Why is it that characters such as a grave need to be reprented by character
references? They are part of the ASCII set, are they not? Or is there a
The isolated grave accent alone is part of ASCII but the letters with
an accent over them most definitely are not. ASCII defines only the
7-bit characters 0-127 decimal: the 32 control characters, A-Z, a-z,
0-9 and punctuation, NOT ANY accented letters of any kind whatsoever.
subset of ASCII that is defined as 'main' and the rest as 'others' that need
to be specially represented?
Your 'others' simply aren't part of it. They are defined elsewhere by
a dozen different organizations over time, including IBM's PC (DOS)
character set, Microsoft's Windows character set, Apple's Mac
character set, etc etc etc...and of course ISO Latin-1, Latin-2, etc,
and ultimately Unicode.