Subject: Re: Reviews for lisp implementations From: Erik Naggum <email@example.com> Date: 1999/04/17 Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> * Vassil Nikolov <email@example.com> | It's good that it has been solved (well, I shouldn't say that when I | don't know how). I was never able to understand what made them use M-DEL | for a printable character in the first place. ISO character sets come in 94-character and 96-character flavors, apart from ISO 10646. the ISO 8859 family uses the ISO 4873 8-bit template, with a 94-character set in the left half and a 96-character set in the right half. in the 94-character set, 2/0 is SPACE and 7/15 is DELETE, both of which sort of dual as control and data characters. in the 96-character set, 2/0 and 7/15 are data characters. if you have a 94-character set and only 7 bits worth of data, the last bit is free to be used for other purposes, such as constant zero, parity, an application flag, or constant one. most modern uses are constant zero and an application flag. however, if you use an 8-bit character set, the only chance you have at using an application flag is with 10/0 and 15/15, in which case you'd probably want a non-breaking space and what IBM calls EO (eight ones), used as an "end of whatever" signal. referring to 15/15 as "M-DEL" regardless of whether it is a character or EO betrays a serious conceptual confusion about the usage of the code space. incidentally, there _is_ no upper-case version of ÿ, just as there is no upper-case version of ß. pining for LATIN CAPITAL LETTER Y WITH DIARESIS is like pining for LATIN CAPITAL LETTER SHARP S -- a symptom of a strong inability to deal with practical matters and to understand the sometimes _very_ erratic history of writing systems. not that Vassil or anyone here is particularly to blame for this, but the history of the æ, oe (not in 8859-1 because some French moron told ECMA it wasn't needed and shouldn't be there, and then we got × and ÷ stuck in the middle of the O's, only to have the smart French guy who designed this stuff return fully recuperated after some serious accident or other, only the voting had completed, to demand a 8859 member with OE and oe -- which they got from ISO after a few years, but which nobody uses, not even the French¹), and ÿ are one of dipthongs that merged over the course of centuries and then assumed phonemes of their own. ae -> æ in Denmark and Norway are almost the same as ä in Sweden, but different from ä in Germany (and the decoration used to be different, too, until ECMA had enough of it). the French oe has a long and arduous story I don't know in detail, but it's not unlike ö in Germany. now, ÿ is not a y with diaeresis at all. it has more in common with et (&) and ad (@) than y, since it's "ij" written together. in Belgia and the Netherlands, it is pronounced like the English long I. of course, as time goes by, various stupid people will do all kinds of stupid things, and in this case, we have the _reverse_ of what happened in France when some genius² decided that capital letters should not have accents because that was too hard to do with early typewriters and printers -- this has since been reversed when computers learned how to handle French. so now that we have these nifty computerized thingamajigs, let's just forget that neither I nor J have dots on them, even though i and j do (despite the linguist³ who decided that Turkish i and j should upcase to I and J with dots, but I and J should downcase to i and j without dots, which I think is at least part of the reason awful movies get Turkey awards), so the nifty computers should produce a _really_ historically moronic letter that nobody in their right mind would ever want to use. so, the single cluon in danger of being annihilated by swarms of morons upon contact is that just as ß is upcased to SS, ÿ is upcased to IJ. [ this article was best viewed with an ISO 8859-1 capable font. ] #:Erik ------- ¹ the morale of this story is either to keep the morons away from standards bodies or not to have serious accidents if you're the only smart guy in France. ² read: moron -- it wasn't the only smart guy in France alluded to above. ³ another moron; wouldn't surprise me if he was French. -- environmentalists are much too concerned with planet earth. their geocentric attitude prevents them from seeing the greater picture -- lots of planets are much worse off than earth is.