braille

<human language> /breyl/ (Often capitalised) A class of writing systems, intended for use by blind and low-vision users, which express glyphs as raised dots. Currently employed braille standards use eight dots per cell, where a cell is a glyph-space two dots across by four dots high; most glyphs use only the top six dots.

Braille was developed by Louis Braille (pronounced /looy bray/) in France in the 1820s. Braille systems for most languages can be fairly trivially converted to and from the usual script.

Braille has several totally coincidental parallels with digital computing: it is binary, it is based on groups of eight bits/dots and its development began in the 1820s, at the same time Charles Babbage proposed the Difference Engine.

Computers output Braille on braille displays and braille printers for hard copy.

British Royal National Institute for the Blind.

Last updated: 1998-10-19

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Nearby terms: brace « bracket « bracket abstraction « braille » braille display » Braille embosser » Braille printer


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Copyright Denis Howe 1985

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