Now available at http://EmpowermentZone.com/wbtsetup.exeWinBT 2.0 is an updated distribution of the NFBTrans braille translator (BT), and the associated WinTrans graphical user interface (GUI). The original programmers are no longer active in the project, and the wintrans-bt.org web site is discontinued. Maintenance of NFBTrans has been led by Steve Jacobson as Vice President of the NFB in Computer Science. He recruited additional programmers, and improved the default configuration settings of NFBTrans.
The original author of WinTrans chose not to reveal his or her identity, using the name "Anonymous John" instead. Since several years had elapsed since then (2003), we tried to find the author in case he or she now wished to be publicly acknowledged. Ultimately, we found him via Tom Dimeo, who had introduced WinTrans to the world in a podcast of the Main Menu program by ACB Radio (an audio tutorial included in this distribution). The two of them communicated about this new effort, and George McCoy has now authorized us to disclose that he is the one who authored WinTrans.
Recent discussion about improving NFBTrans has occurred on the email list called "ProgrammingBlind," to which one can subscribe through the web site
The WinTrans source code, WinTrans.bas, was recompiled by Jamal Mazrui using PowerBASIC 10.0, a commercial compiler available at
The original distribution files for NFBTrans and WinTrans, nfbtr774.zip and winbt.zip (renamed from winbt.exe), are included in the WinBT program directory. Also included there is the first public release of the WinTrans 1.0 source code in the PowerBASIC language, contained in WinTrans.zip. By default, the program directory is located at
C:\WinBT The WinBT installer, wbtsetup.exe, may be downloaded at http://EmpowermentZone.com/wbtsetup.exe A zip archive containing the same files is available at http://EmpowermentZone.com/wbtsetup.zip This documentation is also available online at http://EmpowermentZone.com/WinBT.htmThe updated distribution can give a new life to WinTrans and NFBTrans. The installer makes the braille translator friendly to install, use, and learn. The documentation gives developers information about recompiling the source code, thus opening a possible path to improvements contributed by the open source community. The original WinTrans and NFBTrans archives are also included, so that anyone can start from there instead if preferred.
WinBT 2.0 has resulted from constructive collaboration among various parties for the common good of blind people. Although imperfections undoubtedly remain, there is clear progress that is worth sharing. We hope these contributions extend the value of NFBTrans and related technologies to users of electronic braille!
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