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Bug#359062: debian-installer: bterm is not (yet) accessible for brltty

Package: debian-installer
Version: 20060304
Severity: important


The Debian installer now uses bterm for better i18n. However, brltty
(the daemon that permits visually impaired people to access debian)
isn't able to fetch what bterm displays, and hence visually impaired
people can't use the Debian installer. Of course, some solution is
to add debian-installer/framebuffer=false at the syslinux prompt for
disabling framebuffer and hence bterm too. But since syslinux is not
accessible either, this is really not a handy solution.

More generally, brltty currently can't read frame buffer terminals
(bterm, jfbterm, zhcon, ...). The long-run solution will probably be
based on brlapi or at-spi which are respectively client-server- and
corba- based solutions. But these solutions will most probably not make
up for Etch release. And anyway, they are a bit heavy, and will probably
not be suited to an installer.

A simple solution could be that bterm mmaps some file in /dev for
reflecting its screen, and brltty's linux screen driver would be patched
for reading it. The code on both side can be very simple: instead of
calloc()ing on the bterm side, mmap() a zero-filled /dev file. And on
the brltty side, some "1:/dev/bterm" parameter would tell brltty that
for tty1, it should read /dev/bterm instead of /dev/vcsa1.

Yes, this is a quite hand-made solution, but for an installer it should
be fine: a more generic solution isn't needed here, and brlapi/AtSpi
should be able to provide it for normal debian systems.

Any thoughts?


-- System Information:
Debian Release: testing/unstable
  APT prefers testing
  APT policy: (900, 'testing'), (500, 'unstable'), (500, 'stable'), (1, 'experimental')
Architecture: i386 (i686)
Shell:  /bin/sh linked to /bin/bash
Kernel: Linux 2.6.16
Locale: LANG=fr_FR@euro, LC_CTYPE=fr_FR@euro (charmap=ISO-8859-15)

-- no debconf information

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