[Blindmath] UEB again (was Braille code urgency)

Steve Jacobson steve.jacobson at visi.com
Sun Dec 4 22:15:25 CST 2011

Thank you for answering my questions.  I have to think about this some, and I do understand that this list is probably 
not the forum to engage in a long discussion, but I do believe that we are all going to need to develop an 
understanding of various positions to make an intelligent decision.  I appreciate you helping me to do that.  

Best regards,

Steve Jacobson

On Sun, 4 Dec 2011 15:39:36 -0800, John Gardner wrote:

>Hi Steve.  I do not intend to get into an argument, particularly with people
>like Sina and Michael, who are good friends.  I do not pretend to have a
>direct line to God, so I am just stating my own opinions.  We certainly are
>not gonna agree on everything.  If we did there wouldn't be a lot of point
>to a discussion!  You asked me some questions, and I am happy to answer them
>interlined below.

>-----Original Message-----
>From: blindmath-bounces at nfbnet.org [mailto:blindmath-bounces at nfbnet.org] On
>Behalf Of Steve Jacobson
>Sent: Sunday, December 04, 2011 1:34 PM
>To: Blind Math list for those interested in mathematics
>Subject: Re: [Blindmath] UEB again (was Braille code urgency)
>John, I am curious to get your perspective on a couple of things.  Let me
>say clearly that I have looked at both UEB 
>and NUBS samples and I can't say that I see a clear winner.  You said that
>people would not accept dropped 
>numbers because punctuation occurs more often.  I think that there is some
>truth to this, but I find that position to be 
>inconsistent with the dot 6 numbers that would have to replace many signs.
>What am I missing?  
>JAG: Good question Steve.  The Unified Braille Code committee was instructed
>by BANA to make minimal changes to Grade 2 braille and to expand the
>noncontracted code to its heart's content.  The symbols used for dot-6
>numbers are unused in noncontracted braille.  Dropped letters are
>punctuation marks in non-contracted braille.  So noncontracted braille would
>need to have its numbers changed whether one adopts dot-6 or dropped
>numbers, but the latter would cause punctuation to be changed as well.  If
>one adopts dot-6 numbers, one way to change grade 2 would be that the
>symbols following the number sign would not be a b c but would be those
>letters with an additional dot-six.  Basically the number sign would be a
>"switch to grade 1 for this string" indicator.  Of course it is also
>possible to keep grade 2 as it is and just have a number non-uniformity
>between grade 1 and grade 2.  In my opinion this is a pretty minimal
>non-uniformity and one I'd be happy to accept.  Adopting dropped numbers
>would either result in a major change to grade 2 braille or a major
>non-uniformity.  Maybe you now understand why the vote against dropped
>numbers was 7-1.  I would have voted that way myself.

>Please understand 
>I'm not saying that dot 6 numbers are necessarily a bad idea, only that it
>is an example of why I don't see a clear path 
>forward.  You mentioned 95 ASCII symbols, but Unicode raises that number,
>JAG: Of course there are many more than the 95 printable ASCII symbols, but
>computer software is almost universally written using only those 95
>characters.  The computer braille code is supposed to be a 1-1
>representation of computer braille.  We may argue about whether math braille
>code numbers need to be unique, but there is no argument when you are
>talking about computer braille.  UBC was supposed to be a uniform code for
>literary, math, and computer braille.  The latter goes right out the window
>if there are no number symbols.


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