3.813 non-Latin alphabets; new newsletter (96)

Willard McCarty (MCCARTY@vm.epas.utoronto.ca)
Fri, 1 Dec 89 23:12:36 EST

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 3, No. 813. Friday, 1 Dec 1989.

(1) Date: Thu, 30 Nov 89 21:39:08 EST (9 lines)
From: djb@harvunxw.BITNET (David J. Birnbaum)

(2) Date: Fri, 1 Dec 89 11:54 EDT (19 lines)
From: JSCHWARTZ%desire@WSU
Subject: A New Newsletter

(1) --------------------------------------------------------------------
Date: Thu, 30 Nov 89 21:39:08 EST
From: djb@harvunxw.BITNET (David J. Birnbaum)

Note: The following is a slightly revised version of a paper pre-
sented earlier this year at the Fourth International Conference
on Symbolic and Logical Computing, held at Dakota State Univer-
sity, Madison, South Dakota. Endnote numbers within the text are
enclosed in parentheses. Readers may wish to consult a character
map for ISO 8859/5 (= ECMA 113).
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Issues in Developing International Standards
for Encoding non-Latin Alphabets(1)

David J. Birnbaum
Department of Slavic Languages, University of Pittsburgh
Russian Research Center, Harvard University

djb@wjh12.harvard.edu [Internet]
djb@harvunxw.bitnet [Bitnet]

Copyright (c) 1989 by David J. Birnbaum
All rights reserved


Defining an appropriate character set is the most impor-
tant preliminary to any text processing. The generally accepted
system for encoding English language texts is the American Stan-
dard Code for Information Interchange (ASCII),(2) but the devel-
opment of appropriate standards for other languages and alphabets
has been less successful. As a result of this lack of agreement,
idiosyncratic systems have proliferated, producing predictable
obstacles to the efficient exchange of data.
Recently the International Standards Organization (ISO)
promulgated the 8859 series of standards for a variety of writing
systems. One of these standards, 8859/5,(3) is designed to serve
all six modern Slavic languages that use the Cyrillic alphabet
(Russian, Ukrainian, Belorussian, Bulgarian, Macedonian, and Ser-
bocroatian). My discussion today focuses on general methodologi-
cal issues involved in determining appropriate international
standards, which I illustrate through a specific critique of

[A complete version of this paper is now available on
the file-server, s.v. NONLATIN ALFABETS. A copy may be obtained
by issuing the command -- GET filename filetype HUMANIST -- either
interactively or as a batch-job, addressed to ListServ@UToronto and
*not* to Humanist. Thus on a VM/CMS system, you say interactively:
TELL LISTSERV AT UTORONTO GET filename filetype HUMANIST; to submit
a batch-job, send mail to ListServ@UToronto with the GET command as
the first and only line. For more details see your "Guide to Humanist".
Problems should be reported to David Sitman, A79@TAUNIVM, after you
have consulted the Guide and tried all appropriate alternatives.]

Date: Fri, 1 Dec 89 11:54 EDT
From: JSCHWARTZ%desire@WSU
Subject: A New Newsletter

Just a short note to let you know that Wright State University is asking
me to revive the Research in Word Processing Newsletter, perhaps under a
new name and with a heavier emphasis on personal publishing and
instructional (not CAI) computing for all levels of writing. Would any
Humanist members be interested in coming aboard (I may even be able to
find a small honorarium or two) to help out in any number of ways,
from soliciting manustripts to doing hands-on reviews of hardware,
software, courseware, and any other "ware" we may find important?

Thanks for the time, and I hope to be hearing from someone soon.

Jim Schwartz
Wright State University
(419) 586-2365