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It's… complicated.

> The use of the term [extended ASCII] is sometimes criticized, because it can be mistakenly interpreted to mean that the ASCII standard has been updated to include more than 128 characters or that the term unambiguously identifies a single encoding, neither of which is the case.

— Wikipedia[1]

I would agree w/ Wikipedia here: the term is ambiguous at best, and misleading at worst.

Hacker News delivers its pages in UTF-8, so saying they're part of the box drawing characters in Unicode is not incorrect. Nor is the statement that they're not part of ASCII: they're not.

That said, the box drawing characters exist in Unicode, I would guess, largely because the IBM PC included those characters in the numerous character sets it used. Particularly, in North America, it used the character set known today as "Code page 437"[2]; other regions had other character sets w/ similar names, and they usually had at least some (though not always all) of the box drawing characters. IDK if the PC itself included them because some predecessor had them, but it wouldn't particularly surprise me if that was the case; the Atari and the Commodore had similar characters, though not exactly the same set. And again, they might have had them b/c of a predecessor; for all I know it's turtles all the way back to the first person who drew a table on a clay tablet :-)

[1]: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extended_ASCII [2]: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Code_page_437

In the BBS world we added some color and called it ANSI Art.

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