SignWriting on OmegaWiki ;-)

Stuart Thiessen sw at PASSITONSERVICES.ORG
Mon Apr 30 01:04:37 UTC 2007

My thesis work will be looking into SignWriting in Unicode. I'm sure  
that we can adapt any SWML-S or variants to handle any new Unicode  
development. I hope to have more on this topic by the end of summer  
in terms of conceptual ideas for how SW in Unicode could work.

In my thesis work, I will have access to people who regularly work  
with non-Roman scripts so I should be able to work with them to  
explore solutions that will work well.

So we will see how it develops.



On Apr 29, 2007, at 16:12, Valerie Sutton wrote:

> SignWriting List
> April 29, 2007
> Thanks so much for this detailed message, Gerard...
> Right now we are starting to enjoy the wiki-like experience of  
> posting SignWriting literature and articles in our own free library  
> online, and anyone can change someone else's writing in our ASL  
> Literature Puddle...writing SignWriting symbols in vertical  
> we share the goal of a free and open exchange of  
> written articles and literature that are editable by others...
> So at least we are starting the process on our own site...but in  
> vertical columns...
> Regarding MediaWiki....
> No need for PDF...that was just one throw that out ;-))
> It sounds like that SWML-S then, would be the answer from what you  
> say below...
> or whatever...time will tell what will be best!
> We will work out all those licenses to make everyone feel good  
> about the licenses we choose...I want to thank Pharos for a  
> description of all the licenses too! So I hope to read that soon...
> Thank you so much for your advice and support -
> Yes...we will get there!
> Val ;-)
> --------------
> On Apr 29, 2007, at 11:46 AM, GerardM wrote:
>> OmegaWiki exists in two planes; there is the standard MediaWiki  
>> functionality. This is the functionality that you see in the  
>> portals. And there is an extension to MediaWiki that is specific  
>> to OmegaWiki. This is the functionality that allows us to work on  
>> lexical, terminological and ontological information it allows us  
>> to represent database information in many user interfaces.
>> Storing discrete information is probably easiest done in the  
>> "Wikidata" functionality. Storing text information that is in a  
>> fixed, unmutable format in MediaWiki is quite contrary to the core  
>> ideas of what a Wiki stands for. In a Wiki an article is started  
>> by someone and someone else takes it further and in the process  
>> may become quite different from the original incarnation. This  
>> means that having the content in a PDF kinda way is not really  
>> feasible. When the information of an article is stored in a XML  
>> format, the data is not stored in a fixed way. It therefore allows  
>> people to get it, change it and save it. MediaWiki has a history  
>> mechanism that allows for saving changes.
>> When Steve mentions copyrights, it is important to realise that  
>> the copyright stays with the copyright holder. The copyright  
>> holder can extend a license to someone else and also provide the  
>> same data or programming under many licenses.  The key thing to  
>> appreciate is what is it that you aim to achieve. My understanding  
>> is that you aim to emancipate the sign languages and allow the  
>> deaf to register their own history and culture in their own  
>> language. This means to me that the more functionality allows for  
>> the use of sign languages exists, the better your aims will be  
>> achieved.
>> There are key technologies  to consider. Valerie holds the  
>> copyright to the characters. She wants everyone without  
>> restrictions to be able to use the SignWriting characters. The  
>> SignPuddle software and much of the other software is freely  
>> available for all to have. It however does not state license  
>> information and consequently many people who are aware of licenses  
>> are hesitant to use it. There are licenses specific to fonts,  
>> there are licenses specific to software, there are licenses  
>> specific to data and, database designs are licensed too typically  
>> under a software license.
>> When MediaWiki is to be adapted to use SignWriting, there will be  
>> a need to do some research to understand what it is that needs  
>> doing. This does not imply a necessity for UNICODE. It implies  
>> careful analysis. I agree with Steve that there will be many ways  
>> to skin this cat however, what is considered the MediaWiki  
>> functionality has to be there in order for it to be a success.
>> MediaWiki is GPL licensed. This has particular implications, one  
>> of them is that when you get GPL licensed software you are Free to  
>> use it and change it but you are not free to change the license of  
>> the changed product. All in all licenses are not easy and they are  
>> certainly not something that you want to rush into.
>> First and foremost is, what is it that you want to achieve and how  
>> do you achieve these things best. This is not something to rush.  
>> Yes we can have Wikipedias in SignWriting, but to get there we  
>> will have to take time to consider the requirements carefully.
>> Thanks,
>>     GerardM
>> On 4/29/07, Valerie Sutton < signwriting at>  
>> wrote:SignWriting List
>> April 29, 2007
>> On Apr 29, 2007, at 9:12 AM, Steve Slevinski wrote:
>> > Hi Val,
>> >
>> > This would be an easy extension for any website.  Upload a zip file
>> > of the column images or download a zip file.  We'd need a server
>> > side and the AJAX viewer.  We could create add-ons for OmegaWiki,
>> > using a copyright compliant license.  We could also make the viewer
>> > a free download for other websites to help promote the use of
>> > SignWriting.
>> >
>> > Write in SignPuddle, export the columns as a zip.  Upload the zip
>> > file to the website.  We could also include the SWML in the zip.
>> > Very easy to use for now and for later when the SWML is used  
>> directly.
>> >
>> > I'm rewriting SWML into STML for the new SignText.  It will include
>> > PDFs as well.  Does any have the software list for splitting and
>> > combining PDFs.  The Mac and the PC are both unique.
>> >
>> > Regards,
>> > -Steve
>> --------------
>> Hi Steve!
>> This sounds amazing and I look forward to Gerard's communication
>> about this...
>> It will be a real boon for Sign Languages around the world to have
>> these features to use quickly on other web sites...thank you, Steve!
>> Regarding the question about splitting and combining PDFs...obviously
>> the best solution someday, is to have the actual document inside
>> SignText, export with page breaks, so that the page breaks are a part
>> of the PDF created from the beginning...the SignText PDF should
>> someday be able to create multiple-paged-PDFs from the start,
>> eliminating the need for combining PDFs...
>> Until that day comes, the best program to use, which is for both Mac
>> and PC, is the Adobe Acrobat Professional program, which is the way
>> most people edit and combine PDFs. In Acrobat Professional you can do
>> so much...including changing actual text and graphics, and you can
>> insert, delete, replace pages in a variety of formats and so forth...
>> As far as free programs that do that...there are hundreds it seems...
>> and there are source code for some of these programs free on the  
>> web...
>> For example...
>> here is the source code for one of them on the Macintosh:
>> and here is one on the PC:
>> Val ;-)

More information about the Sw-l mailing list