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Re: Facts for fans: encodings history (was: Re: Getting Emacs to play ni

From: Yuri Khan
Subject: Re: Facts for fans: encodings history (was: Re: Getting Emacs to play nice with Hunspell and apostrophes)
Date: Sat, 14 Jun 2014 17:46:34 +0700

On Sat, Jun 14, 2014 at 3:28 PM, Eli Zaretskii <address@hidden> wrote:

>> [iso-8859-5] is regarded as a design-by-committee encoding bearing
>> no connection to the needs of real-world users.
> I guess you mean non-Russian committee, because who do you think
> invented KOI8-R? some private Russian citizen?  KOI8-R was defined by
> a Soviet State Standard GOST-19768-74, which already means at least
> one committee was involved.
> (Interested readers should see
> for more details.)

Sure. KOI-8 is from GOST-19768-74, and ISO-8859-5 was derived from
GOST-19768-87. The former had the advantage of being already
established and widely used, so the latter never caught on. The next
incompatible standard, CP866, had the advantage of preserving
pseudographic characters from CP437 used on PCs, so became a de facto
standard for DOS even before Microsoft started officially supporting

> No one really thinks Russian cities are full of bears with balalaikas,
> but please don't pretend non-Russian cities are full of fools who
> cannot design a character set on a good day.  Next we will probably
> hear that no one except Russians can design railways, because the only
> correct standard of railway track width is the Russian one.  Sheesh...
> There should be no place for such bigotry on this forum.

Of course not. My point is that it is a frequent misconception among
Europeans that ISO-8859-5 was in any position to be a standard
encoding for Russia.

The other point is that, from the current standpoint, all of these
encodings are horrible and must die in favor of UTF-8 as soon as

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