when
I did make fixes, that he could not enter the final E ACUTE of my family
name and the ones in my coordinates. I showed him (and wrote him!) two
methods to do that on Windows (use the character table of Windows
Accessories, or use the quick-and-dirty "Alt-Numkeypad-130" method). He
then answered honestly at last: "Well, even if I now know how to do that,
I'm not sure I want to do that".

I guess it is the average feeling as the results are not there. I
experience this in practice... every day... with my American and British
friends (some make real efforts and they are very nice [I would say they
are heroic], but they are very few). Good tools are not there yet, one must
admit, in English-speaking-only environments (and even when they are there
if one wants, there is no big will!)

Alain LaBonté
Helsingør, nær København, Danmark
(I translate for Angles and Americans : "Elsinore, near Copenhagen, Denmark")


[even if ø and æ are not French characters, I have them directly on my
 keyboard enabled to Québec government specs, which require *all* Latin 1
 répertoire characters, répertoire which is itself short of 3 French
 characters; our specs are a superset of level-2a-conformance to the Canadian
 CAN/CSA Z243.200 standard]

 The revision this year of the Canadian keyboard standard is going to require
 French characters <OE>, <oe> and <Y:>, i.e. "Œ", "œ" and "Ÿ" in the
 Windows 'ANSI' code, or "¼", "½" and "¾" if one uses Latin 9
 (ISO/IEC 8859-15) encoding, or the equivalent in Unicode even if I can't
  unfortunately reproduce these yet with any of my pieces of software, in
  particular email, nor exchange these data with our EBCDIC systems yet.
 The Canadian keyboard standard is code-independent, it is a user-interface
  standard. It can be implemented under Windows (3, 95, 98), under DOS,
  on Macs, under UNIX, Windows NT or IBM 327x terminals, etc. (and it is
  indeed implemented on all these platforms, even with the <oe>s on Windows
  3.1, 95, 98 and NT platforms, unfortunately with a nonstandard, albeit
  blessingly useful, external code, not exchangeable with our other 8-bit
  platforms... whence Latin 9 as the missing link between current 8-bit
  platforms and software and even with Unicode platforms... this for French-
  and Finnish-speakers, and Europeans in general for the EURO SIGN).

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