Programmers who are experienced in Java and SWT can make real contributions to the development of this software for blind and low vision people. Technical writers who can help in the preparation of manuals and tutorials can also make great contributions. Testers who are willing to put the software through its paces are very valuable. So are translators who can render the tutorials and manuals into other languages. If you are interested, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
If you would like to build BrailleBlaster for yourself or port
BrailleBlaster to a platform where it is not already available see the
next paragraph. The source code is in the repository at
This is a Mercurial repository. BrailleBlaster is built using Ant.
To build BrailleBlaster from scratch, clone the repository. Download the jar files in the list below into the dist/lib subdirectory. Note that you must pick the SWT jar for your platform and rename it swt.jar Then run Ant. To get a running version of BrailleBlaster you must then compile liblouis and liblouisutdml and copy the compiled libraries into the dist/narive/lib directory. Depending on your platform you may also need to compile libxml2. This library is usually installed on Linux systems. On the Mac you must download and compile it in the usual Gnu fashion. The Mac also requires you to install pkg-config, which is necessary for compiling both liblouisutdml and libxml2 On Windows you will have to download it, but the Windows build script for liblouisutdml statically links it to that library, so you do not need to compile it separately. There are links to the recommended versions of libxml2 and pkg-config in the list at the end of this page.
Here is an alternative method. Since BrailleBlaster is written in Java, it is therefore inherently platform-independent. However, it does rely on C libraries and on SWT jars for each platform. To make a build of BrailleBlaster for a particular platform, download any of the prebuilt versions from the Get BrailleBlaster page, remove the C libraries and the SWT.jar file, compile liblouis, liblouisutdml and libxml2 and replace the old C libraries with the compiled versions. In the case of libxml2, specify --without-iconv and --without-zlib on your configure command line. Special files have been created for building liblouis and liblouisutdml for Windows. They are in the windows subdirectories of the tarballs. A Microsoft compiler is used, and only the dll's are built. In the case of liblouisutdml libxml2 is statically linked to liblouisutdml. There is also a README.windows file which explains how to build both liblouis and liblouisutdml. Linux distros probably have libxml2 already installed. The Mac and Windows do not. Replace the swt.jar file with the one for your platform. Links to all the components needed are given below.