SW and Unicode

Valerie Sutton sutton at SIGNWRITING.ORG
Sun Jun 22 17:08:28 UTC 2003

SignWriting List
June 22, 2003

On Saturday, June 21, 2003, at 08:55 PM, Dan Parvaz wrote:
> 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.

Good point, Dan. This seems to be true, as far as I know. But there is
another point...I believe that the Unicode people assume that others
will "program Unicode into their software development"...but the
Unicode at least gives every symbol a code so that programmers can then
work with those symbols in an international standard that everyone else
can understand...So when I started working with Michael Everson on
SignWriting in Unicode, Michael made it clear to me that we would still
have to program Unicode "into SignWriter" later...but it apparently
still has importance because it would have the blessing of the ISO, the
organization for international standards...and we already have the ISO
blessing...Michael already did the paper work and the politics to get
the SignWriting in Unicode project "officially approved"...it was a lot
of work for me too to go through all the politics in the ISO...people
there do not know signed languages or the issues surrounding them, and
we had to defend the fact that a written from for signed languages was
needed in the first place, and finally we got their approval...why
would this be necessary? Simply to reach other programmers with a
standard coding system that would help future computer programs...

But all by itself, Unicode is just a bunch of symbols in True Type with
underlying coding....(That is my understanding...and there is a chance
I do not know what I am talking about - ha!)...

Therefore, before I continue with my opinions on Unicode, let me direct
you all to several papers written on this subject:

SignWriting In Unicode
The Universal Character Set or UCS (International Standard ISO/IEC
10646-1 and
computer industry implementation Unicode ) is a solution to the many
problems ...
www.signwriting.org/forums/software/ unicode/unicod00.html

Literacy Project Funding Needed
.... Part Two: True Type & Unicode Development. ... TrueType and Unicode
is a complex project involving a number of substages: Phase 6.1. ...

This last page is a good description...scroll down and you will find
the section on Unicode...

Val ;-)
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