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Former featured article ASCII is a former featured article. Please see the links under Article milestones below for its original nomination page (for older articles, check the nomination archive) and why it was removed.
Article milestones
Date Process Result
January 19, 2004 Refreshing brilliant prose Kept
December 30, 2005 Featured article review Kept
May 10, 2008 Featured article review Demoted
Current status: Former featured article

Control-Z as end-of-file[edit]

First for TOPS-10. The use of Control-Z as End-Of-File existed but only from the Teletype. Control-Z on paper-tape, mag-tape, disk-files was just another character. In other words, this was specific to the terminal device driver. I don't remember if there was a standard escape mechanism for the various control characters - other than the program using a raw mode.

Second, also for TOPS-10, disk-files had a count of words. Not a count of characters and not a count of records. So plain text files could have 0 to 4 NULs at the end to finish the last word. The input routine ignored all NULs coming in - also due to sequence numbered files being word aligned for every line - see SOS and PIP.

Third, as far as CP/M goes, the original use of Control-Z was as a filler character since the OS only did a count of (128 byte) records. So a character file would have 0 to 127 SUB at the end to fill out the last record. (Why they used SUB instead of NUL like DEC baffles me.)

This was done so that simple code that read from either the terminal or a disk file would quit at the same point using the same code for both the terminal and disk file (ie when it hit a ^Z in the file or when the user typed ^Z). NUL would not work because of the need to ignore nuls due to paper tape input, and also that it was not possible to type a NUL on many terminals.Spitzak (talk) 22:23, 9 October 2017 (UTC)

Then, common usage changed this to merge TOPS-10's TTY end-of-file and the filler idea to have a Control-Z as an explicit 'end' character.

I have some TOPS-10 and CP/M manuals. I can do some better research if desired. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Wmdgus73 (talkcontribs) 01:17, 3 January 2016 (UTC)

OK, I got rid of the mention of TOPS-10, as a quick look at an online TOPS-10 manual did, indeed, suggest that the padding was with NUL. Guy Harris (talk) 05:43, 7 October 2017 (UTC)
And it now mentions the from-the-terminal interpretation of ^Z on the PDP-6 monitor and TOPS-10. Guy Harris (talk) 23:20, 8 October 2017 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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Some just moved; the others work. Guy Harris (talk) 20:25, 24 June 2017 (UTC)

Un-broken date[edit]

On its page, date has reverted to 1963. (due to RASCII) Rowan03 (talk) 21:03, 13 July 2017 (UTC)

Yes, given that nobody has provided any evidence that anything having to do with the American Standard Code for Information Interchange happened prior to 1960, the date was fixed to 1963, the date when the standard was published. Just because Andy Dingley thinks ASCII started in 1957, that doesn't mean it actually did start then; he gives no citation for that claim. Furthermore, the date that the project was started, whether it's 1957 or 1960, isn't the date of introduction; the date the standard was published was. Guy Harris (talk) 21:58, 13 July 2017 (UTC)

Where should this go[edit]

I have removed the following from the overview section, as it is definitely not of general interest. But where, if anywhere, does it belong?

A June 1992 RFC[1] and the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority registry of character sets[2] recognize the following case-insensitive aliases for ASCII as suitable for use on the Internet: ANSI_X3.4-1968 [sic] (canonical name), iso-ir-6, ANSI_X3.4-1986, ISO_646.irv:1991, ASCII, ISO646-US, US-ASCII (preferred MIME name),[2] us, IBM367, cp367, and csASCII.
Of these, the IANA encourages use of the name "US-ASCII" for Internet uses of ASCII (even if it is a redundant acronym, but the US is needed because of regular confusion of the ASCII term with other 8 bit based character encoding schemes such as extended ASCII or UTF-8 for example). One often finds this in the optional "charset" parameter in the Content-Type header of some MIME messages, in the equivalent "meta" element of some HTML documents, and in the encoding declaration part of the prologue of some XML documents.

Please feel free to reinsert at an appropriate location. Clean Copytalk 10:17, 11 August 2017 (UTC)


  1. ^ Simonsen, Keld Jørn (June 1992), Character Mnemonics & Character Sets, Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), RFC 1345Freely accessible, archived from the original on 2016-06-13, retrieved 2016-06-13 
  2. ^ a b Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) (May 14, 2007). "Character Sets". Accessed 2008-04-14.

Linux/Unix has a simple man page for ASCII[edit] • 04:53, 7 October 2017 (UTC)

Yes, it's in most if not all Unix-like systems, but I'm not convinced it's worthy of note in this article. Guy Harris (talk) 05:16, 7 October 2017 (UTC)
I don't know either. But if it would, I think it would also be worth mentioning that the DR-DOS DEBUG tool has a special command named ASCII [value] producing an ASCII table (with optional coordinate markers (*) for value):
-??                  ; (invoke built-in extended help system)
[…]                  ; (omitting 8 pages on other commands here)
                   --- Utility commands ---
ASCII [value]        + Display an ASCII table
CLS                  + Clear screen
CPU                  + Get CPU type and operating mode
H value              + Display 'value' as hex, dec, char, octal, and binary
H value1 value2      + Display results of ADD, SUB, MUL, DIV, and MOD
V                    + Show user screen
; comment            + Comment line
-ASCII 5C            ; (invoke character map)
             0123456789ABCDEF        0123456789ABCDEF
           0 ................      8 ÇüéâäàåçêëèïîìÄÅ
           1 ................      9 ÉæÆôöòûùÿÖÜø£Ø׃
           2  !"#$%&'()*+,-./      A áíóúñѪº¿®¬½¼¡«»
           3 0123456789:;<=>?      B ░▒▓│┤ÁÂÀ©╣║╗╝¢¥┐
           4 @ABCDEFGHIJKLMNO      C └┴┬├─┼ãÃ╚╔╩╦╠═╬¤
          *5 PQRSTUVWXYZ[\]^_      D ðÐÊËÈıÍÎÏ┘┌█▄¦Ì▀
           6 `abcdefghijklmno      E ÓßÔÒõÕµþÞÚÛÙýݯ´
           7 pqrstuvwxyz{|}~⌂      F ­±‗¾¶§÷¸°¨·¹³²■ 
-Q                   ; (quit DEBUG)

Also, the built-in help system in 4DOS has a few pages on ASCII as well (similar, but more comprehensive than the Linux man page), invokable by typing ASCII at the prompt followed by pressing the F1 key.
--Matthiaspaul (talk) 01:20, 14 October 2017 (UTC)
That output is not ASCII, it is some extended ASCII, so it should not be referred to by this page. The Unix man command does limit itself to ASCII, but it really is not very important either.Spitzak (talk) 17:58, 26 October 2017 (UTC)

Some browsers may not display Control Pictures properly?[edit]

"The Unicode characters from the area U+2400 to U+2421 reserved for representing control characters when it is necessary to print or display them rather than have them perform their intended function. Some browsers may not display these properly."

Are there examples of browsers not displaying control picture characters properly? I've used a large number of browsers on various platforms for a long time, and these characters have been supported by all of them for something like 14-20 years. Maybe simple character-mode browsers have trouble, but surely users of those are well aware that their clients can't expect full parity.

Brianary (talk) 16:15, 26 October 2017 (UTC)