Background on why the new encoding standard was developed
Standard 6-dot braille only provides 63 distinct characters (not including the space character), and thus, over the years a number of distinct rule-sets have been developed to represent literary text, mathematics, scientific material, computer software, the @ symbol used in email addresses, and other varieties of written material. Different countries also used differing encodings at various times: during the 1800s American Braille competed with English Braille, in the War of the Dots. As a result of the expanding need to represent technical symbolism, and divergence during the past 100 years across countries, braille users who desired to read or write a large range of material have needed to learn different sets of rules, depending on what kind of material they were reading at a given time. Rules for a particular type of material were often not compatible from one system to the next (the rule-sets for literary/mathematical/computerized encoding-areas were sometimes conflicting—and of course differing approaches to encoding mathematics were not compatible with each other), so the reader would need to be notified as the text in a book moved from computer braille code for programming to Nemeth Code for mathematics to standard literary braille. Moreover, the braille rule-set used for math and computer science topics, and even to an extent braille for literary purposes, differed among various English-speaking countries.