ISO 8859-1

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ISO 8859-1 is part 1 of ISO 8859, a standard character encoding defined by ISO. It encodes characters as 8 bits and can be used to represent the alphabet and other important characters for storing English, French, German and Spanish texts on computers. Also known as Latin-1, it is the standard encoding used by the X Window System on most Unix machines. Microsoft Windows uses a superset of ISO-8859-1 called Windows-1252, and Macintosh computers use a different encoding.

All the ISO 8859 encodings are 8-bit encodings which encode the first 128 positions (from 0 to 127) in the same way as each other and the same way as ASCII. The upper 128 code points of each ISO 8859 encoding encode other characters not present in ASCII.

It suffers from a number of deficiencies, including the omission of a few French diacritics and the lack of a Euro symbol. For this reason ISO 8859-15 has been developed as an update of ISO 8859-1 to add the required additional characters. (This required however the removal of some less used characters from ISO 8859-1.)

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