SC22/WG20 N1025

From: Alain LaBonté []
Sent: Tuesday, April 01, 2003 11:07 AM
To: Bruno Von Niman (EBC)
Subject: Virus Warning: (SC22WG20.4558) Fwd: ETSI STF202 Character assignment for 12-key telephone keypad (telecommunications standard)


here are my remarks (as ISO project editor) on this proposed ETSI standard:

1) In Annex B, please note that ISO/IEC 14651 (International Ordering Standard) is not in the publication phase, as its first edition has been published in 2001 as a full-fledged International Standard. We are at its amendment 1 (which is  mainly an update of the table to take into consideration new characters added in the universal character sets). Amendment 2 development (of the same nature) is about to begin this summer. ISO/IEC 14651 is a major international standard of which all other ordering standards in the world can constitute profiles called "deltas". ISO/IEC 14651 should be quoted in section 2, References, and not only in Annex B.

A note in 5.1 should be added to say that ordering of letters as documented in this standard is necessary and very useful for standard letter assignment for digits of a numeric keypad, but is it not generally sufficient to produce a sorted list of different alphanumeric strings that humans can intuitively use in any language (including English). One application should refer to ISO/IEC 14651 as the worldwide-recognized state-of-the-art way to do so more correctly. Ordering achieved using the proposed ETSI STF202 standard will produce very rough ordering results that may and will most certainly mislead end-users and even computer specialists, according to my own experience in this matter.

In 5.2 it is wrong to specify alphabetic ordering of a list of character strings where special characters are intersorted with letters and digits without ample precautions. One should rather refer to ISO/IEC 14651, again.

2) In French Ï (I DIAERESIS) is a type-A letter (according to the definition of type-A letter in the ETSI project of standard), necessary to correctly spell words such as « ambiguïté ». It is certainly not a type-B letter.

3) Although this is discussable (since their use is rare) I would classify Y DIAERESISes as type-A characters in French as there is no alternative to write French literature without it (which is *not* the same case as æ, for which there are alternate spellings [ex. : cæsium can be spelled césium], as well as the ñ of the borrowed word cañon, whose alternate spelling is canyon).

4) O DIAERESIS should be listed as a type-A letter in French (it is not listed at all), at worst a TYPE-B, as it is used to spell a French noun, « angström » (which is only a French spelling because it is a misspelling of the original proper name, written with an Å, like its symbol in the metric system). There is no alternate spelling for this word in French.

5) In 7.2 a note should be added to say : « "unique names of ISO/IEC 10646" are contextually unique in each language version of the standard. They are used for the conceptual conciliation of different coded character sets together. There is also a French version of this International standard. There are registered character sets in the ISO registry that are documented with French names only. Names can and should be translated in the user's language when presented to end-users ».

Throughout the document the "-1" of 10646-1 should be removed. Firts, there exists a -2 as of today, but it has been decided that both parts will be merged in the near future.

In the introduction and in annex B should be quoted precisely: ISO/IEC 9995-8, on assignment of letters to a numeric keypad and representations should be done to extend this international standard to avoid having two standards in use internationally.

Best Regards.

Alain LaBonté
Project editor, ISO/IEC 9995 series of international standards (8 parts --
      Keyboard Layouts [part 8 is on letter assigment of numbers on a numeric keypad])
Project editor, ISO/IEC 14651 (Ordering and Character String comparison standard)
Secrétariat du Conseil du trésor du Québec
Direction de l'architecture et de l'infrastructure
1500-H, rue Jean-Talon Nord
1er étage, porte 1.26, boîte n° 1
Ste-Foy (Québec)  G1N 4T5 Canada
Téléphone :  +1 418 528 6144
Télécopieur : +1 418 646 3571

From: "Bruno Von Niman (EBC)" <>
To: Long distribution list,
Subject: ETSI STF202 Character standard- request for final comments
Date: Sat, 29 Mar 2003 14:41:42 +0100
Importance: high
X-Mailer: Internet Mail Service (5.5.2655.55)
inbrfwd: 1

Dear Colleagues,
We, ETSI Specialist Task Force 202, are in the process of developing a new telecommunications standard in ETSI, addressing 12-key telephone keypads: "Human Factors; User Interfaces: Character repertoires, ordering and assignment to the 12-key telephone keypad (European languages)". The work is approaching it's final phase, see<> for further details.
A key aim of the work is to ensure a quick uptake of this beneficiary standard, simplifying for both end users and manufacturers.

We have achieved a stable, fairly complete draft of the attached ES. Given the detail-richness of the document addressing 27 languages, we would like to make sure that the language-specific content is fully correct, the logic of the document understandable, etc.  We simply need more eyes to go through it and comment it, on the detailed level.

We would kindly ask you to provide your formal informal comments (or a confirmation of your agreement to it) not later than by May 5, 2003. Please send them to

Best regards,

Bruno von Niman M.Sc.
ETSI STF202 Leader
End User Applications & Terminals
Specialist Team Leader Human Factors & Usability

Mobile Solutions, Systems & Technologies Management

Ericsson Enterprise AB                  All voice calls:        +46 8 422 32 52                 
Augustendalsv. 21, Nacka Strand                 Mobile fax:     +46 70 386 93 01                
SE- 131 89 STOCKHOLM                    E-mail:     
Sweden                                  Mobile email: