Re: ISO 8859-13 (was: ISO 8859-0)

From: Markus G. Kuhn (
Date: Tue Jul 15 1997 - 00:44:24 EDT

"Tony Harminc" wrote on 1997-07-14 23:42 UTC:
> On 14 Jul 97 at 15:29, Hohberger, Clive P. wrote:
> > Latin 0 (yes, zero) attempts to correct 8859/1 Latin 1 by providing
> > a new base set.
> Am I correct in taking this to mean that you are seriously proposing
> "Latin 0" (or presumably ISO 8859-0) as the name for this new
> character set/code page?

Well, there are VERY clear formal procedures within ISO that
prevent such numbering games. ISO CS in Geneva won't be too amused about
WGs messing up with their database software by extending the range
of valid part numbers.

I quote from "ISO/IEC Directives, Part 3, 1997", page 16, as available
on <>. Section 5.2.1 says
"The number of a part shall be indicated by arabic numerals,
beginning with 1, following the standard number and preceeded by
a hyphen". Those are the words of the holly ISO/IEC Directives, and
therefore I am pretty sure that there will never be a standard called
ISO/IEC 8859-0. My guess is that it will become ISO/IEC 8859-13 or
something like this. Renumbering the existing parts is out of the
question, since many systems (e.g., X11 and MIME) use the ISO standard
and part numbers to identify the character set.

As to whether it will become "Latin alphabeth no. 0", this is of course
up to the WG. But I assume that I am not the only one who feels that this
change of the "base character set of ISO 8859" (whatever this means)
by going to a lower number than one leaves a very bad aftertaste in your
mouth. I hope that this so-called Latin-0 will eventually become Latin
Alphabeth No. 9, to make very clear that this is just yet another of the
many ISO 8859 standards, and just yet another of the I guess much over
100 ISO/ECMA registered coded character sets. The first 256 code points
of ISO 10646 will continue to be identical with ISO 8859-1, Microsoft's
CP1252 will continue to be an extention of ISO 8859-1, the X11 fonts
certainly won't be changed, and therefore Latin-13 does not have a
chance of getting much more widely implemented important than say
Latin-5 (ISO 8859-9). Let's go to Unicode and UTF-8 directly.

If there will be a Latin-0, then I'll submit a Latin+1 character set,
the Latin/Chess standard that I'll urgently need to create an
ISO 8859 conforming terminal emulator link to my old 8-bit Mephisto
chess computer from 1984. ;-)

> I've not complained as long as people use
> it as a sort of jocular nonce name, but 0 is much too symbolic a
> character to use casually. Such a proposal carries all sorts of
> implications that this character set is *the* base for latin
> characters, with some better claim than the existing latin-n (n > 1)
> sets. Please let's just use the next number in sequence - 11 or
> whatever we're up to now.

Fully agreed.

> > The Eurocurrency code is EUR.

Has this already been added to ISO 4217? If yes, what is the numeric
code assigned to EUR, and what is the exact name of the currency
and entity listed in ISO 4217?


Markus G. Kuhn, Computer Science grad student, Purdue
University, Indiana, USA -- email:

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