ISO-8859-8: Latin/Hebrew
Alias(es)iso-ir-138, hebrew, csISOLatinHebrew[1]
Language(s)Hebrew, English
StandardISO/IEC 8859-8, ECMA-121, SI 1311
Classificationextended ASCII, ISO 8859
Based onDEC Hebrew (8-bit), ISO/IEC 8859-1
Other related encoding(s)Windows-1255

ISO/IEC 8859-8, Information technology — 8-bit single-byte coded graphic character sets — Part 8: Latin/Hebrew alphabet, is part of the ISO/IEC 8859 series of ASCII-based standard character encodings. ISO/IEC 8859-8:1999 from 1999 represents its second and current revision, preceded by the first edition ISO/IEC 8859-8:1988 in 1988. It is informally referred to as Latin/Hebrew. ISO/IEC 8859-8 covers all the Hebrew letters, but no Hebrew vowel signs. IBM assigned code page 916 (CCSIDs 916 and 5012) to it.[2][3][4] This character set was also adopted by Israeli Standard SI1311:2002, with some extensions.

ISO-8859-8 is the IANA preferred charset name for this standard when supplemented with the C0 and C1 control codes from ISO/IEC 6429. The text is (usually) in logical order, so bidi processing is required for display. Nominally ISO-8859-8 (code page 28598) is for “visual order”, and ISO-8859-8-I (code page 38598) is for logical order. But usually in practice, and required for XML documents,[citation needed] ISO-8859-8 also stands for logical order text. The WHATWG Encoding Standard used by HTML5 treats ISO-8859-8 and ISO-8859-8-I as distinct encodings with the same mapping due to influence on the layout direction, but notes that this no longer applies to ISO-8859-6 (Arabic), only to ISO-8859-8.[5]

There is also ISO-8859-8-E which supposedly requires directionality to be explicitly specified with special control characters; this latter variant is in practice unused.

The Microsoft Windows code page for Hebrew, Windows-1255, is mostly an extension of ISO/IEC 8859-8 without C1 controls, except for the omission of the double underscore, and replacement of the generic currency sign (¤) with the sheqel sign (₪). It adds support for vowel points as combining characters, and some additional punctuation.

Over a decade after the publication of that standard, Unicode is preferred, at least for the Internet[6] (meaning UTF-8, the dominant encoding for web pages). ISO-8859-8 is used by less than 0.1% of websites.[7]

Code page layout

ISO/IEC 8859-8[8][9][10][11]
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 A B C D E F
2x  SP  ! " # $ % & ' ( ) * + , - . /
3x 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 : ; < = > ?
4x @ A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O
5x P Q R S T U V W X Y Z [ \ ] ^ _
6x ` a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o
7x p q r s t u v w x y z { | } ~
Ax NBSP ¢ £ ¤ ¥ ¦ § ¨ © × « ¬ SHY ® ¯
Bx ° ± ² ³ ´ µ · ¸ ¹ ÷ » ¼ ½ ¾
Ex א ב ג ד ה ו ז ח ט י ך כ ל ם מ ן
Fx נ ס ע ף פ ץ צ ק ר ש ת LRM RLM
  Different from both DEC Hebrew (8-bit) and ISO-8859-1.

FD is left-to-right mark (U+200E) and FE is right-to-left mark (U+200F), as specified in a newer amendment as ISO/IEC 8859-8:1999.

2002 Israeli Standard extensions

Israeli Standard SI1311:2002 matches ISO/IEC 8859-8:1999 except for a number of additional character allocations for the euro sign, new shekel sign and more advanced explicit bidirectional formatting.[12]

0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 A B C D E F
Ex א ב ג ד ה ו ז ח ט י ך כ ל ם מ ן
Fx נ ס ע ף פ ץ צ ק ר ש ת LRE RLE LRM RLM
  Absent from ISO/IEC 8859-8:1999, added in SI1311:2002.

See also


  1. ^ Character Sets, Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA), 2018-12-12
  2. ^ "Code page 916 information document". Archived from the original on 2017-02-16.
  3. ^ "CCSID 916 information document". Archived from the original on 2014-11-29.
  4. ^ "CCSID 5012 information document". Archived from the original on 2016-03-27.
  5. ^ van Kesteren, Anne. "9. Legacy single-byte encodings". Encoding Standard. WHATWG. Note: ISO-8859-8 and ISO-8859-8-I are distinct encoding names, because ISO-8859-8 has influence on the layout direction. And although historically this might have been the case for ISO-8859-6 and "ISO-8859-6-I" as well, that is no longer true.
  6. ^ John, Nicholas A. (2013). "The Construction of the Multilingual Internet: Unicode, Hebrew, and Globalization". Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication. 18 (3): 321–338. doi:10.1111/jcc4.12015. ISSN 1083-6101. Background: the problem of Hebrew and the Internet
  7. ^ "Usage Statistics of ISO-8859-8 for Websites, January 2019". Retrieved 2019-01-17.
  8. ^ Code Page CPGID 00916 (pdf) (PDF), IBM
  9. ^ Code Page CPGID 00916 (txt), IBM
  10. ^ International Components for Unicode (ICU), ibm-916_P100-1995.ucm, 2002-12-03
  11. ^ International Components for Unicode (ICU), ibm-5012_P100-1999.ucm, 2002-12-03
  12. ^ a b Standards Institution of Israel. ISO-IR-234: Latin/Hebrew character set for 8-bit codes (PDF). ITSCJ/IPSJ.