[sw-l] IMWA version 1.0 completed...

Stephen Slevinski slevin at PUDL.INFO
Sun Aug 22 21:16:37 UTC 2004

Amazing work Val,

As a programmer I'm excited to use the IMWA.  The Sign Puddle dictionaries
will be switching to the IMWA as soon as the graphics are finished.  Each
language dictionary will build its own subset of the IMWA for use with the
Create Sign Online tool.  The IMWA is comprehensive, but overwhelming.

Does anyone have ideas or plans for defining their languageā€™s subset of the
IMWA.  Defining these subsets will be very valuable for SignWriter software.
Defining these subsets will validate the completeness of the IMWA.  This
will prove the IMWA is ready for widespread adoption.

When will the IMWA be added to Unicode?  Should we wait until SSS-2006?

We will need a conversion routine from SSS-1999 to SSS-2004.  But with the
IMWA; the numbering system is stable and the symbols have official numbers
that will not change.  Standardization can be a wonderful but challenging

I think that SignWriter Tiger will make life much easier, and conversion
problems will go away.  Do they need testers?  Defects caught early are
cheaper to fix.


  -----Original Message-----
  From: owner-sw-l at majordomo.valenciacc.edu
[mailto:owner-sw-l at majordomo.valenciacc.edu]On Behalf Of Bill Reese
  Sent: Sunday, August 22, 2004 9:36 AM
  To: sw-l at majordomo.valenciacc.edu
  Subject: Re: [sw-l] IMWA version 1.0 completed...

  Your message got through, Val.

  And wonderful news about the IMWA!  :-)
  What a comprehensive database!  :-)
  That should give great flexibility to front end programs using it.

  It made me wonder if it would be possible to write a full dictionary-style
definition of a concept.

  If we would take the informational items that may be included in a
definition, are all the items fully supported in just signing alone or will
there be, because writing is different than signing, marks that are used
just for the dictionary?

  For instance, italics are used in dictionaries to denote different
subjects or categories.  Let's say we have a word elevator, and it's labeled
U.S., while the synonymous lift, is labeled Brit.  Notice that in my use of
the italics in the preceeding sentence, it helped to define the subjects and
their "Locality Label" category.  Would the use of italics in this manner be
satisfied with the sign for topic, and topic would be used that way in the
definition, or is there an actual way to make Signwriting italic?  Of
course, that begs the question;  "How do other character-based writing
systems approach this idea?"

  This is just one of many questions that can be asked when considering the
concept of a dictionary written only in sign language.  I know that
dictionaries have been written that include signwriting and I seem to
remember something written recently totally in signwriting, so I'm hoping
that items like this are well on the way to being defined and clarified and
that the IMWA (and the signed languages it supports) is comprehensive enough
to support that effort.


  Valerie Sutton wrote:

    SignWriting List
    August 21, 2004

    Dear SW List members:
    Since we last posted messages to the List, the Valencia Community
College, which houses our List, experienced a hurricane. The city of
Orlando, Florida was without electricity for awhile. I do not know if our
List is up and running again or not. If you get this message, then it is,
and we are fortunate! I send best wishes to all those who live in Florida,
for a speedy recovery from the hurricane...

    I am happy to tell you that I have completed version 1.0 of the
International Movement Writing Alphabet (IMWA).

    Version 1.0 includes:
    8 Categories
    50 Groups
    450 BaseSymbols
    25,100 GIFs
    195 Handshapes

    Version 1.0 does NOT include DanceWriting and other general Movement
Writing symbols. Those will be in version 2.0...

    The IMWA 1.0 is called the SSS-2004, because it was completed in 2004.
The IMWA 2.0 will probably be the SSS-2005 or 2006.

    I am still preparing the large folder with all 25,100 GIFs for
programmers, but right now, you can read a listing of all the symbols:

    SSS-2004 - The International Movement Writing Alphabet (IMWA)


    Val ;-)

    Valerie Sutton
    Sutton at SignWriting.org
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