[Accessibility] Re: Localized braille (Was: Gnopernicus and ISO-Latin2 characters)

Sébastien Sablé sable at users.sourceforge.net
Fri Aug 26 02:12:10 PDT 2005

Hi Samuel,

I would be very happy to see more cooperation on this subject of 
international Braille transcription. I have started to harvest 
information about Braille in different languages on the Web or from 
various mailing-lists/associations/braille authorities, and this has 
proven to be quite difficult for many reasons. More collaboration on 
this would certainly make things go faster.

I have put all the documentation that I found so far on this web page:

I also started to collaborate with Bill Haneman from the gnome-braille 
project, so that we now have a common format for Braille tables (not 
perfect, but a nice start):

Bill and I have also started to generate quite a few tables using this 
common format which are now in gnome-braille and libbraille:

I have also worked on an online Braille transcription tool which has 
proven quite usefull to test those tables with people who want to help 
improve a table but may not necessarily want to install software on 
their computer just to check that the transcription is done ok:

Concerning the dependencies of a common transcription library, I am 
afraid it would be difficult to do without glib: there are few good 
portable libraries that I know which can handle unicode (IBM ICU, Apache 
apr, Qt...)  and glib is one of the most complete and IMHO one of the 
most commonly found on a standard Linux installation.

Anyway I am looking forward the coming discussions we may have on an 
ally mailing-list.


Sébastien Sablé

Samuel Thibault a écrit :
> BTW,
> Remus, I bounced you a proposition from Erkki Kolehmainen about having
> localized braille patterns included in the Unicode Common Locale Data
> Repository (CLDR [1]), because I'm not sure whether you are subscribed
> to brltty at mielke.cc or accessibility at a11y.org.
> I've added quite a lot of Ccs. Sorry for such broadcasting, but I think
> the issue is important. Maybe a mailing list could be setup at a11y.org
> for people interested in the discussion.
> Brass, brltty, gnopernicus, libbraille, suse blinux, etc. are all
> software that need to translate text into braille patterns. For now,
> each of them have their own (more or less complete) algorithms and
> tables for various encodings, languages and countries.
> Erkki proposed to have at least those tables collected in CLDR. This
> seems quite nice since CLDR people are rather good at handling such
> data. I listened again to the record of the FSG meeting in Hawaii: this
> very issue was raised, but no solution had emerged. Erkki now proposes
> one.
> But more than that, it would be useful to have a single library using
> these tables, that every software would be able to use. Because
> elaborating braille is _not_ an easy task at all :)
> The experimental gnome-braille software from Bill is a bit similar
> to such library. In a few words (please correct me if I'm wrong), it
> is able to turn utf-8 text into braille dots and display them via
> libbraille or on braille mon. It takes into account the limited width of
> the actual display, and lets the application control how it is scrolled.
> Maybe this is a good start, I don't know. Libbraille already uses it in
> his experimental unicode translator.
> There are of course issues. And they need to be discussed, because else
> people will probably not use gnome-braille or whatever library that
> could get developped, and they will eventually rather develop their own
> algorithms, which is just duplicated work.
> Some examples of issues that I personally see are that it uses
> libgobject and libglib, while screen readers tend to be as small as
> possible, for embedded devices or installation images ; the features
> that gnome-braille proposes also seem a bit mixed: it proposes braille
> translation, display width management and braille output, all in one,
> while I would have rather seen 3 separate libraries.
> I guess that for instance Brass/brltty/suse blinux would rather be
> interested in a very simple library, with no libgobject/libglib
> dependency, which just provides localized braille translation (actually,
> roughly what gnome-braille's braille-encoder.h and braille-table*.h
> declares). It could be seen as a braille equivalent to the mb*towc*(),
> iconv(), setlocale() etc. functions, so I'm not sure whether this should
> remain in the gnome project. Erkki, maybe you would have more precise
> opinion on this?
> Gnopernicus could then be interested in a complementary library that
> takes care of screen width and scrolling.
> And eventually, for applications (or even gnopernicus, I don't know),
> facilities to connect that to actual output (braille monitor / BrlAPI /
> libbraille) could be useful indeed.
> Well, that was just to give a first opinion. This really needs discussed
> somehow. Probably not using all those mailing lists but some new list,
> though.
> Regards,
> Samuel
> [1] http://www.unicode.org/cldr
> _______________________________________________
> gnome-accessibility-list mailing list
> gnome-accessibility-list at gnome.org
> http://mail.gnome.org/mailman/listinfo/gnome-accessibility-list

More information about the Accessibility mailing list