Re: charset parameter

Ellis S. Cohen (
Tue, 17 Jan 95 15:55:00 EST

> Most current multilingual systems are based on
> either ISO-2022, or on Unicode, and one never specifically says
> anything about direction at all: it is contained within that data
> itself.

Directionality is generally clear from context, but I've
seen arguments (sorry, I've lost the references) that point
out cases where this is not always true.

Consequently, there was a draft birectional addendum to
ISO-6429 (I don't know its current state) that described
how directionality should be incorporated into ISO-2022
using the following control sequences:

09/11 03/01 05/13 begin left-to-right text
09/11 03/02 05/13 begin right-to-left text
09/11 05/13 revert (end delimiter for the other two)

The X Consortium's Compound Text standard, is ISO-2022
based, and incorporates these control sequences.

> ISO-2022 is not what we want though. It is a bandaid on
> a festering wound.

However, ISO-2020 is used within many non-Latin-1
markets, and there are multilingual editors
which operate on an ISO-2022 stream.

In Asian countries, editors are more likely to operate
on a multibyte encoding like Shift-JIS. However,
on all X-based systems, there is built-in support
to convert this encoding to Compound Text, which is
used in X for text interchange. So using ISO-2022
might make a lot of sense.

Especially since Unicode has many detractors in the
Asian market (a discussion which has already been
covered on too many other mailing lists already).

-- Ellis