The Concept and its Development
Researchers in Middle East Studies use several Arabic and Persian transliteration systems. One such system is the Library of Congress (LC) system.
Most libraries choose the LC system. But each researcher uses the transliteration system they consider the most suitable for their papers and articles. Under these circumstances, what kind of database system is needed in order to make a common bibliographical database for personal research purposes?
I believe that no transliteration system is suitable for this, because there is no transliteration system which is considered ideal for everyone. For this reason, the "Persian Library Database System" was created to use Persian characters. It can therefore easily unite data files which are created with it.
Information about the Application Software
There is one application software usable by Macintosh which can deal with Arabic characters correctly. It is 4th Dimension v. 3.5.1 (hereafter referred to as "4D").
The Toyo Bunko Library database development team, whose representative is Mr. FUKUDA, Yoichi who is one of the most respected researchers on Tibet and also has a deep knowledge of computer programming, has constructed a multilingual database system (a runtime application for 4D v. 3.5.1) and search & sort routines.
We can use these routines for Arabic and Persian languages, but unfortunately, the current version of 4D (v. 6.0.6) has a serious bug which sometimes does not allow it to show Arabic characters correctly. (This is currently true of all versions of 6.0.x.)
I found two methods of mitigating this bug.
1: Set two lines above for every field in layout forms.
2: Use active objects and restrict the number of Arabic characters.
It is currently difficult to purchase versions of 4D before v. 6, so I suggest that a Runtime Application should be developed for v. 6.0.6x by researchers who want to develop and rewrite this database application.
At first, Professor HACHIOSHI, Makoto wanted to make a catalog for his many books and magazines in his office at Tokyo University of Foreign Studies. Mr. Fukuda told him that only one database application, 4D, was able to use Arabic characters. Though I was working with a limited budget at that time, I first bought 4D (the cheaper edition) in 1995. I made a 4D structure file first without custom menus and then input records of Professor HACHIOSHI's books. The next year, I was fortunate enough to be accepted as a member of the database development team of the Toyo Bunko Library. As I input bibliographical records of the library, I studied the 4D language and learned a great deal of information, including program codes from Mr. Fukuda and Mr. MURASE, Kazushi who was the professional programmer at the library. I made a new structure file with custom menus for the Professor's office in September of 1998. The first version of Persian Library for 4D 3.5.1 was finished in November of 1998 thanks to the assistance of Mr. Fukuda and Mr. Murase. About 2,300 records had been input by April of 1999.
I requested that Prof. Hachioshi open the records to the public and he readily agreed.
Currently, the design mode of Persian Library is locked using a password. I hold the copyright of this "Persian Library Database System" (4D Runtime application), but I will open the structure of this database under the following conditions.
1. It is prohibited to use this "Persian Library Database System" for business purposes.
2. It is prohibited to sell this database.
3. It is prohibited to change original password.
4. This software may only be used by those who have the intention of making a contribution to Middle East Studies.
5. Anyone creating a new version of this database must send it to the office of the Islamic Area Studies of Japan (1999-2001) (see http://www.l.u-tokyo.ac.jp/IAS/ ) or another place to be specified in future.
If you agree to these conditions and wish to develop new 4D runtime applications or rewrite other ones, please contact the IAS office by e-mail or post, etc. I will gladly give you the password.
This database system requires the following environment to run properly:
1. Power Macintosh, Power Macintosh G3 or iMac
2. 10-15 Mbyte RAM memory
3. 4D Runtime Interpreter v.6.0.5x or later (which can be downloaded from ACI's homepage)
4. 4th Dimension v.6.0.6x or later (for developers)
5. MacOS J. or Japanese Language Kit (for Japanese version)
Development: MORISHIMA, Satoshi (Ph.D. student in the graduate school of Tokyo University of Foreign Studies; Specialty : Modern Iranian History)
Copyright 1998-1999. All rights reserved.
Thanks to: Mr. MURASE, Kazushi for his programming advice. Mr. FUKUDA, Yoichi for his kind permission to use his routines.
Special thanks to: The librarians at the Toyo Bunko Library for their bibliographical advice.
"Persian Library Database System" is a 4th Dimension file.
4D, 4th Dimension, 4D Interpreter Runtime and 4D First
ACI SA, 1985-1999 All rights reserved.
Macintosh, Power Macintosh, iMac and MacOS
Apple Computer, Inc. 1983-1999 All rights reserved.
Persian Library Database System (with Mac4DX files)
1. English edition (download ; Persian Library_E, Mac4DX folder)
2. Japanese edition (download ; Persian Library, Mac4DX folder)
3. Sample data (Catalog of Books in Prof. Hachioshi office) (download ;
4D Interpreter Runtime
1. English edition (goto ACI SA, U.S.A. ; http://www.aci.com/)
2. Japanese edition (download ; 4D Interpreter Runtime version 6.0.6J)
3. Version Information in Japan (goto ACI SA, Japan ;
1. English edition (Not yet available.)
2. Japanese edition (This is a Nisus file made for the previous