Distributing braille documens digitally, suggestions please

Mario Lang mlang at teleweb.at
Fri Oct 14 09:06:22 UTC 2005

Lloyd Rasmussen <lras at loc.gov> writes:

> 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.

Yes, thats the point of my question, I was aware of the Unicode
range for Braille, but this is no use as long as it is not supported
on the client sides...

> Also I would expect problems (in 6-dot braille) with different
> embossers and page sizes.  Or are you contemplating only reading
> this braille on refreshable displays?

Well, the ideal would be if the material provided could be either
viewed on a refreshable display or printed with a braille embosser. I am
aware of page size and line length issues.  I guess for this
to really work with embossers, I'll have to write some CGI script which
reformats the content at presentation time so that the user
could choose a format.  However, this feels like much work for a very
little subgroup since I have a feeling that not many blind people
own embossers today.  At least I never did, and I actually know no one
in my area with a personal embosser.
Leaving printing aside for a while, the dot table difrrence
issue still stands.  How did people solve this in the past?

> At 09:26 AM 10/13/2005, you wrote:
>>As we all know, braille is differently standardized in nearly every
>>country (I so wish I could hurt the people responsible for that).
>>Now, how would you go about distributing braille in an electronic
>>format over the internet?  In particular, I am thinking
>>about braille music notation, which is in essence standardized
>>the same way in the US and in the EU, but there still remains
>>the "charset" problem.  Is there actually a standard way
>>of specifying an ASCII files braill encoding, or
>>will I have to rely on guesswork?  How about encoding variants?  How
>>can I guarantee that the table used by the user of the document is
>>the same as the standard for that country defines?  Questions
>>over questions.  Its a horrible mess, I hope someone has a nice
>>and technically feasable solution for this.
>>   Mario
> ... Creating implements of mass instruction.
> Lloyd Rasmussen, Senior Staff Engineer
> National Library Service f/t Blind and Physically Handicapped
> Library of Congress    (202) 707-0535   <http://www.loc.gov/nls/z3986>
> HOME:  <http://lras.home.sprynet.com>
> The opinions expressed here are my own and do not necessarily represent 
> those of NLS.


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