* A Brief History of Character Codes
in North America, Europe, and East Asia -- by Steven J.
In other words, in order to guarantee the portability of existing software, decisions on the direction of the layout have to rely only on the semantics of character codes
, not the presence of extra directional idiosyncrasies in the stored text.
Standards developed thus far for Chinese character codes
also do not necessarily cross national boundaries and this inhibits the development of data communication systems.
table Units digits Char 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 A Tens 0 !
The principal problem preventing users from browsing documents written in a foreign language is the lack of both a font for the language and a display function to process multiple character codes
. We developed a technology called MHTML to browse multilingual documents on an off-the-shelf Web browser, and applied the technology to a multilingual gateway service to browse foreign documents and to a multilingual electronic text collection of Japanese folk tales [2, 3, 4].
It is meant to be universal--code designed to meet the needs of the international community--uniform--fixed-length codes for efficiency and simplicity of programming--and unique--with minimal duplication of character codes
(important for Chinese characters).
The requirements are wide-ranging, including: technical conventions for the structure of records--leader, directory, data fields, character codes
, characters to be used as field and record terminators, etc,; specification of how certain types of information is recorded--the treatment of characters to be ignored in filing as field indicators, the definition of codes for languages and countries of publications; and definition of specific record elements for specific functions.