RE: Braille rendering of Unicode [OT 50%]

Date: Thu Aug 10 2000 - 09:08:56 EDT

Steven R. Loomis wrote:
> [...] Presumably the unicode codepoints in braille
> would make a great format for these translations on their way to a
> printer. One would hope they would get such use and not simply for
> braille-looking characters on paper or screen.

You are right, I didn't catch it: the primary usage of these codes is
probably allow (intelligent) braille software to communicate with (stupid)
braille hardware.

But then I was probably not so wrong in calling these "presentation glyphs"
for braille.

> [...] Is there a standard file format for those devices?

I heard something called "Braille ASCII": I think it is a de-facto standard
to send data to braille device, and to exchange print-ready documents.

It is a 1-to-1 mapping between 6-dot braille cells and ASCII characters 0x20
to 0x5F.

The problem, as I understand it, is that this approach cannot be used with
8-dot braille, because a byte is not enough. In addition to the 256 braille
"glyphs", the printers need control characters for line break, page break,
device controls, etc. That's probably where the Unicode braille block comes
in, as you suggested.

> It sounded to me like a transliteration problem at first.

It is not a transliteration problem, in theory. But in practice the issue
involved must be very similar. E.g., the spelling rules could be slightly
different from print to braille (or even very different, in the case of CJK
ideographs, that have to be rendered phonetically). Moreover, like
transliteration, the convention are per language, not per script.

> I have somewhere a first cut at a unicode <-> braille mapping.

Wow! So something like this exists, somewhere...

_ Marco

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