[Accessibility] AT Device Shared I/O

Mario Lang mlang at debian.org
Thu Sep 11 09:12:36 PDT 2003

Bill Haneman <bill.haneman at sun.com> writes:

> Regarding the AT Device Shared I/O section:
> Note that we have candidate libraries/APIs for this in the 
> Linux space already, for instance libbrl and brltty.  Brltty has the
> disadvantage that it's GPL and not LGPL, but the libbrl license is
> either LGPL or something similar like BSD.

The disadvantage of libbrl however is that it does not meet the goals
states in this section.
A mechanism which is responsible for sharing braille device I/O
has to be as independent from any other components on the system
as possible.  Especially, to guarantee a good System Administrator
support, such a solution should be able to run without needing
any components of the /usr filesystem, since that is usually a separate
partition on a typical Linux setup, and is mounted later in the
boot process than the root partition.

Additionally, we are missing a console screen reader if we are using
libbrl, so that would need to be implemented, in addition
to the above mentioned problem.
BRLTTY has gone a long way already to ensure that it is as independent
of any libraries as possible, except libc, libm and libdl.  It has also
received a lot of work to ensure that overall binary size is as small as
possible (and configurable), since it should eventually fit onto installation
media such as floppy disks or the limited initial Floppy size of 2.88MB
on a bootable CD-ROM.

That said, I am working on evaluating the fesability of relicensing the
libbrlapi code parts of BRLTTY under the LGPL.  Would such a change eliminate
the problems you see with BRLTTY, or do you think other changes are necessary?

  Mario | Debian Developer <URL:http://debian.org/>
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