BrailleMaster Resource Page

The facts about LOUIS

Before the arrival of BrailleMaster, programs which performed text-to-Braille conversion were based on a fixed set of rules, defined by the programmer. As Braille code is quite complex, and, like a living language, subject to evolutionary (and sometimes revolutionary) changes, it often happens that fixed-rule Braille translation programs do not follow precisely the particular Braille code which they are supposed to represent. Any change of official code definition also results in the need for a new program version (more often than not, at the expense of the Braille user).

BrailleMaster makes it possible, for the first time, for the user to directly access and adapt the translation mechanism of a Braille translator. In BrailleMaster, the Braille translation mechanism ("the rules") are stored quite separately from the main program, in a human-readable form, thus allowing for continuous improvements and upgrades of Braille rules, to precisely follow official changes in Braille code.

Also for the first time, Braille users also have the opportunity to modify or construct their own Braille translation rules, regardless of language or application, to suit their particular everyday requirements. (For example, a blind lawyer can create special word contractions and abbreviations for words frequently used in the legal profession, etc.)

BrailleMaster does all this with the introduction of a symbolic language called LOUIS, which is simple to use, yet powerful and flexible enough to be able to define Braille rules for most national languages, as well as for special applications.

The name LOUIS has been chosen as a tribute to Louis Braille. Robotron has conceived LOUIS in order to produce better Braille code and to provide the public with the ultimate tool in Braille production and research. Such a universal tool has been long overdue.

The LOUIS-defined rules are stored in easy to read text files called Rule Files. The precise structure of these files and the symbology used for Braille rule construction is described in detail in the BrailleMaster Tutorial.

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