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European Unix Platform (EUP): Dr. Unix... On character sets, the Euro symbol (and dead keys)

Jul 15, 2000, 21:06 (2 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Dr. Unix)

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"Q: Dear Dr. Unix, I would like to ask you two things that have been on my mind for some time. First, is there support for the Euro symbol in Unix/Linux? And secondly, I recently read that my keyboard might have dead keys. Should I replace these like I did with my dead goldfish?"

"The European "government" (ha ha) decided that the new currency should get its own currency symbol, and, in order to make life as difficult as possible for everyone they decided to design a completely new character, a sort of captical E on steroids... This decision immediately sent a shiver through the spines of everyone with more than half a brain and some knowledge of computer systems. A new character, not present in any of the character sets in existence! ... Fortunately, they also decided that instead of the new symbol we would also be allowed to use the trigraph EUR to denote amounts in Euros. So, I'll probably lose half my readers here, knowing that they can legally get away with not supporting the Euro symbol at all."

"American cultural imperialism (and our willingness to succumb to that imperialism) left us with the omnipotent ASCII (American Standard Code for Information Interchange) character set: a 7-bit character set containing the 128 characters that are used in the English language (excluding some very British characters such as the Pound Sterling sign) plus some control characters. ASCII has become the lingua franca of computer text files: it is very well understood by almost all computers in the world. However, if you're not American, ASCII leaves a lot to be desired."

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