SVG version of our IMWA symbols

Jonathan duncanjonathan at YAHOO.CA
Wed Apr 25 23:08:54 UTC 2007

Hi Steve,
    Good.  Overall I think SVG is right way to go for the IMWA.  I just
hadn't seen you post anything about SVG but Val mentioned it so that's
why I addressed it to her.  Considering the obvious savings with just
the rotations would bring and the other tips from Sandy's comment, SVG
will likely be the best for all of us no matter how much bandwith we
have.  But I guess that's probably one of the many reasons you requested
SVG in the first place :-) .


Steve Slevinski wrote:
> Jonathan,
> I am the one requesting an SVG
> Jonathan wrote:
>> Valerie Sutton wrote:
>>> SignWriting List
>>> April 21, 2007
>>> This morning I had the pleasure of speaking for almost 2 hours on
>>> the phone with the Netherlands, with one of the Wikimedia languages
>>> subcommittee members, whom I met, through email conversations
>>> recently, and we talked about creating an SVG version of our IMWA
>>> symbols, to enhance future computer programming...
>> Hi Val,
>>     An SVG version of the IMWA symbols seems exciting.  I was
>> wondering we advantages this might have.  I know that currently the
>> PNG symbols are cacheable so this is better for us that have lower
>> bandwidth as we only have to get each symbol once. I briefly looked
>> into the SVG and it seems to be inline so it comes as part of the web
>> page.  I don't think that it would be cacheable but I could be wrong.
>> If the SVG is part of the page, then the browser wouldn't have to get
>> each symbol one by one, it would load faster on the browser but the
>> server would have to resend the symbol on each web page refresh so it
>> might be a bit longer to load each page for those of us with lower
>> bandwith.  Though on second thought, if we don't have to get each
>> rotation it might even be faster.
>>     I was thinking on the savings are far as rotations  for only the
>> handshapes using the SVG.  Presently there are about 207 hand shapes
>> with 6 distinct fills rotated 8 different positions then mirrored and
>> rotated another 8 positions.  So for each of the 207 there are 6
>> fills X 16 rotations = 96 symbols per hand shape.  207 handshapes X
>> 96 symbols each =  19872 handshape symbols.  Now if we only had to
>> draw the 6 fills for the 207 handshapes, we would only have to define
>> 207 X 6 =  1242 symbols which SVG could easily mirror and rotate all
>> the ways we wanted to.  So with SVG we would only need to define 6%
>> of the current handshape symbols.  That's like 94% improvement. Not
>> bad!!! Some of the other arrows etc can also be rotated and flipped
>> to make up the full set. However there wouldn't be any savings as far
>> as the face symbols or some of the punctuation is concerned. 
>>     I guess when we have made a few, we will have a better idea how
>> they compare in size to the PNG symbols.  I wonder if they would be
>> any smaller as many symbols have a lot of parts that have to be
>> described.  The median PNG symbol file size is only 232 bytes.  It
>> going to be hard to beat that but with a 90-94% savings from rotating
>> them on the SVG I guess it would really be worth it.
>>     I the other more immediate benefit would be that they are easily
>> scalable.  This would be better for captioning or people who have bad
>> eyesight. 
>> What else have your learned about doing the IMWA in SVG?
>> Jonathan
>>> I am going to step out in the beautiful Springtime air and be back
>>> shortly -
>>> Val ;-)
>>> -----------
>>> On Apr 21, 2007, at 11:29 AM, Cherie Wren wrote:
>>>> I volunteer to help...
>>>> cherie
>>>> ----- Original Message ----
>>>> From: Valerie Sutton <sutton at>
>>>> To: List SignWriting <sw-l at>
>>>> Sent: Friday, April 20, 2007 8:41:27 PM
>>>> Subject: [sw-l] Wikipedia American Sign Language
>>>> SignWriting List
>>>> April 20, 2007
>>>> Hello SW List Members!
>>>> As you all know, recently there has been interest in creating a
>>>> possible ASL Wikipedia, or at least, the beginning of writing an
>>>> Encyclopedia in ASL...
>>>> Since we are new to writing and posting documents on the web, in our
>>>> SignPuddle 1.5 Literature Puddle online, I realize that this is a
>>>> very big leap forward, to start writing encyclopedia articles in ASL!
>>>> To write such an article, we would need to either choose an article
>>>> already written in another encyclopedia, and then translate it from
>>>> English to ASL and then write it in SignWriting in SignText...
>>>> or...
>>>> write it directly from our own knowledge of physics, or geography or
>>>> whatever the article is about!
>>>> This seems like a big new project, doesn't it?
>>>> is my thought...
>>>> Do we have volunteers to help us write one test-article for a new
>>>> encyclopedia written in ASL?
>>>> It will be our FIRST article for an encyclopedia in a test
>>>> drive. Then we can show the document to those at Wikimedia and to
>>>> others too...It will be an historic and interesting adventure...
>>>> I know many of you are already overloaded with projects, so only
>>>> volunteer if you feel you have the time. We could create an
>>>> Encylopedia team of writers, and each person could take a small
>>>> section of the translation and writing...
>>>> And there is no rush and no deadline.
>>>> Plus we need to choose the one article we want to write...
>>>> But before we choose the article, is there anyone interested in
>>>> volunteering to write an article for an Encyclopedia?
>>>> Once we have a few volunteers, I will write to the Wikimedia language
>>>> committee to suggest that maybe they can choose one article for us to
>>>> translate from the Wikipedia in English online...
>>>> Those are my thoughts...
>>>> What are yours?
>>>> Val ;-)
>>>> Ahhh...imagining that irresistible "new car" smell?
>>>> Check out new cars at Yahoo! Autos.
>> -- 
>> Jonathan & Yolaine Duncan
>> 8-)  & ;-)


Jonathan & Yolaine Duncan
8-)  & ;-)

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