Japanese companies last week officially announced DICOP, the new System V.4.2 Unix-on-Intel Japanese specification definition group. Companies that have formally committed to join DICOP, which stands for Desktop Unix for Intel CPU Co-operation Promotion Group, include hardware vendors NEC Corp, Sony Corp, Nippon Unisys, Nippon Olivetti, Mitsubishi Electric Corp, and Seiko Epson Co; software vendors […]
Japanese companies last week officially announced DICOP, the new System V.4.2 Unix-on-Intel Japanese specification definition group. Companies that have formally committed to join DICOP, which stands for Desktop Unix for Intel CPU Co-operation Promotion Group, include hardware vendors NEC Corp, Sony Corp, Nippon Unisys, Nippon Olivetti, Mitsubishi Electric Corp, and Seiko Epson Co; software vendors Ashisuto KK, Novell KK, Ascii Corp and Univel Inc have joined, along with Unix System Laboratories Pacific. Other companies have been approached and are expected to join shortly, according to the newly appointed management group, comprising executives form Nippon Unisys and Unix Labs Pacific. DICOP’s purpose is to create a common Japanese binary specification for the software that sits between a generic or Intel application programming interface and the application software. The specification is to be common with the OCMP-API defined by the Open Computing interface for MIPS Platform group led by NEC and Sony, providing Japanese application software developers with the prospect of common source code for R-series RISC and Intel-based Unix applications. The first DICOP specification, which is currently being printed, encompasses specifications for Japanese character sets and character codes, graphical user interfaces – Motif, common print formats – PostScript and CDIF, Japanese common libraries for conversion of EUCode, JIS and Shift JIS, font access libraries and common CD-ROM access libraries are part of the hardware. Software companies that indicated that they will support the new standard are Ashisuto, which will release compliant products in the autumn this year – including the most popular business spreadsheet for the Unix system – Ashisuto-Calc, and Unisol Inc, which claims to be the only Japanese company that makes its living solely from Unix software, and whose products include Island Paint, Write and Graph. A manager from ASCII, Kay Nishi’s company, said uncharacteristically that it would adopt an cautious attitude and wait to see what the adoption rate would be. A test suite for branding is under consideration. Personal computer Unix – either of the System V.4.2 or Solaris variety has yet to hit Japan, except in the limited numbers of copies of Santa Cruz Operation Inc Unix, which is sold mainly to research institutes, and the recent popularity of an operating system called Panics, localised by AI Soft Ltd and sold for $4,055 for the NEC PC-9800 series. Unix Labs Pacific executive, and vice-chairman of DICOP, Makoto Aso, sees the real distributon action happening from this summer. The Common Open Software Environment Japan Special Interest group, which is rumoured to include NEC, Fujitsu Ltd and Toshiba Corp as well as Sun Microsystems Inc, IBM Japan Ltd and Yokogawa Hewlett-Packard Co, is also expected to make an announcement soon.