Talk:ISO/IEC 8859

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Former featured article candidateISO/IEC 8859 is a former featured article candidate. Please view the links under Article milestones below to see why the nomination failed. For older candidates, please check the archive.
July 17, 2004Featured article candidateNot promoted

There are bugs in the Comparison of the various parts (1–16) of ISO/IEC 8859[edit]

For example ISO/IEC 8859-13 D5 should be Õ ISO/IEC 8859-13 — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2001:7D0:4D80:4480:1076:7886:34FE:6ACB (talk) 05:00, 22 October 2020 (UTC)

ISO 8859-12: Celtic or Indic?[edit]

Does anyboday have evidence for this: "ISO 8859-12 — was supposed to be Latin-7 and cover Celtic, but this draft was rejected. Numbering continued with -13."

I've read it in Wikipedia and at least one other source, but non authorative. Crissov

The story more often seen on the WWW is, that ISO 8859-12 was set aside for ISCII but the project stalled.

Pjacobi 11:15, 9 Jul 2004 (UTC)

I doubt it, because the ISO-8859 family doesn't use escape sequences. Crissov 11:21, 9 Jul 2004 (UTC)
Neither uses ISCII escape sequences, I just clarified in ISCII. But it may have been considered too close to use of escape sequences, anyway. Pjacobi 11:37, 9 Jul 2004 (UTC)
Not proof per sè, but 'ISO 8859-12 Celtic' gets many responses even if the Wikipedia copies are dropped.
Anárion 11:28, 9 Jul 2004 (UTC)
But you get these hits because 8859-14 is celtic and Google has no NEAR operator to differentiate better. Pjacobi 11:37, 9 Jul 2004 (UTC)
But see [1]: "According to Michael Everson there are drafts for future ISO-8859-11 Thai, ISO-8859-12 Latin7 (Celtic)(...)" and [2] (German): "ISO 8859-12, nicht belegt (in Bearbeitung für Gälisch, Walisisch und Irisch)." (ISO 8859-12, not in use, draft for Gaelic, Welsh, and Irish). And more similar results. Anárion 11:43, 9 Jul 2004 (UTC)
Your link [3] is an older version of [4]. And the newer version gives ISCII instead of Celtic. BTW, Michael Everson is User:Evertype. Pjacobi 19:08, 12 Jul 2004 (UTC)
Heavens, Czyborra quoted me in 1997. Well. Do I remember? I remember some committee members being mad at me/us/whomever for having used "8859-x" for a draft that hadn't been through the committee (and they were right, but it takes a while to learn how the standards process works). I think we'd assigned 8859-12 to the Celtic draft, which eventually got assigned instead to 8859-14. What's the question? Evertype 21:53, 2004 Jul 13 (UTC)
Well, the gap of ISO 8859-12 missing in the sequence, makes some human beings curious, what happened there. Searching the WWW gives two competing answers (ISCII or Celtic). And the similiarity of formulation imply that most web pages just repeated the remark of other web pages. No authoritative source can easily be seen. To let this surely totally irrelevant matter rest, any reference to some meetings draft, what was planned for part 12 and why it was skipped, would be most welcome. Pjacobi 07:41, 14 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Featured Article candidacy comments (not promoted)[edit]

ISO 8859[edit]

(Contested -- July 9)

A very comprehensive and detailed article on this very important family of character encodings. Anarion 12:27, 8 Jul 2004 (UTC)

  • Nice, but it would be good to say a bit more about the state of transition from ISO-8859 to Unicode. Why, for example, does it seem to me that I don't have to worry about the "Character Coding" setting of my Mozilla browser, while this was not the case only one or two years ago? Simon A. 15:28, 8 Jul 2004 (UTC)
    • Good point, but alas users still use archaic browsers (MSIE, Netscape etc. -- and Netscape is based on old Mozillas). Anarion 08:21, 9 Jul 2004 (UTC)
    • I don't think an explanation of the behavior of particular web browsers is appropriate for this article, unless the discussion is specific to the ISO 8859. I've updated the section you're talking about, though, to better explain the current state of things. - mjb 21:51, 16 Jul 2004 (UTC)
  • The central big table of all characters would need serious checking or regeneration from authorative sources. It would be very emberassing if some error is overlooked. Some days ago I just found a small error with Greek. Pjacobi 10:03, 9 Jul 2004 (UTC)
  • Object. The table of characters definitely needs to be checked. See also this outstanding request for peer review. Furthermore, this article links to separate articles for each part, i.e. ISO 8859-1, ISO 8859-2, etc., most of which are fairly new and none of which have been checked for consistency nor fully updated to match the ISO 8859 article's recent clarifications w.r.t. precise terminology, the fact that it's a single standard with 15 published parts, how "ISO 8859" is (now) an informal citation for "ISO/IEC 8859", and most importantly, the ISO-8859-x character map discussion. All of the articles should also have a history section showing each published version of each part of the standard, if not also summarizing the differences between them (e.g., ISO 8859-1:1987 vs ISO/IEC 8859-1:1998). The description of Unicode in the Alternatives section is unnecessary and should be pared down. (After renaming the Alternatives

section, I decided to rewrite and lengthen it... doh.) The paragraph about ISO 8859-17 and the related stub page should be removed entirely. The section title "Character Sets" is inaccurate and should be changed. (done and done.) The 8859-1 article, and perhaps the 8859 article as well, should make careful mention of the historical significance of 8859-1 in HTTP/0.9-1.1 and pre-4.0 HTML. Need I go on? - mjb 10:49, 9 Jul 2004 (UTC) (updated 16 Jul 2004)

  • Object. 1) The lead section needs expanding to summarise the entire article. 2) "Development status" is an entire section with a single paragraph; we should probably absorb this somewhere or else expand the section. 3) Could you clarify the "ISO 8859-n standard is not the same as the well-known ISO-8859-n standard"; I read this paragraph a couple of times, and I'm still not clear on why there's a difference / why two different standards have names that differ only by a hyphen. 4) History; there's no history of the standards before Unicode; we should probably have the dates of when various standards and parts of standards were introduced. 5) Adoption: who adopted these standards, and when? Everyone? The main players? Significant exceptions? — Matt 18:25, 17 Jul 2004 (UTC)

re-merge iso-9959-? pages[edit]

a while back a fairly new user split out all the iso-8859-? pages despite the fact that really all they can ever say is "iso-8859-? is the ianas name for the combination of iso 8859-? with the C0 and C1 control codes" someone has now gone and put merge tags on a couple of the pages and i've added them to the rest and centralised discussion here. Plugwash 23:42, 8 January 2006 (UTC)

Relationship between ASCII and ISO-8859[edit]

I noticed this article doesn't actually say what the exact relationship between ASCII and ISO-8859 is. Namely, standard ASCII ranges from index 32 to 128, while ISO-8859 extends that, but to what exact index? I don't know the answer, so I can't be the one to say.

A 16th 8859 amendment?[edit]

According to the ISO/IEC 8859-1:1999 page, there is an ISO/IEC 8859-16:2001 amendment as well (Latin alphabet #10). According to Konqueror, it's for "South-Eastern Europe", but up until now, I've never heard of it. -Matt 15:25, 13 May 2006 (UTC)

ISO/IEC 8859-16 is there or you to read (and has so for a long time). Christoph Päper 17:28, 13 May 2006 (UTC)


The article never gives any sort of timeline or history, and the best idea of when this was created the article gives is hidden away in the references. ISO 8859-1 was not first standardized in 1999, and the ECMA mention in the references says 1986 was the second edition for its label for ISO 8859-1. When did this all happen?--Prosfilaes 20:21, 15 May 2006 (UTC)

error in 8859-15?[edit]

"ISO/IEC 8859-1 to Unicode mapping tables" (cit) and "ISO/IEC 8859-15:1998" (cit) report this chars for Iso-8859-15: D5 Õ (Unicode LATIN CAPITAL LETTER O WITH TILDE not Ő, with Double acute accent) and F5 õ (Unicode LATIN SMALL LETTER O WITH TILDE not ő, with Double acute accent)

I think that table "Comparison of the various parts of ISO/IEC 8859" should be corrected —Preceding unsigned comment added by Aldopaolo.palareti (talkcontribs) 18:54, 14 March 2010 (UTC)

ISO-8859 and Finnish[edit]

The article states that ISO-8859-1 only partially supports Finnish, while ISO-8859-15 supports it fully. It has to be noted that the difference between -1 and -15 is the characters Š, š, Ž, ž, Œ, œ, and Ÿ. Of these, the first four only ever occur in loanwords from foreign languages, not native Finnish words, and the last three aren't used in Finnish at all. JIP | Talk 19:30, 19 January 2011 (UTC)

Development has stopped?[edit]

I deleted the following unsourced paragraph from the lead:

In June 2004, the ISO/IEC working group responsible for maintaining eight-bit coded character sets disbanded and ceased all maintenance of the ISO/IEC 8859 series. In the area of character encoding, ISO now concentrates on the Universal Character Set (ISO/IEC 10646); see also Unicode. In computing applications, encodings that provide full UCS support (such as UTF-8 and UTF-16) are finding increasing favor over 8-bit encodings such as ISO/IEC 8859-1.[citation needed]

There is no mention of this disbandment on the ISO news page for 2004.[5] There appears to be an active group, JTC 1/SC 2, that oversees the 8859 standards.[6] --Marc Kupper|talk 00:47, 8 October 2011 (UTC)

History of Œ[edit]

As a matter of history, the Πdiphthong was taken out of the draft standard at the explicit request of the French representatives. The multiply/divide insertion was opportunistic.

I was at Prime Computer at the time, and an observer on the ANSI X3L2 committee, which was creating an 8-bit character set intended to be an ANSI standard, not at first an international one. The starting point was the DEC Multinational Character Set, and maybe coincidentally the committee chairman, Tom Hastings, was from DEC. (As a side note, the committee liked the fact that the layout of the letters followed that of ASCII, so that you could upcase/downcase with the same simple arithmetic operation (if you don't think too hard about ß and ÿ) - back then, a few instructions were worth the cost of a 64-byte lookup table.) Œ and œ were included, on the assumption that the French would want them, and the set was voted on and agreed by the committee. My recollection is that it was headed for an ANSI standard.

At this point, our hardware team wanted to know what to put in the top half of the character set for the new PT200 CRT terminal, so I gave them the finalized standard. We made quite a few PROMs with Πin them.

Then the proposal was submitted to ECMA (or ISO, I forget which), because it seemed that the ANSI standard should also be an international standard, and the French representatives on the committee rejected the Œs. My memory is that they explained that the Académie was taking the character out of the language, but it's also possible that the explanation published at [7], that it was then considered a typographical ligature, not a separate character, is what I remember. In any case, it is not true that the French committee members lost interest, or simply forgot to vote. One was quite disdainful of my inclusion of the Œs in the PT200. A quick look at some French websites suggests that the diphthong is indeed deprecated in France, but not in Quebec.

Then, for some bizarre reason, the committee was so attached to the existing codepoint allocation that the multiply and divide signs, which the British representatives pushed for, were dropped in the gaps, leaving the resulting ugliness in Unicode for ever. I'll never understand why they didn't close the gap and add the new characters at the beginning or end. Perhaps the existing VT200 implementations weighed heavily.

We threw out the PT200 PROMs and re-burned them. I think it was still the first device on the market to support 8859-1.

I won't put all of this in the article, because I can't find the documentation trail any more so have nothing to cite. David Brooks (talk) 05:37, 20 May 2012 (UTC)

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I question the claim that 95 ASCII (printable) characters are sufficient for all English uses.[edit]

The first sentence (Jan 9, 2019) in the Introduction section states:"While the bit patterns of the 95 printable ASCII characters are sufficient to exchange information in modern English,...". I question this. I've noted, especially in the past decade, that many sources of English (New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Oxford English Dictionary, etc.) use characters outside of that set. Of course, the 95 are sufficient to exchange "some" information, or "most" information, but the implication is that they are completely sufficient to convey all information which is conveyable in modern English and that is either a tautology or simply not true. Particularly when non-English proper nouns are used, European characters or diacritics often appear. Two specific examples from the 1993 SOED are ångström and naïve which appear as alternative spellings. (and note that one isn't a proper noun.) The problem is, it seems to me that like any living language, English mutates and since it is quite easy to include non-classical/traditional letters in electronic media, they are increasingly used in English. (And are often not italicized, which was the traditional method of indicating a non-English word). I've looked but not found an authoritative source that defines English (as written) as composed *only* of the 26 letters the 10 digits and a defined set of the modifiers. I don't believe such a source exists, at least not one which can be universally applied to prescribe "standard formal English" (no one should expect a prescription for informal or non-standard usage, obviously). Unless a 21st Century citation can be added, this statement should be modified to "While the bit patterns of the 95 printable ASCII characters are usually sufficient to exchange information in modern English,..." (talk) 21:59, 9 January 2019 (UTC)


There certainly is some trivia about which characters appear the most often and why: apparently German is intentionally supported in all Latin parts. — Christoph Päper 13:02, 3 August 2019 (UTC)

Latin Parts sorted by occurrences
Hex Latin 1 Latin 9 Latin 5 Latin 8 Latin 10 Latin 3 Latin 6 Latin 4 Latin 2 Latin 7
ISO 8859-1 ISO 8859-15 ISO 8859-9 ISO 8859-14 ISO 8859-16 ISO 8859-3 ISO 8859-10 ISO 8859-4 ISO 8859-2 ISO 8859-13
A7ₕ §
C4ₕ Ä
C9ₕ É
D6ₕ Ö
DFₕ ß
E4ₕ ä
E9ₕ é
F6ₕ ö
FCₕ ü
C1ₕ Á Į
C2ₕ Â Ā
D4ₕ Ô Ō
E1ₕ á į
E2ₕ â ā
EBₕ ë ė
EDₕ í ķ
EEₕ î ī
F4ₕ ô ō
FAₕ ú ś
D3ₕ Ó Ķ Ó
F3ₕ ó ķ ó
B0ₕ ° °
FBₕ û ű ū
C7ₕ Ç Į Ç Ē
E7ₕ ç į ç ē
EFₕ ï ī ď ļ
C6ₕ Æ Ĉ Æ Ć Ę
E6ₕ æ ĉ æ ć ę
C5ₕ Å Ć Ċ Å Ĺ Å
E5ₕ å ć ċ å ĺ å
B7ₕ · · ˇ ·
D7ₕ × Ś × Ũ ×
F7ₕ ÷ ś ÷ ũ ÷
C8ₕ È Č
E8ₕ è č
EAₕ ê ę ź
C0ₕ À Ā Ŕ Ą
D2ₕ Ò Ō Ň Ņ
D9ₕ Ù Ų Ů Ł
E0ₕ à ā ŕ ą
ECₕ ì ė ě ģ
F2ₕ ò ō ň ņ
F9ₕ ù ų ů ł
A9ₕ © İ Đ Š ©
B6ₕ ĥ ķ ļ ś
A3ₕ £ Ł £ Ģ Ŗ Ł £
C3ₕ Ã Ă Ã Ă Ć
E3ₕ ã ă ã ă ć
D8ₕ Ø Ű Ĝ Ø Ř Ų
F8ₕ ø ű ĝ ø ř ų
A4ₕ ¤ ¤ Ċ ¤ Ī ¤
FFₕ ÿ ˙ ĸ ˙
D1ₕ Ñ Ń Ñ Ņ Ń
F1ₕ ñ ń ñ ņ ń
AEₕ ® ź Ū Ž ®
B1ₕ ± ± ħ ą ±
ABₕ « « Ğ Ŧ Ģ Ť «
BBₕ » » ğ ŧ ģ ť »
B3ₕ ³ ġ ł ³ ģ ŗ ł ³
B2ₕ ² Ġ Č ² ē ˛ ²
B5ₕ µ µ ĩ ľ µ
FDₕ ý ı ý ę ŭ ý ũ ý ż
A8ₕ ¨ š ¨ š ¨ Ļ ¨ Ø
B4ₕ ´ Ž ´ Ž ´ ī ´
B8ₕ ¸ ž ¸ ž ¸ ļ ¸ ø
D5ₕ Õ Ő Õ Ő Ġ Õ Ő
F5ₕ õ ő õ ő ġ õ ő
AFₕ ¯ Ÿ Ż Ŋ ¯ Ż Æ
ACₕ ¬ Ź Ĵ Ž Ŧ Ź ¬
A2ₕ ¢ ą ˘ Ē ĸ ˘ ¢
B9ₕ ¹ č ı đ š ¹
D0ₕ Ð Ğ Ŵ Ð Ð Đ Š
BDₕ ½ œ ½ œ ½ Ŋ ˝ ½
A1ₕ ¡ Ą Ħ Ą
BFₕ ¿ ż ŋ ż æ
A5ₕ ¥ ċ Ĩ Ľ
AAₕ ª Ș Ş Š Ē Ş Ŗ
BAₕ º ș ş š ē ş ŗ
F0ₕ ð ğ ŵ đ ð đ š
FEₕ þ ş ŷ ț ŝ þ ū ţ ž
A6ₕ ¦ Š ¦ Š Ĥ Ķ Ļ Ś ¦
BCₕ ¼ Œ ¼ Œ ĵ ž ŧ ź ¼
BEₕ ¾ Ÿ ¾ Ÿ ū ž ¾