CEN/TC304 N871

Subject: Report of an open meeting on the Euro in IT standards

Date: 25 Nov 1998

Source: Secretary of CEN/TC304

Note: This document was presented to the plenary of TC 304 (latter part) on 27 Nov 1998.

Report of an open meeting on the Euro in IT standards

Those present at the meeting included: Johannes Apple, Dr Umamaheswaran, Mike Ksar, Graham Dixon, Alexandrina Statescu, Elzbieta Broma-Wrzesien, Borka Jerman-Blazic, Paul Dettmer, Marc Küster, Bernard Chauvois, Wolf Arfvidson, Vladas Tumasonis, Vera Lundström, Monica Ståhl, Karl Ivar Larson, Knud Lindelien, Evangelos Melagrakis, Keld Simonsen.

Erkki Kolehmainen chaired the meeting. He said it was an informal but open PT meeting. Þorgeir Sigurðsson wrote the minutes of the meeting.

Erkki Kolehmainen said that document N853, the second report of the Euro PT by Erkki Kolehmainen would form the basis of the agenda. Comments and proposals for a revised and final report in December on that report was sought. In the following only some of the many items mentioned in the meeting will be listed, especially those that involved some actions that need to be taken.

Euro as a Logo and a Glyph

Mike Ksar wanted it minuted that the issue on whether font designers had freedom to modify the shape of the Euro Sign was closed forever. Þorgeir told of formal and informal replies to the OCR-B report in N837 seemed to confirm this.

Character sets

The fate of Latin-9 8-bit standard including the Euro Sign will be decided 1st Dec.

New Greek character set including the Euro Sign is being prepared in Greece, using the same position for the Euro Sign as Latin-9.

Erkki Kolehmainen asked that there be a proposal in TC304 to include the Euro Sign in a revised EN1923. Þorgeir said this was a complicated matter and Evangelos explained that EN1923 was in reality a guide to 8 bit ISO character sets and therefore it needed to take into account new parts such as Latin 9.

There was discussion on EN1973, whether it would be withdrawn, but the meeting concluded that in the unlikely event that ENV1973 was kept, the Euro Sign should be included into it.

Discussion on 2.1.1. in N853 led to the decision to change the wording and not to talk of non-standard character sets but rather of registrations. Discussion on vendor code pages led to action items put on the HP and IBM (Ksar, Uma) to provide information to be added to the report. Karl-Ivar wanted the code pages themselves included, but it was thought enough to refer to sites or publications were information was available.

Mark-Up Languages

Evangelos said there was need for referencing the sources. The ITF and ISO versions were not identical. Borka got an action item of providing information on how the Euro Sign was referred to using the UCS positions and in XML.


The fallback recommendation is capital E. This was reconfirmed even if there was still some talk of other possibilities.


Erkki said he missed information on bar-codes and the Euro Sign from Mr Dettmer. Uma said there were things in bar-coding that would happen automatically once code pages had been defined. Karl Ivar said this was not necessarily so. It was still felt that some analysing of the situation was needed, but Þorgeir claimed that all the information needed was already available.


Monica said that the Finnish/Swedish proposal in WG5 (or SC35) for clarification of how to access level three and Group 2 of the ISO 9995 keyboard standard, had not met resistance.

There was a long discussion on the freedom of National Bodies to specify their own keyboards. Uma wanted NBs to commit to the AltGr E solution but Marc Küster and others said it could only be phrased as a recommendation.

Karl Ivar said the keyboard discussion was too PC oriented and other keyboards should get more attention. The meeting discussed how information could be sought on adding info on ways to enter the Euro on keyboards without level three, for instance with composite sequences.

Braille patterns and the Euro Sign

It was explained to the meeting by Mark Küster that Braille patterns where usually 6-bits and adding a Euro Sign to such a limited repertoire was not realistic. Karl Ivar also told of the large national deviation from any international Braille scheme for the sake of optimising with respect of each language. There were however plans for 8-bit Braille patterns that would copy existing 8 bit code tables, so the question of whether the Euro Sign was included was a question of whether it was included in the 8 bit code table used.

OCR-B discussion

Karl Ivar talked of the problem with funding the production of an EN. Þorgeir gave an overview of the situation with producing an OCR-B repertoire with the Euro Sign included. He said no action on part of the TC304 plenary was called for. Marc Küster said it would be useful to state the desire to test more than the Euro Character.

Paper from Chris Makemson, a belated result of an action item of his to check with the English Bank association if there was a need for the Euro Sign in OCR-B was discussed. There had indeed been a confirmation that it was needed.

Handicapped people

It was felt that the report needed more info on needs of handicapped people.

Dual Rendering

Keld Simonsen volunteered to provide up-dated information on Dual-Rendering. This issue caused much discussion between Erkki, Keld, Mike and UMA. Keld stated that there was a need to specify a favoured approach of automatic display of dual currency rendering in IT locales and claimed this had been stated by SUN and UNISYS. Erkki, Uma and Mike claimed that the opposite was true and any automatic scheme should only be given as an option. They stated that the reason was that backward compatibility would be needed that did not allow new features and they did not want to be forced in any way to break with existing application and the locale implementations should not be needed to be changed.


Erkki said he had received a report from Tom Garland from Sun on the Interoperability issue. This report would be reviewed by Evangelos Melagracis and Graham Dixon and Erkki would ask for comments from IT vendors.

Concluding remarks

The meeting ended by Erkki and other mentioning that even if the Euro PT would end its work this year there would still be some work left. This included the Euro Sign in OCR-B.

The meeting stated that TC225, the CEN technical committee on Bar Coding needed to be reminded of taking the Euro Sign into account. The same applied to the Braille community and the sign language.

This ends the report on the Euro meeting on Monday 24 Nov 1998.

Þorgeir Sigurðsson,

(Thorgeir Sigurdssson, secretary of CEN/TC304)