sw-l-digest V1 #2305

Valerie Sutton signwriting at MAC.COM
Sun Apr 29 15:53:53 UTC 2007

SignWriting List
April 29, 2007

On Apr 29, 2007, at 8:20 AM, GerardM wrote:
> We are working on RtL support.. This means that when we have top  
> down support English may have to go down to .. now should that mean  
> that Arab has to go up ??

grin...;-))) good question...see below....

But that is why Steve Slevinski's message is so important. As the  
designer of SignPuddle, he knows a great deal about what can and  
can't be done regarding the SignWriting text in vertical columns that  
is exported from SignPuddle...and there may be a way to handle this  
soon, without waiting for years and years to fund UNICODE development...

Did you see Steve's message just posted to the List?

We can be placing SignWriting on OmegaWiki right now I believe,  
without you having to program much...because even if you have a way  
to write down the page in columns, you still will need the SignPuddle  
way of inputting the symbols themselves...That is why preparing the  
documents on SignPuddle, and then exporting them to a format  
OmegaWiki can read only makes sense. Font development does not work  
for SignWriting unless we have UNICODE and that will be years from  

We don't want to wait for Unicode... (although we certainly support  
its development too)..because we already have a way to input the  

Regarding Arabia...

There are small groups in the Arabic-related Sign Languages that are  
now using SignWriting:

SignWriting in Arabia

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But there are different signed languages in the Arabic-speaking  
regions, although there are some groups trying to develop one  
universal one...I doubt if that will be truly possible because their  
schools are different from country to country, and girls are not  
always allowed to go to school, so Deaf girls with Deaf parents most  
likely stay at home and use the Sign Language they grew up  
with...which is regional...

SignWriting can write all these Arabian signed languages...and  
SignWriting is written down in vertical columns with lanes, for  
grammatical reasons...and that is true for ALL signed languages...so  
no...it doesn't reverse in Arabia!

By the way, SignWriting was written horizontally from left to right  
from 1974 to 2004 or so, when SignPuddle development occurred...We  
wrote by hand vertically for a decade before that, but before  
SignPuddle, the SignWriter computer program wrote from left to  
right...not all the grammer could be written from left to right and  
that is why we changed to vertical columns with SignPuddle, which  
provides the input method for the symbols...

Have you tried it? We can teach you how to write a sign with  
SignPuddle right now, so you can see how it is done...or go to the  
Video Instruction and watch how we work with SignPuddle on your  

SignPuddle 1.5 Video Instruction

Val ;-)

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