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Braille Formatter - Braifo Version 0.0.1

Date:     Tue, 27 Jul 1999 12:51:00 +0200 (CEST)
From:     Peter Nilsson <>
Subject:  Braifo 0.0.1 available

I am very happy to announce the availability of Braifo version 0.0.1. Braifo, the Braille Formatter, is a braille formatter and translator implementing a subset of the flow object classes defined by the DSSSL style language.

From the README file:

This is the first experimental release of Braifo, the braille formatter. See the file doc/index.html for some information on this software. Below are some short notes.

As stated above, this is experimental software. It contains a simple braille translator, which will be completely rewritten in later versions. It also contains a DSSSL formatter with basic functionality (see below).

What works?

The formatter has basic support for the following DSSSL flow objects:

  • sequence.

  • simple-page-sequence: This outputs all its contents on one long page and headers/footers are not supported. Margins, however, work and the page-width: characteristic.

  • paragraph: Lines are broken to fit in the display-size. start-indent:, end-indent: and first-line-start-indent: should work.

  • character: The characters are translated to braille using the braille translator. There is an additional inherited characteristic called braille-char-table: that determines which braille table to use. Its value shall be a public identifier for a braille table. When the braille translator is redone, this will probably change.

There are a lot of problems with the implementation. Known problems in the code are marked with comments starting with "FIXME".


This program uses the sp library for SGML parsing and Jade (libstyle) for DSSSL handling. If you would like to compile Braifo, you should install Jade, which is available from (libsp is included in the Jade distribution.) On some Linux distributions (at least Debian) jade is available as a binary package. Since Jade is not developed anymore, you might be interested in OpenJade, which is a direct derivative of Jade, actively developed by some people of the DSSSL community. The OpenJade home page is at


Contacting me

I'd very much like to hear from you if you have any suggestions or want to discuss the way braille conversion and/or formatting is done. My only experience is with Swedish braille and I would like to know if the conversion method is sufficient for other languages as well.

Discussions about Braifo should take place at the linux-braille mailing list. To subscribe, send a mail to with a line like this in the body: subscribe linux-braille YOUR_FIRST_NAME YOUR_LAST_NAME where the last two words should be replaced with your first and last names, respectively.

If you would like to contact me, the author of this software, directly, you are welcome to do so at The Braifo home page is at

/Peter Nilsson
'(?P . (?e . (?t . (?e . (?r)))))

DSSSList info and archive:

Prepared by Robin Cover for the The SGML/XML Web Page archive.

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