WG15 N462
WG15RIN N119



DATE:    April 5, 1994


TITLE:    Canadian Proposal for the Inclusion of an Additional Function [CHARIDS] in the next Amendment to ISO/IEC 9945-2


ACTION REQUESTED:    The following actions are requested:

  1. The propsal be forwarded to WG15 for review at the May 1994 meeting in Tokyo, Japan.

  3. Canada requests that WG15 forward this proposal to the US Development Body (IEEE P1003.2b) through the US National Body for inclusion as a normative adition to the next Amendment to ISO/IEC 9945-2.  (ie: as part of P1003.2b)

  5. Canada also requestsd that the US National Body report back on the status of the proposal at the October 94 meeting of WG15.


Proposal for Universal CHARIDS Syntax Standardization

Source:    Canadian POSIX Working Group

Date:    April 5, 1994

Introduction:    As defined in the curent text of ISO/IEC 9945-2 a locale definition file that uses mnemonic character naming cannot standalone, but must be associated with a CHARMAP file that maps the mnemonic names to code points.  This mapping is necessarily dependent on the character set in use.

Therefore any locale definition requires:

Further there is no standardized machine-readable way of specifying the second and third items.  As a result it is not possible to write a locale definition that is independent of implementation.

The current Danish locale definition is accompanied by 140 CHARMAPS, to make it applicable to all known implementations.

While Canada has this need we also feel strongly that an international standardized solution is notr only desirable but critical.  "To guarantee the same cultural behaviour of applications in distributed computing environments, locales across the network must have the same definition."  (quote from ISO/IEC JTC1 SC22/WG15 N316)  We also believe that this is consistent with the requirements outlined in ISO/IEC JTC1 SC22/WG15 N386.

Proposal:  We are in the process of defining a Canadian Locale and we need to make this definition both unambiguous and implementation independent.  We propose a "CHARIDS" file to address this deficiency.  We feel that this is an international requirement and should be included as a normative amendment to ISO/IEC 9945-2.

The "CHARIDS" file would be very similar to CHARMAPS.  The only differences are that the file/header name is CHARIDS and that the character value operand is a reference to a code point in ISO 10646.  This permits any implementation, given a way of mapping ISO 10646 to the desired character set, to produce a corresponding CHARMAP file, without human intervention.  Note that the existence of a CHARIDS mechanism does not preclude the use of CHARMAP files as currently specified.  Document ISO?IEC JTC1 SC22/WG15 N316 outlines an approach based on ISO 10646 that we feel satisfies the CHARID requirement.

The Header and trailers would be as follows:



Between these two statements the symbol definitions would look like

<symbol>    <Uxxxx>    " optional comment "


<symbol> is a symbol representing a character and used in the LOCALE definition;

<Uxxxx> would be U (standing for UCS) followed by the hexadecimal coding value attributed to that character in ISO?IEC 10646 (4 hexadecimal digits); mapping of UCS coding to the actual code used by an environment would be implemented by this particular environment's designers/implementors/providers, based on this standard reference.

It should be noted that X/Open already uses this approach although it is not standardized.  Canada plans to use this syntax in its LOCALE definition.  (Project: CAN/CSA ZZ43.230-yyyy:  Minimum Canadian Software Localization Conventions)

Within many countries, Canada being an example, this is a necessary requirement for application and data portability.  When we consider the global/international implications and impact, we are resolved that this must be addressed within the scope of work of ISO/IEC JTC1 SC22/WG15. (POSIX)

Actions Requested:  Canada requests that ISO/IEC JTC1 SC22/WG15 forward this proposal to the US Development Body through the US National Body for review and inclusion in the next amendment to ISO/IEC 9945-2.  (IEEE PASC 1003.2b)  Canada further requests that the US National Body report back to SC22/WG15 at its next meeting on the status of this request.