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Constructing An Environment Set-up File

There are situations where BrailleMaster output is required in several different formats on different types of printers.

There could also be situations where the output device is the same, but different Braille rules should be applied. BrailleMaster allows simple and fast switching between such "environments" using the Environment Set-up File. By "environment" we mean a pair of a rule definition and printer definition files.

BrailleMaster's Environment Set-up file (SETUP.BM) can contain between one to ten pairs of Rule and Control files. Each pair specifies a working environment. (For example, the Everest Braille Embosser and English Grade 2 rules is one such typical environment.)

The name of the Set-up file must be always SETUP.BM for BrailleMaster to be able to find it on the hard disk. However, the names of the Rule and Control files are totally arbitrary and are defined within the Environment Set-up File. The order in which these file names are defined is important - this is how BrailleMaster determines which file is a Rule File and which is a Control File, as well as which pairs of Rule/Control Files are grouped together to form environment options to select from.

The names specified in the Set-up File must correspond to actual existing files, otherwise BrailleMaster would report an error and translation could not start.

In the Windows version of BrailleMaster, the contents of the Set-up File can be brought up in a window on the screen and edited.

In the Screen-based DOS version of BrailleMaster, the contents of the Set-up File are shown on the screen upon the start of the program. You can then select one of the options by moving a highlighted block using the cursor keys.

In the Command-Line DOS version, if there is more than one option in the Set-up file, the program prompts the user to enter the option name. A question-mark, followed by pressing the enter key, will display a complete list of options to choose from.

The structure of text in an Environment Set-up File is as follows:

OPTION1:
RULE_FILE_1
CONTROL_FILE_1

OPTION2:
RULE_FILE_2
CONTROL_FILE_2

OPTION3:
RULE_FILE_3
CONTROL_FILE_3

etc.

Each pair of Rule and Control Files is preceded by an Option Name. The Option Name is any combination of letters or digits up to 12 characters long. Upper or lower case characters make no difference.

RULE_FILE_1, _2, _3, etc., are names of Rule Files to be used in a particular combination with suitable Control Files named CONTROL_FILE_1, _2, _3, etc.

Following is the contents of SETUP.BM originally supplied with BrailleMaster. (This file may differ slightly in your version.)

An Environment Set-up File contains up to ten working options. Each option starts with the option name, terminated by a colon, followed by the names of the Rule File and the Control File, each occupying a separate line. Semicolons denote comments which are disregarded by the program and serve for reference purposes only.

emboss:
grade2.rul
plain.ctl

epson_text:
grade2.rul
epsontxt.ctl

epson_dot:
grade2.rul
epsongr1.ctl

epson_dip:
grade2.rul
epsongr2.ctl

laserjet:
grade2.rul
hplj.ctl

win_a4_port:
grade2.rul
win_a4p.ctl

win_a4_land:
grade2.rul
win_a4l.ctl

This particular Set-up file contains the following options:

Emboss: Useful for most general purpose Braille embossers. To adapt it to your system, you might wish to include specification of the paper length and width into the Control file PLAIN.CTL (or, preferably, copy PLAIN.CTL to a new file under your embosser name, and modify this new file). If your embosser has switchable character sets, then the one which is most likely going to work without the need to change the Braille code definition table is North American Braille.

Epson_txt: Used to print visual Braille as a sequence of dots and stars on an ordinary Epson compatible printer.

Epson_dot: Similar option which produces Braille as properly shaped dots using the graphic capabilities of the Epson printers.

Epson_dip: Another version of the previous option, which produces slightly different graphic output, which shows "dips" as small dots. Please note that there is also a EPSONGR3.CTL Control file which shows the "dips" as fine lines, as is customary in visual printing of Braille in various publications.

Laserjet: This option produces the highest quality of visual Braille on most Hewlett Packard laser printers. This Braille is suitable for stereo-photocopying or as camera-ready artwork for publishing (the Windows version printing as Graphics can produce an even better quality Braille on almost any graphics printer).

Win_a4_port: This option exists specifically for BrailleMaster for Windows, and for printing the Braille as graphics using the Graphics printing method. It only specifies the line length and page length for a standard size Braille. Reducing these will scale the Braille to fit on the page and so increase the size of the printed Braille, while increasing the line length and page length will decrease the size of the Braille.

Win_a4_land: This option also exists specifically for BrailleMaster for Windows, for printing Braille on landscape (sideways) oriented paper.


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