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RE: Euro and 7 bits

From: Michael Everson <everson@indigo.ie>
Date: Mon, 20 Oct 1997 12:56:55 +0100
Message-Id: <l03110706b070f1cb69d9@[]>
To: Carrasco Benitez Manuel <manuel.carrasco@emea.eudra.org>
Cc: www-international@w3.org, unicode@unicode.org, <Patrice.HUSSON@bxl.dg13.cec.be>
Ar 10:24 +0100 1997-10-20, scríobh Manuel Tomás Carrasco Benitez:

Señor Carrasco Benitez,

CEN/TC304, the European Committee for Standardization's Technical Committee
for Character Set Technology and European Localization Requirements, has
been charged by the Commission with assisting in the implementation of the
Euro in IT. It is that committee which discussed your proposal recently.
The workshop made no formal recommendations, but the possibilities for
representing the Euro currency in 7-bit environments were outlined and sent
out in my e-mail of the other day.

> Take note of the comments and I disagree: the 7 bits problem will not
> go away.
>> 1) Use the three letter code EUR. This is the simplest solution.
>> This is not a solution.  My proposition solves the legany system
>> problems in at least the following aspects: internal representation,
>> external representation and input from keyboard.

The solution is that you can represent the Euro currency in 7-bits with no
modification. It does not, it is true, represent the EURO SIGN character,
but it does represent the currency.

> 2) Use, in accordance with clause 7 of ISO 646:1981, use BACKSPACE or
> CARRIAGE RETURN to create the EURO SIGN out of C and =.
>> It does not work.

This is an implementation issue. ISO 646:1991, which is the 7-bit standard
you are using if you are using 7-bit, permits this method of creating
characters. If you wanted to do this, you would have to use applications
which permit it or modify applications to support it. But it is a permitted

> 3) Derive, in accordance with clause 6.4.3 of ISO 646:1981, a coded
> character set based on the coded character set described in ISO
> 646:1991. Such a derived character set would need to be registered
> in ISO 2375 for anyone to take any notice. Positions which can be
> used for this are:
> 40 5B 5C 5D 5E 60 7B 7C 7D 7E, or @ [ \ ] ^ ` { | } ~
>> I take notice and I will follow this path also.

One assumed that this is what you wanted. Please consult ISO 2375 and ISO
646 for further information on the implementation of this method.

> The Workshop hoped that time and bandwidth would not be further spent
> on this issue, at least not on the Unicode and TC304 mailing lists. The
> solutions have been outlined above.
>> If the owners of the list declare so (please confirm), I will respect
>> it and I will use other means of communication.

I state only what the participants of the Workshop said. I can confirm that
TC304 has offered its advice and is unlikely to have any other advice to
give, as we are working on other aspects of the Euro implementation in IT.
The three methods of implementation in 7-bits I have outlined above are all
you need; you can design your derived character set and register it any
time. What is the need of further discussion on those lists?

>> I disagree.  No solutions has been outlined above.

This is untrue. The solutions _have_ been outlined above. If you are not
willing to 1) use the 3-letter code or 2) employ the permitted possibilites
offered by ISO 646:1991, then you are not very serious and you are only
stirring the water.

The Unicode list is primarily for discussion of the Universal Character
Set, but it is up to Sarasvati to complain if she is unhappy with the

Buena suerte,

Michael Everson, Everson Gunn Teoranta
15 Port Chaeimhghein Íochtarach; Baile Átha Cliath 2; Éire (Ireland)
Gutháin:  +353 1 478-2597, +353 1 283-9396
27 Páirc an Fhéithlinn; Baile an Bhóthair; Co. Átha Cliath; Éire
Received on Monday, 20 October 1997 08:07:40 UTC

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