Re: There is no ANSI in Microsoft

From: Doug Ewell (
Date: Wed Mar 22 2000 - 11:33:46 EST

Markus Kuhn <> wrote:

> Seeing Microsoft employees (especially on a coded character set
> specialist mailing list!!!) referring to their "code pages" as
> something associated with ANSI makes me cringe on a regular basis.
> Big5 is not an ANSI standard. Neither is CP1252. In fact, the only
> ANSI standards that are remotely relevant to any of the Microsoft code
> pages are ANSI/ISO 8859 and ANSI/ISO 10646, both of which did not
> originate within ANSI but within ECMA and ISO and are far more widely
> and appropriately referred to as ISO standards. In this sense, Unicode
> is even more an "ANSI code page" than CP1252.

I remember reading in an article several years ago that Latin-1, which
was derived from the DEC Multinational Character Set, was an ANSI
standard before being approved by ISO (I'm sure it was an ECMA standard
as well during this time) and that Microsoft adopted it and made its
(in)famous additions to the C1 zone during this pre-ISO period.

If true, then there is at least some historical basis for the term ANSI
to describe CP1252 as distinguished from, e.g., CP437, although Frank is
certainly correct that "ANSI" alone means nothing. I work for an ISO
9001 registered company and you might be surprised (or not) how
difficult it is to get people to stop saying merely "ISO" to refer to
the quality system.

-Doug Ewell
 Fullerton, California

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