PEF goes mobile

Today, PEF goes mobile with the iOS app PEF Viewer. The app is an open source initiative enabling easy access to PEF-files on the go. With PEF Viewer you can open PEF-files received via e-mail, Dropbox or other sources. The viewer can display braille patterns or one of several translations. It is also possible to navigate to a specific page, section or volume.

The primary target group for the app is braille producers and not braille users (as one might have expected). This is mainly due to limited development resources and lack of proper testing equipment. If you feel that this is outrageous, you are encouraged to amend the situation by contributing to the project on GitHub.

Easy Embossing Utility updated

Easy Embossing Utility has been updated. The new version is available for download from Google code. In the eight days the release has been available, it has been downloaded close to 100 times, without any public announcement!

The new release contains a reworked UI and better support for variable line spacing. In addition, changes made to the open file will be reflected in the preview on browser refresh.

Dotify 2.0 available for download

Dotify 2.0 is now available for download and promises a huge improvement when it comes to enabling collaborative efforts. Its usefulness as a standalone application has also been improved. Out of the box, only Swedish braille is supported. However, it may be quite simple to add support for another locale (if you’re a developer, that is). In addition, XML-documents can be formatted as text with hyphenation support for over 50 languages.

Welcome braille enthusiasts

We welcome you, braille enthusiasts around the world! In the last 30 days we have had visits from over 20 nations (and even more in the last quarter). We’d like to think that this shows that braille technology can be of international relevance. Feel free to post a comment and let us know more about your visit.

20121108-082858.jpg

Pipeline 2 Braille modules 1.0 released

About a week ago, the 1.0 version of the Braille production modules for the DAISY Pipeline 2 was made available for download at: https://code.google.com/p/daisy-pipeline/downloads/list?q=Dist%3DBraille

The DAISY Pipeline 2 is an ongoing project to develop a framework for automated production of accessible materials for people with print disabilities. The braille modules were developed by Bert Frees at SBS (Swiss Library for the Blind and Visually Impaired).

Here at pef-format.org, we are specifically happy that the Braille modules provide support for the production of PEF from DAISY AI (NISO Z39.98-2012 – Authoring and Interchange Framework for Adaptive XML Publishing) documents.

Proposal to add paper size and margins to the pef specification

In the current version of the specification the embossable area is equal to the size of the physical page. The pef-format should be capable of expressing the width and height of the physical page as well as the position of the embossable area on the physical page.

The information in the current version of the specification is sufficient using sheet paper in a manually monitored process. However, if the production involves multiple paper sizes and if an embosser is used that can output different paper sizes without physically changing the paper feed, the above addition would greatly simplify this process.

In addition, if a file has empty margins it might theoretically be embossable on an embosser that fails to do so using the current version of the specification. The reason being that some embossers cannot emboss on the entire surface of the physical page. If the margins were excluded from the content, the number of embossers compatible with any given file would increase.

PEF receives the Braille21 Award

So far the Braille21 conference has truely been a blast, but nothing can top this morning’s event, I am sure. ¬†This morning, the winner of the Braille21 Award was presented and I am proud to announce that the PEF format was the winner of the Braille21 Award! This will have a huge impact on the adoption of PEF in everyday braille products and, ultimately, the amount of braille available to braille users everywhere.