Announcing CSX+

John Smith jds10 at CUS.CAM.AC.UK
Thu Jun 11 16:01:46 UTC 1998

On Thu, 11 Jun 1998, John Richards wrote:

> ...

> It MAY be that a
> further refinement of the CSX allocations is the right way forward,
> but there are also strong arguments AGAINST it.

I tried to make my original posting reasonably brief. Perhaps it was too

The reason for staying with CSX and trying to extend it, rather than
starting from scratch with some new, improved encoding, is because CSX is
widely used, not because it is in some sense "good". It isn't good. It's
inelegant, illogical and out-of-date; but large bodies of text exist in it
*now*, and many systems have been converted to use it *now*, and it is
simply practical to start where we are, not where we might more suitably

To respond to the main specific point: in historical fact, CSX has not
"moved all the accented characters of other European languages off their
traditional locations". CSX is based precisely on the standard locations
for European accented characters as they stood when it was devised. It is
Microsoft that made the incompatible change.

I hold no brief for CSX. Indeed,I regard all these 8-bit character sets
for Indian languages in Roman script as temporary evils. I hope in a few
years we shall all be using Unicode or something similar (an improved
ISCII, for instance). But in the meantime it would be useful at least to
have all the accented characters we actually need.

If people wish to discuss the merits of CSX as a starting-point I cannot
stop them, but I shall not join further in the discussion. An extension of
CSX is what is on offer, not a brand new start, and I would like to
encourage people to check the details of what is proposed and see if it
contains the characters they want to see.

John Smith

Dr J. D. Smith                *  jds10 at
Faculty of Oriental Studies   *  Tel. 01223 335140 (Switchboard 01223 335106)
Sidgwick Avenue               *  Fax  01223 335110
Cambridge CB3 9DA             *

More information about the INDOLOGY mailing list