RE: Braille converter eases web use

From: Philippe Verdy (
Date: Fri Apr 13 2007 - 09:03:41 CST

  • Next message: Samuel Thibault: "Re: Braille converter eases web use"

    > -----Message d'origine-----
    > De : Samuel Thibault []
    > Envoyé : vendredi 13 avril 2007 16:31
    > À : Philippe Verdy
    > Cc : 'Andrew West'; 'Unicode Mailing List'
    > Objet : Re: Braille converter eases web use
    > Hi,
    > Philippe Verdy, le Fri 13 Apr 2007 13:24:22 +0200, a écrit :
    > > Is Braille international? I don't think so: each language has its own
    > set of
    > > supported characters for the Braille transliteration, and no Braille
    > system
    > > can support all languages or scripts, even if there are common subsets
    > for
    > > common scripts (basic letters, digits, a few punctuations and space, but
    > > even the way to transcribe the case differences are different. And
    > letters
    > > with diacritics are not always transcribed.
    > Exactly.
    > > The conversion process [...] depends on the correct identification of
    > > the source language, as well as on the preferred Braille language of
    > > the reader.
    > Yes, even within the France's french community, there are people who use
    > a different translation table than the official one, just because it's
    > the one of their device.
    > > So the best think that can be done is to adapt web sites so that they
    > are
    > > readable by external Braille processors, connected to the user's PC, and
    > > that the user can adapt to his preferences.
    > Agreed.

    One of the most wellknown organization working in France for the development
    of Braille reading is the "Association Valentin Hauÿe".

    Most of its work is in promoting the transcription of books and newspapers
    into the French Braille system. Its transcription conventions are the most
    widely used in France.

    Some of its works are interesting here, for example the publication of a
    Braille transcription for mathematical notation:

    The website of the association is not easy to find on Google, because the
    name of the association does not show on its main mape except within a top
    graphic banner; their website is usable however as it proposes three
    interfaces: for blind people, for vision-impaired people (larger text), and
    for people with normal vision.

    Note that this site publish its document in PDF format or in BRF format for
    the Braille readable version.

    The BRF format is mostly plain text, where some ASCII punctuation are used
    and combined to create an encoding that can be processed by automated
    Braille readers; the format is limited to 30 characters per line.
    This format also uses some directive lines to describe how the text is to be

    This system is using only 6-dot patterns (8-dot patterns are too difficult
    to recognize, and can cause confusion, so the extra dots are only used in
    very rare case).

    Some special letters are encoded with pairs of patterns, sometimes with
    three patterns for capitals (using another prefix).

    There's support for "decorated" Latin letter-like symbols, Greek and Hebrew
    letters, math operators, relations and comparators, set operators,
    intervals, notation of left or right indices and exponents, multiline
    brackets and parentheses, matrixes, beginning and end of blocks (for
    compound subexpressions), roots, arrows, diacritics, ...

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