Data exchange with SignPuddle Markup Language

MARIA AZZOPARDI maria.azzopardi at UM.EDU.MT
Wed May 26 20:45:08 UTC 2010

Dear Steve, Val and all the list,
I attended the LREC 2010 and I must say I was slightly disappointed at the
very low use of SignWriting in Computer Sign Language linguists. There
were some researchers that told me they considered SignWriting, but opted
for HanNoSys. It would be ideal if SignWriting were used, I thought, but I
probably can't understand the technicalities, as computers are not my
Could you explain why the situation is so.
Thank you very much,

> Hi Bill,
> In SignPuddle Markup Language, there are 3 main parts of information:
> terms, text, and source.  SignWriting can be used in each.  The voice
> language items are defined the same as sign language items.
> However, by convention, I will be using voice language items differently
> than sign language items.
> The voice language items will use UTF-8.  This will be straight
> character data, so I'm wrapping the entires as a CDATA block to avoid
> parsing.
> The sign language items will use BSW as hexadecimal.  I still need to
> decide if terms can be one than one sign.  This will determine if terms
> are edited with SignMaker or SignText.  I need to decide the same for
> the source: one sign only, or more than one sign.
> For the ultimate in flexibility, I could have the sign language items
> use UTF-8; the same as the voice language sections.  I would need to
> encode the Binary SignWriting using the UTF-8 I propose with the plane 4
> solution.  This way, we could mix sign language with HTML markup and
> other spoken languages.  However, this encoding is not approved by the
> Unicode consortium so it may be considered bad manners to start using
> plane 4 without their approval.
> Either way I go, I will not need to update the SPML DTD definition.  You
> can see that I am not limiting the terms, text, or source.
> Here's an abbreviated definition
> <!ELEMENT spml (entry+)>
> <!ELEMENT entry (item+)>
> <!ELEMENT item (term*,text?,src?)>
> <!ELEMENT term (#PCDATA)>
> <!ELEMENT text (#PCDATA)>
> <!ELEMENT src (#PCDATA)>
> + one or more
> * zero or more
> ? zero or one
> Regards,
> -Steve

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