Antoine Leca wrote on 2002-12-06 18:30 UTC:
> Henry Spencer wrote:
> > It did not come from 10646 either; it came from the *Unix* side of the
> > house, specifically from X/Open. 
> I thought it came from Plan 9 (Rune) then passed to X-Open (FSS-UTF?).
> Did I miss something? Note I was not there at this time.

UTF-FSS appeared first in an X/Open document authored by an IBM
employee (thank god they didn't patent it). The Plan9 people
got it from there and were the first to migrate an entire
operating system to Unicode in ~1992. Someone in the ISO WG
later came up with the name UTF-8 for UTF-FSS. Linux was AFAIK
after Plan9 the second operating system with some initial UTF-8
support (the UTF-8 console mode by yours truly in late 1995),
but it took until 1999 until significant progress was made with
glibc, xterm and the first X11 fonts, this list, etc. I think only
during 2002 was the critical mass reached that will ensure that
GNU/Linux (and with ~2 year delay most other Unices) will
eventually move almost entirely to UTF-8.

If someone has the original X/Open submission by IBM
about UTF-FSS, I'd love to get a nicely scanned copy.


Markus G. Kuhn, Computer Laboratory, University of Cambridge, UK
Email: mkuhn at,  WWW: <>
Linux-UTF8:   i18n of Linux on all levels

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