Distributing braille documens digitally, suggestions please

Mario Lang mlang at teleweb.at
Fri Oct 14 09:23:12 UTC 2005

Samuel Thibault <samuel.thibault at ens-lyon.org> writes:

> Lloyd Rasmussen, le Thu 13 Oct 2005 10:20:00 -0400, a écrit :
>> The Unicode range 2800-28ff is the "official" way to represent any 8-dot 
>> braille pattern, but I don't know whether anyone actually uses and supports 
>> it.
> BRLTTY does support it when getting input from BrlAPI clients.
> Braille tables in gnome-braille use it too.
Yes, but is there any software out there to convert the Unicode
representation to the local charset used?  It doesnt help much
if I distribute stuff in the correct technical way, but no one can
make use of it without jumping through hoops.  I.e, can JAWS
read unicode braille formatted text files?  Can I read them on
Linux console with brltty?

>> >Now, how would you go about distributing braille in an electronic
>> >format over the internet?
> Just using the U+2800 unicode range should be fine. Of course, some
> ASCII textual hint at the beginning of the document about the language
> of the document might help indeed (so as to know whether this is
> Japanese or English, for instance...)

The person capable of reading braille will easily decipher it correctly.

>> > In particular, I am thinking about braille music notation,
> There is the U+1D100 Unicode range for plain music. I don't know whether
> there exist an agreement on how a record should be written precisely,
> but symbols are there to be used.
Fine, but this is no use to me since I can not see them.
Braille music has been especially designed for reading it with
the fingers, there is no staff and things are not written vertically
as with music for sighted people.  I would very much prefer
to use a format accessible to blind and sighted people in the same way,
but I haven't come across that kind of solution yet.
Ideally, of course, we should hack Lilypond to create a new
output type for braille music, then, I could just write .ly files
and either generate PostScript or braille formatted ascii files.
But, Lilypond is a complicated beast, at least to me.
www.mutopiaproject.org contains so much free music, it would
be a blast if we could just download the .ly files and create
braille versions out of that.

>> >Is there actually a standard way of specifying an ASCII files braill
>> >encoding, or will I have to rely on guesswork?
> ASCII is just characters 0-127.
Gah, nitpicking, you know what I ment :)

> Now, about just braille encoding, there is the ISO/TR 11548-1 8-bit
> encoding, which is used by BRLTTY, gnopernicus, BrlAPI, ...
Fine, how do I convert an arbitrary braillecharset to
that ISO thing?  And back again?

>> How about encoding variants?
> Manufacturers have other encodings, but they are no standards.

YOu dont get my drift.  I am talking about localisation here.
Nearly every country has a different mapping from ASCII to
braille.  This means if I view a text file with a german
table, it looks differently than if I view it with a US table.


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