The speed of setting is likely a major factor as you suggest, especially since the setters need to see, so labelling them with standard written script and having people illiterate in Braille was the likely scenario.
usually boils down to the humans and human error, and not the machine. ;) good point.

The picture search also revealed various typewriter style machines, which seem to have some type of mechanism in a box as opposed to swinging arms, I assume there are only 6 embossing bits inside. When these rolled out Braille defiantly had the advantage mechanically, perhaps even over standard typewriters in some ways.

Off on quite a tangent though. Still curious about Leonardos original question, and whether there are any studies as to comparing the efficiency.

So if the Braille did not benefit significantly from mechanical advantages.(Asides from perhaps slightly simplified casting process, might be a little easier to make the dies for casting if you only need dots, but this would only afford a minor advantage overall I imagine )

I went digging through some forums where I found debates and discussions on the matter. It seems like the most popular argument is that braille requires more "sensitive tactile skills", where as Moon requires less...

At first this seemed arbitrary to me, you could after all just make the moon script smaller could you not?

But then I noticed a recurring argument of "if you develop tactile skills, as opposed to visual skills, in your youth, you will specialize and develop a level tactile perception that is perhaps difficult or impossible to achieve if you had your sight and relied on that during the prime years of mental development"

It would seem the argument (simplified thought it may be) of "Moon script is easier for people who loose their sight at more advanced ages" is the primary cause.

The questions still lingering in my head are:

Is it possible that Moon script arbitrarily specialized in this direction simply because it was easier for the those whose tactile skills were less developed?
Is it possible that moon script can be condensed and match or surpass Braille if it stopped specializing for low tactile sensitivity?

Or is it inherent in the design somehow that the dot matrix design of Braille achieves the maximum efficiency within the range of human tactile sensation?

Questions for another day.. digging myself a hole to deep to get out of I think ;)

My advice Leonardo, This rabbit hole goes very deep. I doubt one can argue that we have found, or that there exists, "one perfect system".
Developing your own system would definitely be fun, and who knows, perhaps help identify areas where there is room for important, even if just for special situations or particular individuals.

Also found a neat article about force feedback interface for the blind. They find that Moon script is an easier system for their force feedback computer interface design.
Their system involves tracing the shape, so of course it is easer to trace a curve/line/etc rather than trace around finding dots. rather neat, worth a look if interested in this stuff.


I'm sure they were able to make type small enough for one dot. I think 
the reason they didn't had more to do with efficiency. Imagine a 
typesetter with only two pieces, dots and blanks. He'd have to pick up 
six pieces of type for each letter. If each Braille letter were a 
single piece of type, he could pick up an entire letter at a time. A 
hand compositor is trained to pick up letters from the correct boxes in 
the typecase. If each Braille letter is a single piece, these can be 
placed into the same typecase as used for Roman letters. The same 
typesetter can set either since he doesn't look at the letters as he 

--Ph. D.