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G&R » About G&R » News » G&R and the Euro  

G&R and the Euro

The European Union is preparing a single currency EURO for Europe. This currency is expected to become one of the major currencies of the world. The name of the currency shall not normally be capitalized, see COUNCIL REGULATION (EC) No 1103/97 (of 17 June 1997 on certain provisions relating to the introduction of the euro).

The Commission has already designed euro notes and designed a euro sign.

The following proposals for the euro in code tables are being processed:

  • To add the euro sign to 16 and 32 bit code tables in computers (ISO 10646 -- Unicode)
  • To add the euro sign to the 8859 series of ISO 8 bit code tables (Latin 9)
  • To add the euro sign to the 125x series of 8 bit code tables used in older systems from Microsoft

Details

ISO 10646 (Unicode)

Although no formal decision has yet been made (September 1998), a proposal for addition of a new character places the euro sign in position number U+20AC in the ISO 10646 standard (also known as Unicode).

ISO-8859-x

Although no formal decision has yet been made (September 1998), a proposal for a new character set in the ISO-8859 range has been submitted. The new character set is called ISO-8859-15 ("Latin9", sometimes mis-named "Latin0"). This new character set is, with very few exceptions, identical to the well known 8859-1 ("Latin1") western character set. The exceptions are listed in the table below (note that not all browsers will be able to display the new characters):

Hex Existing ISO-8859-1 character New ISO-8859-15 character
A4 ¤(General Currency Sign) Euro Sign
A6 ¦(Broken Vertical Bar) ?Latin capital letter S with caron (hachek)
A8 ¨(Diaeresis) ?Latin small letter s with caron (hachek)
B4 ´(Acute) ?Latin capital letter Z with caron (hachek)
B8 ¸(Cedilla) ?Latin small letter z with caron (hachek)
BC ¼(Fraction 1/4) ?Latin capital ligature OE
BD ½(Fraction 1/2) ?Latin small ligature oe
BE ¾(Fraction 3/4) ?Latin capital letter Y with diaeresis

Microsoft Windows code pages

Microsoft already has extensive support for the new character. Both Windows 98, Windows NT 5 and Servicepack 4 for NT 4.0 include codepage support and keyboard support for the euro as standard. However, the symbol cannot be easily accessed by applications running on Windows 95. For this reason Microsoft has created the Windows 95 beta 1 euro product update which contains specially encoded Windows 95 core fonts and keyboard drivers. For more details see the Euro FAQ.

The Windows code pages have already been extended, and TrueType fonts are available for download. The euro sign is added to the codepages listed below at the indicated character position.

Code page and number Pos.
Thai 874 0x80
Eastern European 1250 0x80
Cyrillic 1251 0x88
Western 1252 0x80
Greek 1253 0x80
Turkish 1254 0x80
Baltic 1257 0x80
Hebrew 1255 0x80
Arabic 1256 0x80
Vietnamese 1258 0x80

The standard keyboard support in Windows 98 and Windows NT 5 puts the euro on AltGr+E. Or hold down the Alt key and type 0128 on the numeric keypad (standard US keyboards don't have AltGr and must use this method).

See the Microsoft Euro Currency Resource Center for more information.

Gallagher & Robertson transliteration tables

In support of the proposed changes and additions discussed above, Gallagher & Robertson A/S have extended their transliteration tables to accommodate the new euro character.

In detail, the euro character has been added to the existing character tables for the Microsoft code pages 1250, 1251, 1252 (and 1003, which is identical to the 1252 for historical reasons) and 1253, and a character table that defines the new ISO-8859-15 ("Latin9") character set (G&R file name "8865.chs") has been created. Please tell us if you need character tables for the remaining Microsoft code pages (1254-1258 and 874).

The character tables are now available for download as a self-extracting file. To install, change directory to the Host Links/Gmail directory 'misc' (usually /usr/gar/misc/ on Unix systems and \gar\misc\ under Dos/Windows) and execute the file. This will update existing files and add new ones to your system. Note that the files in the misc directory are normally 'read-only', and the mode must be changed before installation to allow the overwrite. Remember to change them back to 'read-only' afterwards.

G&R products and the euro

Glink for Windows

Glink supports the euro sign internally by replacing the currency sign 0xA4 in new internal fonts. If replaced, the old currency sign is still available in the font at position 0x93 for those applications that still need it, except for users of the Latin2 font (where the 0x93 position is already in use as part of the added Latin2 characters). These fonts are available for download (see below), and may be applied to any release of Glink.

Using the new fonts provides you with immediate euro support for any 8-bit ASCII host application using the Latin-9 character set (i.e. using 0xA4 as the euro sign) or EBCDIC application using 8-bit EBCDIC (i.e. using 0x9F as the euro sign).

Bull Mainframes

GCOS8 accepts 8bit characters from any terminal type connected on an 8 bit connection. G&R/Ggate connections can be configured as 8bit, and Glink is then able to send and receive the euro, and other 8bit characters. TNVIP connections to the MainWay are in principle 8bit connections, but the terminal manager in the MainWay will cut off the top bit for all terminal types other than the VIP8800, making that the only choice of terminal type for euro (and other 8bit) applications.

GCOS7 is more difficult, since it is an EBCDIC machine, and previously used an EBCDIC character set that is different from the present PLW (Pluri-Lingual West) EBCDIC. To use the current character set your GCOS7 user profile must have CSET=PLW. GCOS7 also recognises the VIP8800 as an 8bit terminal, and this must be used for all 8bit connections, including G&R/Ggate connections. A further difficulty is that GCOS7 expects that the VIP8800 is an ASCII terminal, and that for historical reasons an incorrect transliteration from ASCII to EBCDIC has been done in the front end. GCOS7 maps this historical EBCDIC into correct PLW (Pluri-lingual West) EBCDIC. Therefore the Ggate connection to GCOS7 hosts must be set up for ASCII (Gline parameter -cs ASCII), to get the same incorrect transliteration, so that the second transliteration in GCOS7 gives the correct result.

For DKU terminal types GCOS7 accepts that 8bit characters are sent as 7bit SS2 (Single shift 2) sequences. To make this work in Glink for the DKU terminal type you must select a 7bit connection, and also select the Use SS2 for 8bit characters option in the Settings/emulation/DKU setup menu.

If your host uses a seven bit national character set then you must decide which 7-bit character will represent the euro, and use the glkey utility to generate a 7-bit keyboard mapping file which maps your chosen character to 0xA4. Interestingly the Swedish 7 bit national character set already maps the dollar sign to the currency sign, and so Swedish 7-bit host applications can use the dollar to represent the euro.

As the mainframe vendors announce their strategy for 7-bit host applications we will supply standard keyboard mapping files for the national languages.

Because of the Microsoft standard positioning of the euro in the Windows character set, integration with other Windows applications that are "Euro-aware" (for example cut/copy/paste functionality and print) require changes to Glink. These are made in maintenance release 6.1.2 available now.

For previous releases of Glink cut/copy/paste to other Windows applications and print to "Euro aware" printers will not work correctly. The other applications and printers will see the currency sign. Entry of the euro sign from the keyboard must be done by entering the currency sign (or Alt-0164 if your keyboard does not have it).

The updated Glink accepts the Microsoft standard AltGr+E keystroke (Alt-0128).

The following font files are available for download as self-extracting archives:

  • GLFONTS.FON: Glink Standard fonts
  • GLFONTL.FON: Glink Latin-2 fonts
  • GLFONTG.FON: Glink Greek fonts

To install, download to the Glwin directory and execute the file.

To use the glfontg.fon (Greek) or glfontl.fon (Latin2) file, copy it over the standard glfonts.fon file.

Host Links

The Host Links product set assumes that the host is using the ISO-8859-1 (Latin 1) character set if there is an 8bit connection or if the host is GCOS7 using SS2 sequences to send 8bit characters. This means that Host Links already supports any host application which uses the ISO-8859-15 (Latin 9) character set (i.e. using 0xA4 as the euro sign) or EBCDIC application using 8bit EBCDIC (i.e. using 0x9F as the euro sign). In general we expect Host Links printers to support Latin 9 rather than the Windows character set, so that the euro sign will be printed correctly. Host Links on NT may need to transliterate the internal character set to a printer character set with the euro in some other position, but this is handled in the normal way, using the updated G&R transliteration tables.

Host Links applications that support UNIX terminals (Qsim, V78sim, G3270) expect the terminal to support Latin 9. This is the strategy adopted by Digital. If the terminal does not support Latin 9 the currency sign will be displayed.

Gmail

G&R/Gmail is already fully capable of using the new euro sign. To enable it, download and install the new and modified G&R transliteration tables.

Note that the euro is not defined for any of the DOS character sets (USA 437, Norway 865, Multilingual 850, etc.). If you currently use a DOS character set for your PMD then you need to convert the entire PMD to a character set that supports the euro. If you are using the Windows character set (1252 etc.) then the euro is supported.

If you are using ISO8859-1 as your current character set then you could convert to ISO 8859-15 where the differences are so small that the PMD probably does not need to be converted.

You need to configure Gmail in the places where you want the new character set to be used, for example:

Your own PMD:

edit the config/YOURNAME/profiles file, and modify/add the directive PmdCharset 8865

Default outgoing character set for Internet messages:

edit the Internet server's servers/internet/profiles file, modify/add the directive Charset 8865 in the Default section

Links

Interesting links:

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URL: http://www.gar.no/about/news/euro
 
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