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

James E. Agenbroad jage at LOC.GOV
Tue Jun 22 13:27:54 UTC 1999

On Tue, 15 Jun 1999, John Smith wrote:

> 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
> implementation".
        Would it be fairer to say that as character encoding standards
neither Unicode nor ISCII provide the rendering software needed to create
all the glyphs needed to create legible visual versions o fDevanagari and
other Indian scripts?  It would seem the CDAC implementation of ISCII has
such rendering software; one hopes some implementations of Unicodealso do
so now and that others will in the future.

> > > 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".

Is this equivalent to ASCII, the American national standard for
information interchange or its international counterpart, ISO 646?
> >
> > 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             *

          Jim Agenbroad ( jage at )
     The above are purely personal opinions, not necessarily the official
views of any government or any agency of any.
Phone: 202 707-9612; Fax: 202 707-0955; US mail: I.T.S. Dev.Gp.4, Library
of Congress, 101 Independence Ave. SE, Washington, D.C. 20540-9334 U.S.A.

More information about the INDOLOGY mailing list