Arabic Computing Archive
Lately, I have been reading and listening to podcasts on the history of computers. I noticed that there is a lot of material, from books to wikis, on computer related histories and references, but there is hardly anything about the Arab world and computers that goes beyond just computing usage. Regardless of the historical reasons behind the shortage of Arab-related initiatives that relate to computers, what if we make an effort to document what is out there? Maybe it generates some interests in building something new and innovative for the future Arab generations. My career in computers spans over three decades, using computers as a profession, thinking about computers when not working, and developing non-Arabic solutions for my employers. It is about time to do something that provides some support to my culture even if I lived most part of my life away from the Arab world.
The plan is to build a running archive of Arabic computer content that should include:
- list of computer hardware that was localized for the Arabic language
- list of computers that were primarily made for Arabic societies. These include electronics and toys.
- list of computer software that was developed for the Arabic communities. This includes business software, games, educational software, and anything software related
- list of companies that focused on software for the Arabic-speaking comunities
- list of computer magazines and books that were published for the Arabic community
- technology resources that support the Arabic language. This includes dialects, Arabic fonts, character sets, natural language processing (NLP) algorithms, chat bots, voice assistance, translation, data sets, and various other software that is currently active for the Arabic language.
- set of podcast interviews with key figures in the Arab computer world
- statistical list of popular Arabic-related code repositories
- links to active crowd sourcing activities that support the Arabic language in computers and technology
- a forum for Arab people to share thoughts and ideas on how we can improve the computer industry in the Arab world
- translate everything I said above to be in Arabic. That is because my predominant language is English even though I was born in Lebanon
The work is going to be exhaustive, mainly because of the lack in sufficient resources online. Attempts will be made to contact people, collect the data, organize the data, and ultimately make everything available in open source/open data/gnu license form, hopefully, Arabic and in English on https://arabic.computer. The purpose, once again, is to contribute to the Arabic community by offering them an organize view of what was done in the past, what is out there, and what ideas can we take to build useful and cool things for our Arabic-speaking future generations even if, like the case of my kids, Arabic is not their primary language.
- outline the structure of the content and the format
- setup http://arabic.computer hosting and domain
- decide on the CMS solution and the workflow for data entry and content publishing
- promote the site so as to encourage others to share their research material
- setup a podcast framework which includes interviewing, editing, and publishing
- determine the level of automation needed for the site and methods of self-service
more brainstorming!tags: arabic - arabic.computer - archive