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LANGBOX-ARA for Arabic

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LangBox For Arabic

 The Product

LANGBOX-ARA is an extension to the UNIX™ operating system Kernel, designed specially to support the Arabic language. A virtual driver is added to the kernel, processing on exceptional basis the Arabic characters at the TTY I/O flow level. A special shell and a variety of commands are added to complete the package.

After the installation of LANGBOX-ARA on your system, Arabic is supported (in addition to English), with keyboard mapping, system messages, screen and display management, collating sequences, and date and time routine services.


LANGBOX-ARA will permit staff in your office to share and use existing UNIX applications in Arabic with little or no adjustment. With LangBox International's load and go transparency, a user can obtain an English word processor, data base manager, spreadsheet or any 8-bit clean application and use it immediately, without any modification of the application, in Arabic. He/She can even mix Arabic and English characters and text within the same document, with a simple keystroke.


For the User

  • Use the best existing "English-only" applications in Arabic with no modification.
  • Dynamically switch between Arabic and English.
  • Enter UNIX commands in Arabic or English.
  • Receive system messages in Arabic or English.
  • Dynamically select screen directionality.
  • No need to purchase specific or dedicated bilingual terminals.

For the Developer

  • Develop Arabic products and bilingual applications without bilingual programmers.
  • Move existing "English-only" applications into the Arabic world.
  • Develop applications that meet the highest Arabic standards.

For the Distributors and VARs

  • Open new markets with new products/systems that meet local requirements.
  • Expand your customer base with bilingual product offerings.

For the Manufacturers

  • Enhance your total offering to the Arabic markets.
  • Address international opportunities through our special LangBox International cooperation program.

Here is some shell sessions under the LANGBOX-ARA environment.

 The LANGBOX-ARA Features

The following features are available on LANGBOX:

Bilingual keyboard: The keyboard mapping may be switched to English or Arabic layout by a simple keystroke. Arabic letters are indicated by keyboard stickers.

Character codeset: The following character codesets are supported under LANGBOX-ARA:

Kernel support of Input/Output processing.

    Two kinds of commands are added under the LANGBOX-ARA bilingual environment

    The LANGBOX-ARA shell :
      LANGBOX-ARA offers national shells allowing:
      • The keyboard mapping.
      • The setting of environment variable.
      • The context analysis.
      • The screen management and the display processing depending on the language selected.

      These shells are: esh and eksh for English; ash and aksh for Arabic. Also araexec forks a system shell.

    • The bilingual LANGBOX-ARA and UNIX commands and utilities.
    • Those commands and utilities are the following:

      • LANGBOX-ARA specific:
      • acharset, aload, amode, arabic, asmo449, combo, context,
        dataproc, english, hindi, neutral, nocontext, nohindi,
        wordproc, adisp, aind, axtract, axec, afps, asetup, amask.
      • Bilingual UNIX-like:
      • aed, alp, avi, avedit, aa2ps…

      These commands return national (English or Arabic) state or error messages depending on the shell selected.

Bilingual function libraries: The extended UNIX function libraries are the following:

    • C library
    • Arabization library: This new function library is specially added for internationalization of applications and string extraction.

 X Window Support

All terminal emulation windows based on X Window and its library are supported. This includes xterm, SCOterm on Open Desktop of SCO, shelltool and cmdtool on Open Window of Sun...etc.


LANGBOX-ARA fully emulates a VT220 terminal and supports ISO 8859-6, ASMO 449 plus, and ASMO 708.

 Operating Systems

Ported to Interactive UNIX System V 3.2, SCO UNIX System V 3.2.4, SCO XENIX 3.4.2, IBM AIX PS/2 1.2 and RISC System /6000 3.1 and 3.2, SUN OS 4.1.1 and SUN Solaris 2.3 to 2.6 (Sparc and X86), SGI IRIX 5.2 to 6.3, CDC EP/IX 2.1.1, Data General DG/UX 5.40, Intergraph CLIX 3.1, etc.

X Window xterm and other windowed terminal emulators on these systems are fully supported under a VT220 emulation.

 Hardware Supported

All equipment running any above mentioned version of UNIX. For display devices and terminals, support is available for: Wyse Model 60, Esprit Opus 3n1, HP 700/43, DEC VT320, D412+ Bull Questar 205 and 305.

For printers, support is available for IBM proprinter II and III, EPSON LQ, FUJITSU DL, Genicom 1040 and 4440, HP Deskjet plus, HP laserjet plus, and Postscript.

On PC's (80386/486), the EGA or VGA cards are supported with the virtual screens. PC multiplexor board like BELL ICC, SPECIALIX SI, COROLLARY 8/tc, COMPUTONE Intel Port II, DIGIBOARD Digichanel C/CON-16, WYSE 995, FLICT AT 8/16 are also supported.


LANGBOX-ARA consists of a core system supplied in binary machine installable format on floppies, QIC tapes and CD-ROM, together with documentation, and local keyboard stickers.

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