how can i use ISO-8859-1??

Roland Smith rsmith at
Wed Sep 10 06:22:02 UTC 2008

On Tue, Sep 09, 2008 at 04:08:40PM -0700, Gary Kline wrote:
> On Wed, Sep 10, 2008 at 12:39:41AM +0200, Roland Smith wrote:
> > On Tue, Sep 09, 2008 at 03:16:08PM -0700, Gary Kline wrote:
> > > > Because it is a hiddeous waste for most readers and writers of
> > > > English and other European languages.
> > 
> > > 	I also argured that utf-8 was a waste of a whole byte per char
> > > 	for most of us.
> > 
> > That's not true. UTF-8 is a variable-length encoding. It is backwards
> > compatible with ASCII, i.e. ascii characters are one byte in UTF-8 as
> > well. Are you thinking about UTF-16?
> 	I don't know.  (Mark Twain.)  Back in the late 1990's I was
> 	assigned the project of converting all the utilities I had ported
> 	to three European languages.  Until now I had no idea there was
> 	anything *but* utf-16, i.e. 2-bytes/char.  

Both UTF-8 and UTF-16 are variable-width encodings. 
> 	With memory seriously getting to be dirt-cheap, "wasting 8-bits
> 	doesn't seem that big a deal. 


>	 Maybe some future wizard will
> 	invent a UTF-32 that will hold all ~90 000 Chinese characters and
> 	these will be downsized automatically to UTF-8 when you're mixing
> 	Mandarin with, say, Cesk [Czeck].  

UTF-32 already exists, but it's a fixed-width (4 bytes) encoding.

> 	Hmm, somebody just told me that "aigu" is not English but French
> 	and means "acute".  ...all these years i thought ... oh well.
> 	Anyway, do you know if '\0351' is a 16-bit character?  is is 0xE9
> 	and decimal 233 and certaing should fit into a byte.   just
> 	wondering.

Obviously it is a 8-bit character; anything in the range 0-255 is. In
ISO 8859-1(5) it is "é" (e with accent aigu).

Please look up UTF-8,16,32 and ISO-8859-15 on Wikipedia for further

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