MediaWiki, OmegaWiki, WLDC

Valerie Sutton signwriting at MAC.COM
Thu Apr 26 20:44:04 UTC 2007

SignWriting List
April 26, 2007

Welcome, Gerard, to the SignWriting List, and thank you for this  
message. There are so many important ideas to discuss...OmegaWiki,  
MediaWiki and the World Language Documentation Center...

All are new to me.

What this may lead to, hopefully, is a broader recognition that  
signed languages need to be written and documented on a more global  

I enjoyed reading your blog about SignWriting!

Val ;-)


On Apr 26, 2007, at 12:52 PM, GerardM wrote:

> Hoi,
> Valerie invited me to join your mailing list. Given that I do not  
> sign, am not deaf and do not know any deaf people, it is a surprise  
> that you find me here :)
> I am GerardM in the Wiki world and I am a member of the language  
> committee of the Wikimedia Foundation. I am also heavily involved  
> in the OmegaWiki project, a project to create a resource that  
> includes all words of all languages and have both lexical,  
> terminological and ontological information.
> I have discussed with Valerie the idea of having a Wikipedia for  
> sign languages. I am really enthusiastically about the idea. There  
> are issues that need resolving. The MediaWiki software, the  
> software that runs OmegaWiki, currently only support Unicode.  
> SignWriting does bit maps and is busy getting its characters into  
> SVG and Unicode is a dream for SignWriting to come true. MediaWiki  
> supports left to right and right to left scripts, SignWriting is a  
> top down script. MediaWiki allows for an external editor, this  
> could be SignPuddle.
> All these things can be solved. All these things need to be solved.  
> All it will get us is a mechanism that would allow you to have a  
> Wikipedia. What would this bring to you, Wikipedia is a great  
> resource for finding information on the web. Many people use it to  
> sharpen their language skills; both passive and active language  
> skills. It is a great environment where people meet and socialise  
> while working on their project. For linguists it is a great  
> resource because it offers contemporary language on any subject.
> Knowing Wikipedia, I can think of many reasons why I would like to  
> have a Wikipedia in a language that I consider mine. It is however  
> not that relevant what my reasons would be. It is much more  
> important what your reasons would be to consider having your  
> Wikipedia.
> One final reason why an exercise to prepare for a possible  
> Wikipedia is useful is that it makes the MediaWiki software  
> available to you. MediaWiki is increasingly used in many  
> environments. It is Open Source (it has a GPL license) so you can  
> use it wherever it is useful to you. You will come to love  
> MediaWiki because I expect signing people to be sociable when they  
> consider their language; MediaWiki functions particularly well when  
> there is a community.
> Anyway, as I am lurking on your mailing list, I thought it best to  
> introduce myself. I did blog about signwriting and stuff twice.. so  
> I give you the URL for these as well. If you want to contact me for  
> anything.. you can ..
> Thanks,
>     GerardM aka
>     Gerard Meijssen

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