DEC multilingual code page, ISO 8859-1, etc.

From: Hart, Edwin F. (
Date: Wed Mar 22 2000 - 11:55:29 EST

Actually, there were 3 very similar proposals in the draft stage and the 3
differed in only a few character assignments:

ECMA 94, ISO 8859-1, and ANSI dp 131.2 (or 132.2)

I heard that representatives from the 3 organizations developed a compromise
proposal that became ECMA 94 and ISO 8859-1. The ANSI proposal was never
progressed beyond the draft stage and in the early 1990s, ANSI/ISO 8859-1
was adopted instead as the "8-bit ASCII" standard.

The DEC multilingual page is likely based on one of the 3 drafts. However,
DEC had to commit the design before the compromise was reached and final
standards were approved.

Ed Hart

Edwin F. Hart
The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory
11100 Johns Hopkins Road
Laurel, MD 20723-6099
+1-443-778-6926 (Baltimore)
+1-240-228-6926 (DC Area)
+1-443-778-1093 (fax, Baltimore)
+1-240-228-1093 (fax, DC area)

-----Original Message-----
From: Doug Ewell []
Sent: Wednesday, March 22, 2000 11:24
To: Unicode List
Subject: Re: There is no ANSI in Microsoft

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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