The Liblouis software suite provides an open-source braille translator, back-translator and formatter for a large number of languages and braille codes. It is a set of libraries designed for use in any of a number of applications, both free and commercial. It is written in C so that it does not require a runtime environment and hence can be used in applications written in high-level languages such as Java and Python.
Google Open Source has announced their 2020 first quarter Google Open Source Peer Bonus winners, and the liblouis maintaines Bert Frees and Christian Egli are among the recipients!
This release contains major updates to Arabic, Dutch 8-dot computer braille, German, Russian computer braille, Ukrainian computer braille and Uzbek. Also there are new tables for Israeli multi-language Hebrew/Arabic/English braille and Malay. Aside from that there have been many code cleanups and bug fixes.
A tremendous amount of work by lots of different people has gone into this release. Bert Frees for example added new opcodes, fixed long standing bugs (with emphasis and capitalization), made the documentation more clear and helped table contributors bringing in their improvements. Bue Vester-Andersen added major improvements to Danish and German braille. This release also contains much improved tables for Afrikaans, Russian computer braille, Urdu and Chinese.
Liblouis is an open-source braille translator and back-translator named in honor of Louis Braille. It features support for computer and literary braille, supports contracted and uncontracted translation for many languages and has support for hyphenation. New languages can easily be added through tables that support a rule- or dictionary based approach. Tools for testing and debugging tables are also included. Liblouis also supports math braille (Nemeth and Marburg).
Liblouis has features to support screen-reading programs. This has led to its use in numerous open-source and proprietary screenreaders such as NVDA, Orca, BrailleBack and JAWS. It is also used in some commercial assistive technology applications for example by ViewPlus.
Liblouis is the translator of choice for Benetech’s Bookshare, providing braille access to more than 350,000 books to members worldwide. Bookshare currently offers titles in braille in more than a dozen languages, with the ability to quickly add new languages as translation tables become available.
Liblouis is based on the translation routines in the BRLTTY screenreader for Linux. It has, however, gone far beyond these routines. In Linux and Mac OSX it is a shared library, and in Windows it is a DLL.
Liblouis is free software licensed under the GNU Lesser GPL.
Liblouisutdml is an open-source braille formatter. The formatting can be configured via a style sheet. By incorporating Liblouis it provides the capability of translating any XML or plain text file into properly transcribed, embosser-ready braille. This includes translation into grade two, mathematical codes, etc.
Liblouisutdml is free software licensed under the GNU Lesser GPL.
There are several braille production systems based on Liblouis and/or Liblouisutdml.
BrailleBlaster, a joint project between ViewPlus Technologies, American Printing House for the Blind and Abilitiessoft, is aimed at hands-on production where every detail of the Braille is controlled via a graphical user interface.
DAISY Pipeline, backed by the DAISY Consortium, is aimed at automated, hands-off, high-volume production on the server.
Sao Mai Braille, a rich text editing and Braille translation software for Windows, is developed by Sao Mai Center for the Blind, a non-profit organization based in Vietnam.