ACII, ISCII, Unicode [was: CSX+ fonts &c]

John Smith jds10 at CAM.AC.UK
Tue Jun 15 08:45:52 UTC 1999

On Tue, 15 Jun 1999, Jaap Pranger wrote:

> ...
> I venture to disagree where you say "like Unicode". The Unicode standard
> only deals with character codes, and takes no care of the rendering.

Sure. What I wrote was shorthand for "like any real-world Unicode

> Context sensitive rendering will also be available through UniScribe
> (the Windows Unicode Script Processor) in Windows NT 5.0,

This was news to me. Is there any indication of when an Indian-language
renderer might appear?

> A few questions remain:
> What is the meaning of the acronym ACII?

"Alphabetic Code for Information Interchange".

> Since ISCII is an 8-bit standard, may I conclude that the 7-bit
> Devanagari part of ACII is a -limited- version (subset) of ISCII?

No, ISCII is a 7-bit standard. The first sentence of the published
standard (IS 13194: 1991) runs, "The ISCII code specifies a 7-bit code
table which can be used in 7 or 8-bit ISO compatible environment." Also
note that ISCII is not restricted to Devanagari: it can represent any
Brahmi-derived Indian script. It is quite an experience to see an aged
MS-DOS computer effortlessly "converting" an on-screen piece of Indian
text into script after script using CDAC's old product ALP (now available
as ALPP -- ALP Personal -- for free download from their website).

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             *

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