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July 28, 1987


By CBR Staff Writer

AT&T Co has adopted the X/Open internationalisation scheme to enable Unix System V to speak German and French by September. Following the April announcement of the ability to handle 8-bit character sets and different date/time formats with the release of System V.3.1, AT&T is now adding Native Language Supplements to support individual European languages. The NLS modules are based on the X/Open internationalisation interfaces and those parts of the forthcoming ANSI C standard that deal with internationalisation. The first supplements are the French Application Environment and German Application Environment, and AT&T claims that they allow an aplication to be written independently of machine, country or language. To assists in the translation process, AT&T has developed a tool which extracts all messages from a program, placing them in a file which a linguist can then translate and edit before the tool replaces them in the program. Both supplements are essentially the same but differ in the supported devices allowing for the variations between the two countries’ ASCII terminals and teletext terminals. AT&T intends to develop supplements for other languages, initially European, and the plan is ultimately to have a uniform Unix worldwide even for countries such as Japan with complex character sets. Native Language Supplements will be available from September 16 from AT&T in the US and UK to its own licencees, at a source code price of $20,000.

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