A group of volunteers have built Assamese word processor called 'Jahnabi'. The processor looks similar to Microsoft Word and comes with a spell checker and word suggestions.
The processor is made to help those who have a rudimentary knowledge of the Assamese language. The Unicode compliant software has a size of 7 mega bytes and has nearly 2.5 lakh Assamese words and 108 readymade Assamese phrases in its dictionary. The processor is based on the Microsoft dotnet platform.
"The programming of the processor is based on dotnet platform and C# language containing around 15,000 lines of code," Utpal Phukon, the only programmer in the Jahnabi team, said.
He added that the processor's beta version took almost 25 days to complete and the final software was designed in four months. The software gives automatic suggestions for words, for e.g, If you type the alphabet K the processor will give suggestions for all the words beginning with Ka like Kalam or Kamal. It also includes 600 Assamese idioms and the users also have an option to create a shortcut for frequently used idioms as well as create a dictionary for frequently used words.
"If one types the alphabets K and M, words like Kamal and Kamtapur would be listed. All one has to do is click on the word which is required from the list. This makes it easy for people who do not have an in-depth knowledge of the language," Sharmah said.
“The main aim to develop the processor is to popularize the Assamese language through Internet and social networking sites as most of the people in the State have rudimentary knowledge of the language due to reasons best known to them,” Sharmah added. "With more and more people using the computer on an everyday basis, writing mails and other articles in English is favoured. This advanced software tool, which also has a spell check in Assamese, was a long-felt need and we hope it will help in the learning of the Assamese."
According to Mridul Kumar Sharmah, one of the members of the team who built the system states, "The website www.jahnabi.org has received more than 60,000 hits and the free-of-cost software downloaded by more than 1,000 people since it was launched online on November 25 last."