RE: Survey: An SDK for proprietary systems

  • From: "Ken Perry" <whistler@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <programmingblind@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 11 Dec 2009 11:45:57 -0500



We used to run a simulator but it became a bit of work to keep up.  We are
going to be running one again on ubuntu9.10 once we move our dev platform
over to it. Or once we get it working again if that means on the current
Fedora boxes that s fine with me.  It's not hard though to develop on two
linux boxes mounted to each other which in short is what our dev boxes and
the Icon/Braille+ is.  What I do is mount my hard drive and flash over to my
dev box and it's like developing right on the device.




From: programmingblind-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
[mailto:programmingblind-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Chris Hofstader
Sent: Friday, December 11, 2009 7:09 AM
To: programmingblind@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: Re: Survey: An SDK for proprietary systems


I would also bet that the GNU/Linux solutions like Icon will be more able to
provide a way you can code, test, debug a lot of your program on a desktop
system (Ubuntu for instance) before adding the platform specific stuff and
moving it to the unit.  A Pac Mate programmer has a sort of simulator for
VisualStudio on Windows but, for all intents and purposes, it is hopelessly


I might even guess that Icon has a simulator that would run on the gnome
desktop but that's just a guess based on really old information.



On Dec 10, 2009, at 11:13 PM, Joseph Lee wrote:


I was talking about the three popular ones - BrailleNote, Braille Sense and
PAC Mate. (Thanks for reminding about Icon though).


From: programmingblind-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
[mailto:programmingblind-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Ken Perry
Sent: Thursday, December 10, 2009 6:58 PM
To: programmingblind@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: RE: Survey: An SDK for proprietary systems





This is not true braille plus and Icon can do third party software anything
that runs on OE linux and anything someone wants to write in python.




From: programmingblind-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
[mailto:programmingblind-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Joseph Lee
Sent: Thursday, December 10, 2009 4:58 PM
To: programmingblind@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: Survey: An SDK for proprietary systems


Dear programmers and engineers,

This is Joseph Lee, a computer science student at University of California,
Riverside. The reason for writing this post is to gather your thoughts and
opinions about a subject that I think a lot of you would be familiar with.

As of 2009, we have numerous blindness PDA's and notetakers on the market,
such as BrailleNote from HumanWare, Braille Sense from HIMS/GW Micro and PAC
Mate from Freedom Scientific. Off all these products, only PAC Mate allows
development of third-party software via SDK's and IDE for Windows Mobile,
such as Visual Studio and BASIC4PPC. For other products, there is no SDK for
KeySoft (BrailleNote) for individuals and an SDK exists for Braille Sense
(in language other than English).

As a student, I thought I could use my BrailleNote as a "test platform" to
develop programs for KeySoft and practice programming skills with it.
However, when I enquired about availability of keySoft SDK (via asking
another person to ask for me), the only response was that only companies who
shows interest in BrailleNote can consult with HumanWare for writing
programs for BrailleNote. A notable example is BrailleNote GPS from Sendero
Group. In other words, there is no widely available SDK so that an
individual can write external applications for KeySoft (just like Blazie
programmers had done and PAC Mate programmers are doing now). While I was
thinking about this, I remembered this list, thus deciding to appeal to you
as to what should I (and other potential student programmers) who are BN
users should do (in order to persuade HumanWare so that an individual can
write external software with a widely available SDK for KeySoft). This
persuasion, if successful with HumanWare, could work with HIMS/GW Micro to
port Braille Sense SDK to English.

I thought of this list mostly because we have programmers who have
experience with this kind of issue, thus can give us (students and users of
these systems) some recommendations as to what we should do.

]Here are the issues at hand:

.         If we want competetiveness, I believe that an SDK for BrailleNote
should be widely available (with a cost) so that individual programmers can
develop useful programs for it.

.         With the availability of this SDK, blind programmers can write
programs for the blind - thus giving back to the BrailleNote user community.

.         In case of an SDK for Braille Sense, if an SDK is available in one
language (in this case, Korean), then I believe that it should be available
in English as well (where we have more potential for useful external

So I (and others) would like to ask you as to your opinions and
recommendations as to what we should do next (as a collective action). Thank
you for your considerations.


Joseph S. Lee

University of California, Riverside

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