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India's New Rupee Symbol Won't Show On Computers 252

Posted by kdawson
from the currency-formerly-known-as-rupee dept.
itwbennett writes "It will take at least 18 months for encoding in Unicode the symbol for the Indian rupee that was approved by the Indian cabinet on Thursday. But it may be over two years before the rupee symbol starts showing on computers and mobile phones, analysts said. Many vendors are also undecided whether they will offer the new symbol on keyboards and keypads, or as additions in software to the character set supported by their devices. Nokia, for example, welcomed the move by the Indian government to have a symbol for the rupee. But a company spokeswoman said it's too early to comment on how the symbol will be implemented, whether on the phone keypad or on the character list."
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India's New Rupee Symbol Won't Show On Computers

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  • by FredFredrickson (1177871) * on Friday July 16, 2010 @10:59AM (#32926284) Homepage Journal
    Back in the good old days, we had ascii 004- which gave us a nice little diamond symbol. What happened to that?

    If I had my way, real life symbols would resemble the symbols in games- like gem shapes.
  • Euro (Score:5, Interesting)

    by tsa (15680) on Friday July 16, 2010 @11:04AM (#32926340) Homepage

    How long did it take the Euro sign to get easily usable by computers? I think much longer than they predict for the rupee sign. These things take time, but a short time in comparison with the lifetime of the symbols in European and Indian society, so don't worry about it too much.

    • Exactly. Even now, most keyboards I use are missing the symbol, I just happen to know where it's supposed to be and press accordingly. That or just type EUR.
    • I STILL can't find the Euro on my computer, and you'll be lucky if you can convince me to look at an ASCII table.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by icebraining (1313345)

        you'll be lucky if you can convince me to look at an ASCII table.

        Extremely lucky, as the euro symbol isn't part of the ASCII set. Now, looking in a UTF-8 table, that could work.

        Mine is conveniently located below the E, and it's used pressing ISO_Level3_Shift (bound to Alt Gr) and E.

      • €
        Alt+0128
        AltGr+E if your keyboard layout is European

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          My British keyboard has it at AltGr+4.
          • by bami (1376931)

            Dutch (set to US-International with dead keys) keyboard: AltGr + 5

            Yay standardisation!

          • by IrquiM (471313)

            But the British keyboards are way off compared to my Scandinavian keyboard!

        • P.S. AltGr is mapped to the right Alt key and is actually a Ctrl+Alt key. This also means, naturally, that any Ctrl+Alt hotkey combination (except Ctrl+Alt+Delete) can be typed with the AltGr key instead.

          If your keyboard doesn’t say “AltGr” on the right Alt key you can still assign a European layout in the system language settings and the right Alt will become the AltGr key. The left Alt key will still be the normal Alt key.

        • AltGr+E if your keyboard layout is European

          Or if you're running Solaris, where this will work even with a US keyboard layout.

    • Re:Euro (Score:5, Funny)

      by Hurricane78 (562437) <deleted@SLACKWAR ... org minus distro> on Friday July 16, 2010 @11:41AM (#32926910)

      I don’t believe you, as I can’t remember any time span between the Euro being introduced and it being typable. I remember a quick patch pushed trough Windows update, and another patch for Linux, and it was done.
      I specifically remember that I never faced the problem of being unable to enter it.

      Except on Slashdot of course. But it’s a surprise that Slashdot doesn’t still use Baudot or Murray encoding. I bet internally, it still runs on a special ternary hacked variant of the morse code. ;)

      • Whitelist (5:erocS) (Score:3, Interesting)

        by tepples (727027)

        Except on Slashdot of course.

        Slashdot uses a character whitelist to keep unexpected Unicode characters from breaking the layout. This was instituted after widespread exploitation of the erocS glitch [google.com].

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Jesus_666 (702802)
          Unfortunately, that whitelist is unneccessarily restrictive and, as far as I know, not available for public viewing, which essentially makes Slashdot's encoding US-ASCII with undocumented additions.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by xaxa (988988)

          Except on Slashdot of course.

          Slashdot uses a character whitelist to keep unexpected Unicode characters from breaking the layout. This was instituted after widespread exploitation of the erocS glitch [google.com].

          Yes, but it's stupid that such common symbols as £ and € aren't on the whitelist.

          However, it reflects common stereotypes of Americans.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by jrumney (197329)
        I'm pretty sure the Euro symbol was designed several years before the currency ever came into use, so while it might have seemed to be quickly adopted after the introduction of the currency, that was only because the manufacturers all panicked after "don't worry, we've got years to do that" suddenly became "oh shit, we should have done that earlier".
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by snowgirl (978879)

        I remember a quick patch [for the Euro symbol] pushed trough Windows update...

        The Euro Sign was unveiled on the 12th of December, 1996.

        Meanwhile, Windows Update was released with the launch of Windows 98.

        In fact, I remember applying a patch for Windows 3.1 for Euro sign support. Which did not come through Windows update.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by arth1 (260657)

        But it's a surprise that Slashdot doesn't still use Baudot or Murray encoding. I bet internally, it still runs on a special ternary hacked variant of the morse code. ;)

        We like to call it perl.

    • Dumb question - What was wrong with the old Rupee symbol?

      Also what does it mean? The Euro Sign is a stylized E, to represent Europe's currency. And the Dollar Sign is a slashed S to represent Spain's currency (where the symbol originated).

      • by bar-agent (698856)

        Also what does it mean? The Euro Sign is a stylized E, to represent Europe's currency.

        Take another look at the rupee symbol; it is a stylized R, slashed similarly to the euro.

      • Re:Euro (Score:5, Informative)

        by shutdown -p now (807394) on Friday July 16, 2010 @12:07PM (#32927290) Journal

        Dumb question - What was wrong with the old Rupee symbol?

        It wasn't a symbol, but rather just two letters ("Rs"). Which isn't "cool", I guess...

        Also what does it mean? The Euro Sign is a stylized E, to represent Europe's currency.

        It's a stylized Latin "R" (without the vertical stem, and with two crossbars on top). It is also fairly similar to Devanagari [wikipedia.org] letter corresponding to "R".

        • Re:Euro (Score:5, Insightful)

          by hey (83763) on Friday July 16, 2010 @12:21PM (#32927506) Journal

          There's the hack then. Use a Devanagari R until most computers handle the Rupee symbol.

        • .. but my guess is that the Western "R"'s great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandfather is the Devanagari "R".

          • Re:I'm no linguist (Score:5, Informative)

            by shutdown -p now (807394) on Friday July 16, 2010 @12:43PM (#32927790) Journal

            Your guess is mostly wrong - Latin "R" is derived from greek "P", which is itself derived from a Phoenician letter that looks like reversed "P", and ultimately from Egyptian. Devanagari is likely derived from Phoenician as well, but that's the most recent common point between the scripts, so they're very distant siblings.

      • Re:Euro (Score:5, Informative)

        by indian_rediff (166093) on Friday July 16, 2010 @12:13PM (#32927380) Journal

        The old symbol for Rupee did not exist. You either said Re for Rupee (singular - but hardly used these days since the single Rupee is worth so little) or Rs for Rupees.

        Side note: I remember in the old days on the IBM 1403 printers (running with the IBM 1401 machine) there was a symbol that used the space of one character and still printed Rs very close to each other. That was the closest that India ever came to having a symbol for the Rupee.

        Until now.

        The proposed symbol (which I believe looks very good) is symbolic of a few things:
        1) The symbol looks like an R with the vertical leg removed and a horizontal line through it (much like the $ is simply an S with a vertical line | through it).
        2) It is also the Hindi symbol for the first letter in the word Rupee in Hindi - with a line through it.

        Hope this makes sense

        Indian Rediff

      • The proper abbreviation is Rp, and it has its own Unicode character, U+20A8. If Slashdot supported it, you could type it as the HTML character code &#8360;.

        As far as the new symbol, it is a composite of the Devanagari letter Ra [wikipedia.org] (the first letter of the Hindi word for “rupee” in the Devanagari script) superimposed with the Roman letter R (the first letter of the word in the International Alphabet of Sanskrit Transliteration [wikipedia.org] scheme) without the vertical bar.

        The word “rupee” itself

      • And the Dollar Sign is a slashed S to represent Spain's currency (where the symbol originated).

        While it's not 100% certain, probably not. Most likely, it comes from "Ps" for "peso", also known as the "Spanish Dollar".

  • by mfarah (231411) <miguel@fGAUSSarah.cl minus math_god> on Friday July 16, 2010 @11:07AM (#32926380) Homepage

    ... and it's for a good reason. That said, this kind of thing should have been coordinated *beforehand*, to avoid exactly this situation. The long lag between introducing the new symbol and actually being able to use it might kill it.

    OTOH, the Unicode consortium approved several years ago the symbol for the Argentinian austral (""), a currency that ended up dying an inglorious (yet entirely deserved) death a few months afterwards.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by IANAAC (692242)

      this kind of thing should have been coordinated *beforehand*

      How so? This was a competition to come up with a new symbol. There were 5 designs that were on the final list and this symbol was the one that was just chosen.

      I don't know how you can plan ahead for something like that.

      • by dkf (304284) <donal.k.fellows@manchester.ac.uk> on Friday July 16, 2010 @11:32AM (#32926736) Homepage

        How so? This was a competition to come up with a new symbol. There were 5 designs that were on the final list and this symbol was the one that was just chosen.

        I don't know how you can plan ahead for something like that.

        The competition was for the design of the glyph, not for the logical concept of the symbol. Getting the concept into Unicode is what could have been done beforehand, which would have made supporting the symbol fully just a matter of updating everyone's fonts...

      • by sznupi (719324)

        I don't know how you can plan ahead for something like that.

        "We are starting the competition to come up with a new symbol; initiate your process to make accomodations for it, we will provide the ready glyph in 2 years."

  • Its nice to see (Score:4, Informative)

    by Chrisq (894406) on Friday July 16, 2010 @11:08AM (#32926394)
    Its nice to see that they have used a devanagari character (0930 ) as the basis for this.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by SpaceToast (974230)

      Specifically, it's a Devanagari R with a horizontal line through the top, similar to the €, £ and ¥ signs. Usefully for most European language readers, in most fonts (and when not part of a conjunct character) it does look similar to a Latin R missing it's vertical stroke. Pronunciation is a soft R, similar to French.

      What? Hindi is a fun language to learn.

      • by StikyPad (445176)

        Specifically, it's a Devanagari R with a horizontal line through the top

        Those letters look all Chinese n'junk.

        Pronunciation is a soft R, similar to French.

        And Boston.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Is fine Benny Lava! Minor bun engine made Benny Lava! Anybody need this symbol Benny Lava?
  • by rfelsburg (1237090) on Friday July 16, 2010 @11:09AM (#32926422)
    Just give the job to the counterfeiters, they'll have it out in a couple of months.
  • by jonwil (467024) on Friday July 16, 2010 @11:14AM (#32926490)

    If there isn't, why is character 20A8 called "Rupee Sign" then?

  • by wandazulu (265281) on Friday July 16, 2010 @11:16AM (#32926506)

    I admit that the first time I saw the Rupee symbol on the iPhone I thought I was looking at the symbol for the Yen. I wonder if the designers take into consideration that the symbols, when scaled way down, start to all look the same. Maybe that's the point?

    Not specifically thinking about the Rupee, I would imagine that, in this day and age, a designer would know that the symbol/icon/logo/whatever needs to be recognizable at a potentially very small size.

  • by Drakkenmensch (1255800) on Friday July 16, 2010 @11:23AM (#32926606)
    Legend of Zelda games have had the same rupee symbol for years!
  • Cool Symbol (Score:4, Interesting)

    by hellop2 (1271166) on Friday July 16, 2010 @11:24AM (#32926616)
    If you utilize the left-hand side of an imaginary rectangle enclosing the symbol, the symbol contains all of the letters in the word RUPEE.
  • happens all the time (Score:3, Interesting)

    by jimbomarq (1857698) on Friday July 16, 2010 @11:32AM (#32926728)
    Governments do things all of the time that make systems hard to implement. Adding a new currency doesn't seem terribly cumbersome in comparison to other government requirements.

    For example, apparently Thailand just passed a Thai Computer Crimes Act that requires IT providers to track who has viewed people blogs just in case some blogger has said something critical of the Thai government. So, if your company has people in Thailand (we do), and they can potentially post information on a blog, you've got some work to do.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 16, 2010 @11:34AM (#32926776)

    Robin: The Riddler has escaped of Gotham! He left a note!

    Note: 'Riddle me this, Batman - solve this equation: "?==$"'

    Batman: Hmmm... It looks like he's gotten into the Indian money market.

    Robin: However did you guess that, Batman?

    Batman: You just have to overlap the ... what am I explaining this to you for? When we get to India, I am totally replacing you with a cheaper Indian model.

    Robin: Holy takemyjarb, Batman!

  • Once a new version of the standard, which has the code point for the rupee symbol, is released by the Unicode Consortium, Microsoft will start work to include it in the Windows operating system and other products, Parappil said. He did not specify the time it would take to include the changes. Users will not have to buy new software, but will likely receive downloadable updates to their existing software, he added.

    Wow. Because, of course, all computers depend on microsoft software. And there are no devices outside ms or nokia ones. What a stupid article.

    Also, why implement more symbols for this? It is absolutely stupid. The first currency sign ever was the Pesos sign ($). Yes, I know you guys know it as the 'dollar sign' but that is just plain wrong. The symbol was created originally in the 18th century to refer to the Spanish Peso.

    The peso sign is recognized all around the world, and everyone knows it means money.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Jesus_666 (702802)
      You are aware that U+00A4 (CURRENCY SIGN) is the proper sign for what you propose? And you are aware that not everyone wants to use a generic currency sign?

      The fact that $ is recognized in your country as a generic currency sign doesn't make it that way elsewhere, it's an artifact of you using that sign for your local currency. In Europe $ has a generally recognized, unambiguous meaning: US Dollars. It can mean Canadian Dollars if that is clear from the context but few would apply the sign to a currency t
  • by PPH (736903) on Friday July 16, 2010 @11:40AM (#32926866)
    I'm still waiting for the Unicode symbol for TAFKAP [wikipedia.org].
  • When I get money, I always use the ":-)" set of characters. Why can't we use emoticons for currency symbols?

  • Rupees? Can't Princess Zelda just make a royal decree and get the symbol added right away?
  • The handwriting recognition on my tablet PC is mistaking a lot of punctuation as it is. The rupee symbol sure looks hard to confuse with some other symbol if written properly.

    If handwriting recognition can work in far more contexts like math and programming, it would be a major driver for software to handle all the symbols properly, as people would find it really simple to input these symbols.

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