This Standard consists of primary and supplementary graphic and control sets, 7-bit and 8-bit codes based on the above sets, and rules for code extension. The character sets are intended for general usage in data processing, programming, and information interchange. These character sets include letters, figures, punctuation marks, and other symbols and controls, with their coded representation.
The requirements for graphic characters and control functions in various applications and the limitations imposed by computer and ancillary equipment characteristics have been taken into account in determining these character sets. Specific considerations included the following:
(a) the need for a set of graphic characters sufficient to support information interchange using both the English and the French languages;
(b) the need for an adequate number of device controls and format effectors;
(c) the need to provide for compatible interchange with existing systems in North America and internationally;
(d) physical limitations of media and facilities;
(e) data manipulation and interactive computing requirements;
(f) programming requirements;
(g) keyboard conventions and limitations.
The primary and supplementary character sets described in this Standard are primarily intended for the interchange of information among data processing systems and associated equipment. They may be regarded as basic alphabets in an abstract sense. The range of applications may be extended through the application of the code extension techniques defined herein and through the use of the coded character sets included in the ISO International Register of Coded Character Sets to be Used with Escape Sequences, available from Registration Authority for ISO 2375, European Computer Manufacturers Association, 114, Rue du Rhône, CH-1204 Geneva, Switzerland.