[gs-devel] Ghostscript Driver for a Braille Printer
Matthew T. Atkinson
matthew at agrip.org.uk
Tue Nov 23 14:32:54 PST 2004
I've been on this list for a while but have not posted yet. I am a 4th
year Computer Science student at Loughborough University in the UK. My
final year project is concerned with making lecture notes accessible to
blind students in the department. Part of this work involves writing a
driver for the Braille embosser we have (a ``Tiger Advantage'', created
by ViewPlus Technologies) that will run on UNIX-like OSes.
I am hoping to create a Ghostscript driver for this printer, so thought
it would be a good idea to introduce myself to the list and ask you a
few questions about your development polices.
Firstly, I would like to know if this is the type of thing you'd be
willing to include in the mainstream (GPL) Ghostscript distribution.
We're hoping that this is the case, so that we can ensure that all
lecturers will easily be able to print their notes to the Braille
printer (as GPL Ghostscript is included in most distributions of
The back-end would be similar to many others. It is primarily going to
be used for printing input generated from LaTeX documents that have been
processed to use a braille font. Later on, I hope to experiment with
other formats such as converting LaTeX to XML (in an effort to make the
maths more accessible).
I hope to tie up the Ghostscript back-end to CUPS eventually so that the
Tiger can be seen simply as a normal printer as far as the lecturers are
One potential issue I can see you as Ghostscript developers having with
this project is that the core driver for the printer is, alas, binary
only. I am hoping to create a GPL wrapper (and stub library, perhaps)
that could be included in Ghostscript but would only function fully if
the core library was replaced by the one that can be downloaded (which
I'm in the process of porting to PPC from x86).
I don't mean to start a flame war by asking for my future wrapper and
stub code to be included -- I just wanted to see what people's initial
thoughts on it were. I hope that in the future we may see truly Free
drivers for Braille printers but, sadly, the current market situation
wouldn't reward a company that provided one.
I think I've gone on for long enough. I hope that I'll be able to
contribute to Ghostscript -- it would make a huge difference to all of
the students who currently can't access LaTeX-based lecture notes.
I hope to hear your opinions soon!
bye just now, best regards,
Matthew T. Atkinson <matthew at agrip.org.uk>
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