Who's using "CYGWIN=tty" and why?

Lee Maschmeyer lee_maschmeyer@wayne.edu
Mon May 9 17:41:00 GMT 2011

Hi all,

At the risk of exciting the contempt avalanche all too pervasive in this 
list (never at any time by Corinna--THANKS):

I'm not sure I understand the difference between the DOS console and the 
Windows console. And, truth to tell, I've been around here for a good long 
time and never heard of CYGWIN=notty. However:

BRLTTY is a screen reading system that enables the use of refreshable 
braille devices (see below). It works on Linux and other unixes both in 
console mode and as an adjunct to the Unix GUI screen reader (Orca). It also 
works at the DOS command prompt, and gloriously beautifully in Cygwin. I 
tried mintty once and brltty would not read that window. Whether this can be 
changed by the developers I don't know. I've sporadically tried things like 
rxvt and when they didn't work right off the bat I didn't bother anymore 
since brltty is really splendid. For what it's worth, here's my cygwin.bat. 
Exactly how much of it is necessary and what the costs of what changes might 
be I don't know:

@echo off

chdir c:\cygwin\bin
set HOME=c:\cygwin\home\<me>
set LANG=en_US.UTF-8
set CYGWIN=tty notitle glob
bash --login -i

The rest of this message is for the merely curious:

What's a refreshable braille device: It's a box that has a smooth wire 
screen on the top. There are pins below the holes in this wire screen. The 
pins can be pushed up through the holes (these are dots) or pulled down 
below them (these are non-dots). These pins are in eight rows corresponding 
to the eight rows of dots in a braille cell (eight on the computer, six for 
standard paper braille). There are from 18 to 84 of these 8-dot cells across 
the length of the wire screen, and there are buttons on the braille device 
to move this 18-to-84 character window around on the screen.

What's "splendid" about brltty in Cygwin? Other Windows screen readers have 
braille, but frequently it skips blank lines for reasons I don't begin to 
comprehend. Brltty doesn't skip them. So it's much easier to tell the screen 
layout in brltty than with the braille from a Windows screen reader. Brltty 
is also more responsive and more accurate (it doesn't spuriously underline 
letters, one of the problems with braille in other screen readers). While 
the Windows screen reader I use (JAWS) can see the Cygwin text, not all can. 
Narrator is a part of the Windows OS; it's on every Windows computer. It 
can't see the text in Cygwin at all.

I've included the brltty developers on this message and will send them 
Corinna's original so you may hear from somebody who knows what they're 
talking about. :-)

Castigation, Mastication and Denigration cheerfully accepted,

Lee Maschmeyer
Wayne State University Computing Center
5925 Woodward, #281
Detroit MI 48202

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