SW and Unicode

Antonio Carlos da Rocha Costa rocha at ATLAS.UCPEL.TCHE.BR
Sun Jun 22 11:09:47 UTC 2003

I'm afraid I have to agree with Dan, for yet another reason:
Valerie's encoding of SW symbols, with that series of numbers
(category,group,etc.),which evolved from Rich Gleaves original
encoding of SW symbols for the SignWriter program, is very
practical in helping programs to understand the symbols, to know
for example what transformations (rotations, flops) can be done
with each of them.

Perhaps Unicode can encode symbols in a way that keep the
codes as meaningful as those ones, I don't know. But I feel that
something similar to the original Rich's encoding is mandatory.

SWML keeps that encoding as it is, and our experience with
writing programs based on it reinforces that impression.

But perhaps I'm wrong, and Unicode can work that way. That would
be great, because it could put SW within the important industrial
standard that it represents.

All the best,

Ant ­? io Carlos

> > Our first project, however, will be working with Valerie and others on
> > the process of getting SignWriting into Unicode and dealing with
> > rendering issues for Signwriting in Unicode.
> I keep hearing this idea thrown around, so here's where I run aground
> when I think about it. Please help me out.
> Since Unicode is a 2-byte code for representing linear text (i.e., all
> rotations, placements, etc. are to handled algorithmically), I'm not
> sure there is any provision within Unicode for representing SignWriting
> at any level beyond basic glyphs. AFAIK, there are no native mechanisms
> for placement on a grid, rotation, etc. And if there were, all that
> would have to converted to a some sort of scale relative to the font
> size of the glyphs, which would mean some sort of floating-point
> representation (IEEE?). I'm willing to bet that SWML is probably the
> best vehicle for representing the whole shebang; furthermore, it
> probably ought to be one of the formats that SWJava can handle without
> any external conversion (i.e., it ought to work within "Save As...").
> What did you and yours have in mind?
> -Dan.

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