- Contents -
  Q What is a personal computer?
  Q How do personal computers output Kanji?
  Q What is a font?
  Q What is a character code?
  Q How are Kanji input?
  Q Is it impossible to use characters not in the character set?
  Q Do I only need a user-defined character editor to use user-defined characters?
  Q How do I input user-defined characters with IME?
  Q Is it possible to use characters from mainframes?
  Q What is the JIS code?
  Q What is the Shift JIS code?
  Q What is Unicode?
  Q How long will it take for Unicode to become available?
  Q What is XKP?
  Q Can user-defined characters be transferred using XKP?
  Q Is it possible to use more user-defined characters than the number of character codes available?
  Q Can XKP user-defined characters be printed?

Japanese Processing Guidebook


Q Is it possible to use characters from mainframes?

A There are two problems that must be solved first.

Mainframes use different proprietary character sets depending on the manufacturer. In addition, some users among those using mainframes have a large number of user-defined characters of their own.
The characters used on these systems cannot be utilized on PCs as they are.
There are two barriers to making it possible to use them.

- Character codes
The character set usually used on PCs, called Shift JIS, has far too few characters available when compared to mainframe computers. Even if the characters not available in Shift JIS were registered as user-defined characters, it is now often the case that the number of user-defined characters that can be used is insufficient.
Some form of system to replace Shift JIS that can handle large numbers of characters is necessary.

- Fonts

The bitmap fonts used on mainframes cannot be used on PCs in their current form. This makes it necessary to find a font that contains the required characters.

XKP has, as its main purpose, the creation of a standard method for solving these two problems. However, XKP is not a group for creating character codes or fonts. The characters required differ depending on the user, so there is no point in standardizing them. The purpose of XKP is only to provide a method for using the characters needed.