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)
Re-Imagining Linux Platforms to Meet the Needs of Cloud Service Providers
[ Thanks to Fred Mobach
for this link. ]
"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."