braille doesn't work at all under Ubuntu 8.04.1

Labrador labrad0r at
Wed Sep 3 23:35:46 BST 2008


On Wed, Sep 03, 2008 at 10:59:00PM +0200, Mgr. Janusz Chmiel wrote:
>    I would like to suggest You constructive approach to solve all 
> accessibility issues related to support for Orca and braille display.

I'm only reporting facts which make me victime of them: I'm a visually
impaired user.
>    Firstly, I think, that core developers of Ubuntu could make new desktop 
> link for starting Orca with brltty. I Am unfortunately not experienced 
> Gnome user, but may be, that adding sudo brltty and followed with line orca 
> could solve problems with automatic braille displays detection.

Sorry but the problem I encountered was only brltty and Ubuntu related, not
Orca-related; let me explain:
- I resolved now the problem by providing the right line into brltty.conf:
  braille-device usb:
But initially, Ubuntu provided a line as serial:ttyUSB:/ttyUSB: or so who is
a total nonsense; and then when I tried USB: with capital letters, it still
didn't worked while it had to do so...
Now I provided usb: in lowercas, spontaneously it works. That's not normal
- now it is corrected, I have braille as well under console as under Orca,
so that's why I say this is not an Orca + brltty related problem, but only
an Ubuntu + brltty problem
- last but least, even if I replaces the word auto by al for my Alva
braille-display, Ubuntu still continues to ask for which display it is at
any reboot time: this is an Ubuntu issue and an annoying bug, especially if
you are blind and can't see what hes's asking for on screen (no brailel at
that moment).

> I tried to type
> gnome-terminal followed by Enter
> I typed sudo brltty, and my USB connected Tieman braille voyager has been 
> successfully detected, initialized, and Brltty displayed correctly its 
> message screen is not in A text mode.

Well, under Gutsy I also had braille, with no need to type anything; the
problem is coming up now after installing Hardy from the last iso image.

>    So if Your model will not be automatically detected, may be, that You 
> could try to study command line parameters for Brltty to enable Your 
> specific model of braille display.

No, the model is al, I tried -b al and tried then -d usb: in lowercase, and
then I discovered what the bug was: USB: will not work, usb: will.

> And please, do not forget to type sudo brltty followed by A specific 
> parameters.

I did first a sudo su so I was permanently root.

> You also mentioned about issue, that Orca can not automatically use A 
> correct braille table for selected language. If You meaned by this, that 
> Orca should automatically select right braille table according to The 
> language, which user selected in The boot menu, there is difficulty related 
> to Brltty, not to The Orca Screen reader.

You're right, this is brltty-related: it is brltty who must autodetect
braille dispaly, and usb or so port, and forcing a certain brailel table
depending on the locale installed for the first Ubuntu account, that would
be logical.
BTW yesterday I discovered that Orca started in Dutch and that was the
language we choosed here for our installation; so I was wondered to see this
progress; this is logical but isn't currently for brltty, while I have
nothing to do with the us table.

> Eventhough Programmers fortunately are having procedure for detecting, 
> which language has been selected and they can automatically select specific 
> Espeak person for A specific language, automatically select braille table 
> is not so simply, as some users could think.

OK but for Orca+eSpeak it seems a workarfound have been done, or is it a
miracle that my Dutch Ubuntu was talking in Dutch too?
> If user want to use A specific braille table for A specific language, user 
> must modifi The file brltty.conf, which is located in The
> etc
> Directory.

Well that's not logical: if someone choosed fr_FR for his installation,
there exist a fr_FR table for brltty, so it would be logical to match the
brltty table with the locale.

> So open
> /etc/brltty.conf
> And try to analyze this file for Your wanted language. The language can 
> begin with
> #
> Character. To enable support for A specific language, remove The # 
> character at The beginning of A line, which is assigning The specific 
> language.
> Please, try to study manual for Brltty or try to directly communicate with 
> developer of Brltty latest version about those changes or if Your language 
> is not awailable.

I mean the translation table or text-table:
here in the North of Belgium we do use the de tbl, whle at Brussels and the
french part of Belgium they prefer the fr tbl; well in fact that's
absolutely not a problem: if the locale is fr_BE then brltty must be default
set to fr_FR tbl, while if the locale is nl_BE then brltty shall be set for
the de tbl. I suppose there is a similar choice in other countries, so
applying the technik of following the default locale may definitely resolve
this problem for all non-us countries.
> I Am aware, that modifiing this file is only possible, when Ubuntu Hardy 
> Heron or newest Ubuntu live CD version is allready installed on A hard 
> drive. My opinion is, that every think depends on The fact, how many 
> languages are predefined and are awailable in The /etc/brltty.conf
> file.

Mmm, no the question is: where does Ubuntu Installer register the resposne
that a user gave him regarding country and keyboard ? if that information is
used by the installer for installing the requested locale and language
packages, it might be used for brailel translation tables too.
> Please, I would like to please all users of Ubuntu to be more patient, core 
> developers of Ubuntu are doing their best and during next week, problems 
> related to accessibility will be solved. Even problem with Brltty could be 
> I think solved without many problems. If is it possible to type sudo brltty
> Orca to The Gnome desktop link for starting Orca.
> In The Ubuntu Feisty and gutsi, Brltty has been started during booting up, 
> much sooner than Gnome has been started. So I think, that brltty has been 
> started with Linux kernel probably.

BrlTty can be started very soon: under the Debian Etch Installer, brltty is
imediately started when the installer starts, so after having entered
brltty=bb,dd,tt (braille driver, device and table) after 1 second of startup
you have braille, that's very nice!
But first of all, the Ubuntu Accessibility team have to resolve all the
problems regarding braille support since they are becoming greater instead
of being resolved.
The major responsible of this is the serial to usb option: I can't
understand that choice;
the most of current displays are USB, serial is no longer the standard, and
bluetooth is very new but not the majority of displays are.
So why doesn't they simply debugged the Gutsy way of doing and implemented
that with the default locale-based texst-table ? 

Under Hardy we got braille with the us table, now I experienced what a
catastrophe it is to have no braille at all.

I now resolved my problem thanks to a sighted person: I installed ssh and
openssh-server at the laptop, and was able to connect me remotely and edit
then brltty.conf

But the presistent question at boot time continues to block me and blocking
the starting process.


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