VISCII

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VISCII
MIME / IANAVISCII
Language(s)Vietnamese, English
Created byViet-Std Group
DefinitionsRFC 1456
Classification8-bit SBCS
Based onASCII

VISCII is an unofficially-defined modified ASCII character encoding for using the Vietnamese language with computers. It should not be confused with the similarly-named officially registered VSCII encoding. VISCII keeps the 95 printable characters of ASCII unmodified, but it replaces 6 of the 33 control characters with printable characters. It adds 128 precomposed characters. Unicode and the Windows-1258 code page are now used for virtually all Vietnamese computer data,[citation needed] but legacy VSCII and VISCII files may need conversion.

History and naming[edit]

VISCII was designed by the Vietnamese Standardization Working Group (Viet-Std Group)[1] led by Christopher Cuong T. Nguyen, Cuong M. Bui, and Hoc D. Ngo based in Silicon Valley, California in 1992 while they were working with the Unicode consortium to include pre-composed Vietnamese characters in the Unicode standard. VISCII, along with VIQR, was first published in a bilingual report in September 1992, in which it was dubbed the "Vietnamese Standard Code for Information Interchange".[2] The report noted a proliferation in computer usage in Vietnam and the increasing volume of computer-based communications among Vietnamese abroad, that existing applications used vendor-specific encodings which were unable to interoperate with one another, and that standardisation between vendors was therefore necessary. The successful inclusion of composed and precomposed Vietnamese in Unicode 1.0 was the result of the lessons learned from the development of 8-bit VISCII and 7-bit VIQR.[2]

The next year, in 1993, Vietnam adopted TCVN 5712, its first national standard in the information technology domain.[3] This defined a character encoding named VSCII, which had been developed by the TCVN Technical Committee on Information Technology (TCVN/TC1), and with its name standing for "Vietnamese Standard Code for Information Interchange".[3] VSCII is incompatible with, and otherwise unrelated to, the earlier-published VISCII.[4] Unlike VISCII, VSCII is a "Vietnamese Standard" in the sense of a national standard.

VISCII and VIQR were approved as the informational-status RFC 1456, attributed to the Viet-Std group and dated May 1993. As is the case with IETF RFCs, RFC 1456 notes them to be "conventions" used by overseas Vietnamese speakers on Usenet, and that it "specifies no level of standard". In spite of this, it continues to call VISCII the "VIetnamese Standard Code for Information Interchange" (the same name taken by VSCII).[5] The labels VISCII and csVISCII are registered with the IANA for VISCII, with reference to RFC 1456.[6] (There is, on the other hand, no official IANA label for TCVN 5712 / VSCII, although x-viet-tcvn5712 was previously supported by Mozilla Firefox.[7])

Design[edit]

A traditional extended ASCII character set consists of the ASCII set plus up to 128 characters. Vietnamese requires 134 additional letter-diacritic combinations, which is six too many. There are (short of dropping tone mark support for capital letters, as in VSCII-3) essentially four different ways to handle this problem:

  1. Use variable-width encoding (as does UTF-8)
  2. Include combining diacritical marks for tone marks (as do VSCII-2 and Windows-1258) or for diacritics in general (as do ANSEL and VNI)
  3. Replace some ASCII punctuation, preferably punctuation which is not invariant in ISO 646 (as does VNI for DOS)
  4. Replace at least six of the basic ASCII control characters (as do VPS and VSCII-1)

VISCII went for the last option, replacing six of the least problematic (e.g., least likely to be recognised by an application and acted on specially) C0 control codes (STX, ENQ, ACK, DC4, EM, and RS) with six of the least-used uppercase letter-diacritic combinations.[2] While this option may cause programs that use those control codes to malfunction when handling VISCII text, it creates fewer complications than the other two options (the designers note that non-8-bit clean transmission had been found to pose more difficulty in practice than the control character re-use).[2] Nonetheless, locations of both C0 or C1 control characters and the codes used for the non-breaking space in ISO-8859-1, Mac OS Roman and OEM-US were deliberately assigned to uppercase letters, with the intention of making use of lowercase codepoints with an all-capital font a serviceable workaround if graphical characters could not be displayed for those codes.[2]

However, using up all the extended code points for accented letters left no room to add useful symbols, superscripted numbers, curved quotes, proper dashes, etc., like most other extended ASCII character sets.

Location of characters deliberately mostly follows ISO-8859-1 where there are characters in common between the two code pages (the uppercase Õ being noted as an exception), motivated by user friendliness concerns.[2]

Support[edit]

VISCII is partially supported by the TriChlor Software Group in California, which has released various VISCII-compliant software packages, libraries, and fonts for MS-DOS and Windows, Unix, and Macintosh. VISCII-compliant software is available at many FTP sites.

VISCII was historically offered as an encoding for outgoing email by Mozilla Thunderbird. It was also supported by the Windows Vietnamese keyboard software, WinVNKey, created by Christopher Cuong T. Nguyen and later upgraded through various Windows versions by Hoc D. Ngo and others.[8]

VISCII was mostly used by overseas Vietnamese speakers, with VSCII (TCVN) being more popular in northern Vietnam and VNI being more popular in southern Vietnam.[9]

Character set[edit]

VISCII
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 A B C D E F
0x NUL SOH
1EB2
ETX EOT
1EB4

1EAA
BEL BS HT LF VT FF CR SO SI
1x DLE DC1 DC2 DC3
1EF6
NAK SYN ETB CAN
1EF8
SUB ESC FS GS
1EF4
US
2x  SP  ! " # $ % & ' ( ) * + , - . /
3x 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 : ; < = > ?
4x @ A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O
5x P Q R S T U V W X Y Z [ \ ] ^ _
6x ` a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o
7x p q r s t u v w x y z { | } ~ DEL
8x
1EA0

1EAE

1EB0

1EB6

1EA4

1EA6

1EA8

1EAC

1EBC

1EB8

1EBE

1EC0

1EC2

1EC4

1EC6

1ED0
9x
1ED2

1ED4

1ED6

1ED8

1EE2

1EDA

1EDC

1EDE

1ECA

1ECE

1ECC

1EC8

1EE6
Ũ
0168

1EE4

1EF2
Ax Õ
00D5

1EAF

1EB1

1EB7

1EA5

1EA7

1EA9

1EAD

1EBD

1EB9
ế
1EBF

1EC1

1EC3

1EC5

1EC7

1ED1
Bx
1ED3

1ED5

1ED7

1EE0
Ơ
01A0

1ED9

1EDD

1EDF

1ECB

1EF0

1EE8

1EEA

1EEC
ơ
01A1

1EDB
Ư
01AF
Cx À Á Â Ã
1EA2
Ă
0102

1EB3

1EB5
È É Ê
1EBA
Ì Í Ĩ
0128

1EF3
Dx Đ
0110

1EE9
Ò Ó Ô
1EA1

1EF7

1EEB

1EED
Ù Ú
1EF9

1EF5
Ý
1EE1
ư
01B0
Ex à á â ã
1EA3
ă
0103

1EEF

1EAB
è é ê
1EBB
ì í ĩ
0129

1EC9
Fx đ
0111

1EF1
ò ó ô õ
1ECF

1ECD

1EE5
ù ú ũ
0169

1EE7
ý
1EE3

1EEE
  Differences from ISO-8859-1

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Phung, Quang; Ngo, Hoc D.; Bui, Cuong. "Vietnamese-Standard Working Group Home Page". Viet-Std Group. Retrieved 2019-08-23.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Vietnamese Character Encoding Standardization Report - VISCII And VIQR 1.1 Character Encoding Specifications (Technical report). Viet-Std Group. 1992.
  3. ^ a b "[news] TCVN 5712:1993 (VSCII) -- Vietnamese national standard". 1993-06-02. Archived from the original on 2017-01-11.
  4. ^ Lunde, Ken (13 January 2009). "Chapter 1: CJKV Information Processing Overview (§ Are VISCII and VSCII identical? What about TCVN?)". CJKV Information Processing (2nd ed.). p. 17. ISBN 978-0-596-51447-1.
  5. ^ Vietnamese Standardization Working Group (May 1993). Conventions for Encoding the Vietnamese Language. IETF. doi:10.17487/RFC1456. RFC 1456.
  6. ^ "Character Sets". IANA.
  7. ^ Sivonen, Henri (2014-09-26). "Character encoding changes in m-c require c-c action". mozilla.dev.apps.thunderbird.
  8. ^ Sivonen, Henri (2014-09-26). "Character encoding changes in m-c require c-c action". mozilla.dev.apps.thunderbird. VISCII and armscii-8 are special in the sense that, for long time, Thunderbird itself (misguidedly) provided these encodings in the user interface for the choice of outgoing character encoding when composing a message. Therefore, it is possible that there exists a Thunderbird-created legacy of VISCII and armscii-8 email and Usenet posts.
  9. ^ Ngo, Hoc Dinh; Tran, TuBinh. "5. Why Having Vietnamese Charset (Character Set – Encoding) Conversion?". Some special functions of WinVNKey.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]