Feature proposal: Braille Translator for Print Documents


Having access to documents in braille is essential for users who are

* Real-time access to printed content (in the classroom, in meetings,
  and in any other place where one's peers are expected to read/refer
  to print content at that moment)
* Braille literacy is key to education, employment, and independence [1]
  (more scholarly research/journal articles available upon request)

Module proposed

In order to fulfill this feature, we propose Dots which already uses the
GNOME infrastructure [2][3][4].


Fernando Herrera and Joanmarie Diggs.

Note: At the present time, Fernando Herrera is the sole module
maintainer. But he and Joanmarie have discussed the possibility of
Joanmarie joining him as a maintainer and have agreed that this will

Involved parties

Accessibility team

Current Status

Dots was originally created by Eitan Isaacson in 2009 and subsequently
improved by Fernando Herrera in 2010 through the support of the
Consorcio Fernando de los Ríos in Andalucía Spain. At this time, it is
capable of:

* Translation of plain text, odt, html, and pdf documents
* Support for all of the braille translation tables available in
  liblouisxml [5]
* Customizable formatting of the output output (cells per line, lines
  per page, etc...)
* Ability to edit the translation tables
* Sending the output as ASCII Braille to braille embossers

The most immediate changes which need to occur for inclusion as an
official GNOME application are:

* Move from PyGTK to the new introspection-based bindings [6]
* Migrate to GSettings [7]
* Gtk+ H/V Subclass Deprecations [8]
* Fix any major bugs, presently just one [9]

Having made the above changes, we feel that Dots will be suitable as a
basic braille translator for documents. Joanmarie has a patch for bug.
She has mostly completed the introspection port and Gtk+ deprecations
and plans to provide a patch in the near future for Fernando to review,
after which time she will tackle the migration to GSettings.

Joanmarie and Fernando have additional features and other improvements
in mind and hope to steadily progress Dots from a functional utility
into a true competitor for the commercial equivalent software [10].


This proposal would include a need to make liblouisxml a required
external dependency. However, we do not think this will pose a hardship
to distros as liblouisxml is "liblouisxml is considered stable and in
maintenance mode." [5]


[1] http://www.cnib.ca/en/living/braille/literacy/
[2] https://live.gnome.org/Dots
[3] http://git.gnome.org/browse/dots
[4] https://bugzilla.gnome.org/browse.cgi?product=dots
[5] http://code.google.com/p/liblouisxml
[6] https://bugzilla.gnome.org/show_bug.cgi?id=661933
[7] https://bugzilla.gnome.org/show_bug.cgi?id=661935
[8] https://bugzilla.gnome.org/show_bug.cgi?id=661934
[9] https://bugzilla.gnome.org/show_bug.cgi?id=661910
[10] http://www.duxburysystems.com/dbt.asp?product=DBT%20Win


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