As part of this work, the European Ordering Rules Project Team (EOR) began work on 2 February 1998, and consists of Håvard Hjulstad (Norway), Marc Küster (Germany) and John Clews (United Kingdom), with the aim of defining a default multilingual sorting order which can be used throughout Europe.
Before any "Euromyths" have a chance to arise, it should be made clear that this is NOT an attempt to impose a single sorting order on all computer users in Europe, but to provide a standard reference point which CAN be used as a pan-European order, but which will enable those developing and procuring IT systems with a simple means of specifying any different requirements related to existing national uses or any specific applications.
Because it will be based on user expectations and existing practices, the intended standard is likely to follow what most users already use, and to follow practices already prevalent in the IT industry. However, ordering rules in IT systems have been developed in isolation and the intended new reference point will help to enable more common practices to be developed, which will benefit European computer developers and computer users alike.
Initially, EOR will examine specific issues such as:
Surprisingly, there are no published international (ISO) or European (EN) standards on multilingual sorting as such, although various national and de facto standards provide relevant guidance on sorting specific languages and scripts.
A major rationale for multilingual ordering of European characters will be User expectations: what would users of the Latin, Greek and Cyrillic scripts, and symbols, find acceptable as a multilingual sorting order? For some purposes, computer users in Europe have already developed rules for sorting multilingual text and records, and EOR is anxious to receive details of any existing standards or practices which are developed or used by more than one institution, so that the Project Team's final recommendations will generally fall in line with user expectations of multilingual sorting in Europe.
EOR's work is intended to be very open. An initial open meeting was
held in early February 1998 in Brussels during the CEN/TC304 meeting,
and another one is planned during the next CEN/TC304 meeting in
Reykjavik in June 1998. Email contact to
EOR Contact points