phrase(1)phrase(1)NAMEphrase - Manages databases used with the phrase input method
SYNOPSISphrase [-user class | -system class]
The phrase command is used with the following options only to download
phrase data to the VT382-D Traditional Chinese terminal. For this ter‐
minal, phrase input is supported directly by hardware. See DESCRIPTION
for more information. Download the phrase information for the speci‐
fied class from the system phrase database to a Chinese terminal.
Download the phrase information of the given class from the user phrase
database to a Chinese terminal.
The phrase input method is supported in the Korean, Traditional Chi‐
nese, and Simplified Chinese environments. Phrase input is a shorthand
input method that automatically converts a keyword into a phrase. An
English text example would be to map the keyword dci to the phrase Das‐
comb Computers, Incorporated. In this case, when a user enters dci in
phrase input mode, Dascomb Computers, Incorporated immediately appears
on the screen.
Phrase input is supported by either hardware (specific Asian terminals)
or software. For the VT382-D Traditional Chinese terminal, phrase data
must be explicitly downloaded to the terminal. When entered with either
the -user or -system option, the phrase command performs the download
operation for this terminal.
For other Asian terminals in the VT382 family, phrase input is sup‐
ported through the SIM service. For these terminals, the stty command
both enables the SIM service and also specifies the set of phrase
information to be used with the phrase input method. See stty(1) for
For the DECwindows Motif or CDE environments, phrase input is supported
through the input method server. In these graphical user interface
environments, the phrase input method is enabled through the input
method application. Using the SIM service with terminal emulators in
these environments is not recommended because the SIM service uses the
26th line of a terminal screen. Terminal emulator windows do not con‐
tain a 26th line.
Without options, the phrase command invokes the utility that manages
and maintains the database that is used with the phrase input method.
By using this utility, you can add and modify phrase keywords and the
corresponding phrase strings in the database. You create key‐
word/phrase mappings within the context of phrase classes, which you
can also create through the utility.
Phrase Database Contents and Locations
This section describes the entities that the phrase utility creates and
manages and the locations of phrase databases on the system.
A phrase, or phrase definition, is a combination of graphic characters
in the range of hexadecimal values 0x20-0x7e and 0xa1-0xfe. The length
of a phrase definition can range from 1 to 80 bytes.
Each phrase is associated with a keyword, or phrase name, which is a
string of English alphanumeric characters. The length of a phrase name
is limited to 8 or fewer bytes.
A class is a group of related phrases. Each class is identified by a
class name. This name must be unique, must contain only ASCII printable
characters, and is limited to a length of 8 or fewer bytes.
Regardless of whether phrase input is being supported by hardware or
software, recognition of phrase names and conversion of phrase names to
phrases is done only within the context of a particular phrase class.
Therefore, phrases are always added, deleted, or modified in a class-
There are two kinds of phrase databases: systemwide and user specific.
There is only one systemwide phrase database and this is created and
maintained by the system manager when logged in as root. Non-privileged
users have only read access to the systemwide phrase database. On the
other hand, each user can create and maintain a personal phrase data‐
base. A user can access another user's personal phrase database only by
using a copy operation (assuming file protections allow this). In
other words, a user cannot directly use the phrase input method with
the private phrase database of another user.
A system or user phrase database is actually a set of locale-specific
databases. Phrase data files for different locales reside in different
subdirectories of the same base directory. (The base directory depends
on whether the phrase database is systemwide or user specific.) In each
locale subdirectory, two files, phrase.dat and class.dat, contain the
phrase database information for that locale.
The base directory locations of the system and user phrase databases
are determined by the sim service entry in the /var/i18n/conf/cp_dirs
file. This is true even when the phrase input method is not being sup‐
ported by the SIM service. See cp_dirs(4) for more details about this
Menu User Interface
When the phrase utility is invoked without any options, it enters into
a menu-driven mode. In this mode, you select the appropriate menu
option to make the utility perform a particular function.
The main menus appear on a horizontal bar at the top of the screen.
Selecting some items on a menu may display a submenu from which you
then select a function. In the upper right corner of the screen is the
name of the current database, which can be USER or SYSTEM, and the name
of the current phrase class.
When a menu option is highlighted, it can be selected by pressing the
Return key or the space bar. If the highlighted option is not the one
you want, you can highlight another option (if any) by pressing the
arrow key or a hot key. The hot key is shown within parenthesis () or
as an underlined letter. You can return from the current set of menu
options to the previous menu or exit the utility altogether by pressing
The following list summarizes the options on each main menu. Options
followed by an asterisk (*) produce submenus in which you choose either
the system or user database.
FILE Copy from Database (*) Load to Terminal (*) Exit
CLASS Create a class (*) View phrase in a class (*) Rename a class (*)
Delete a class (*) Select current class (*)
PHRASE Create phrase Modify phrase Delete phrase
LANGUAGE Local language English
When invoked without options, the phrase command runs the phrase util‐
ity rather than attempting to download data to a VT382-D terminal. The
phrase utility automatically accesses the appropriate default database
(systemwide for the root account and user for non-privileged users). If
this database does not exist, the utility will create the database from
data entered during the utility session.
Before invoking the utility, make sure that your locale setting is the
correct one for the phrases that you plan to enter. Refer to Chinese(5)
and Korean(5) for names of appropriate locales. Refer to locale(1) for
information about setting locale.
When using the phrase utility, you must first set the class name. By
default, the class name is set to DEFAULT. However, you can choose a
different class name by selecting the “Select current class” item of
the Class Maintenance menu.
The phrase utility supports a number of housekeeping functions. For the
following descriptions, remember that database ownership is determined
by user identity; only the root account owns the system database. You
can create a phrase database entry by specifying a phrase name and a
corresponding phrase definition. The phrase entry is created in the
database that you own and in the database subdirectory determined by
the current locale setting. The phrase belongs to the class that is
Duplicate phrase names are not allowed within a given class, but
phrases in different classes can have the same phrase name. In
the database that you own, you can modify phrase definitions but
not phrase names. (You can delete a phrase and recreate it to
associate a new name with a particular phrase.) You can delete
phrases in the current class from the database that you own.
You can create classes in the database that you own by selecting
the “Create a class” item on the CLASS menu and selecting either
the user or the system database to work with. Then you can enter
a new class name and start to specify the names and definitions
of the phrases to belong to this class. You can delete classes
from the database that you own. You can copy phrases from
another user's database or the system database to your own user
database. To copy phrases, select the “Copy from Database” item
on the FILE menu. If you choose to copy from another user's
database, you must enter the absolute path to the base directory
of that user's database. If the specified path includes a valid
database to which you have read access, a class selection menu
is displayed from which you can choose the classes you want to
copy. If the names of the classes to be copied are in conflict
with existing classes in your own database, you are offered the
option to rename the current conflicting classes. If conflicting
classes are not renamed, the phrases that they contain are not
The following information applies to Chinese terminals that use the SIM
service for phrase input support.
For most users, when the phrase utility is used to update the phrase
database, the appropriate simd daemon is notified of the database
update. However, this notification mechanism does not work in a dis‐
tributed environment. In other words, when the updated phrase database
on a remote system is mounted on the local system through NFS, the dae‐
mon on the local system is not notified of the update.
To work around this problem, the local user can enter the following
command to stop and restart the simd daemon so that it can access the
changed remote database:
% stty -sim % stty sim
In order for these commands to work, no other users on the local system
can be using the SIM service to access the remote phrase database when
the commands are entered.
Commands: locale(1), stty(1), simd(8)
Files: atty(7), cp_dirs(4)
Others: Chinese(5), Korean(5), sim(5)phrase(1)