SW and Unicode

Valerie Sutton sutton at SIGNWRITING.ORG
Sun Jun 22 18:31:59 UTC 2003

SignWriting List
June 22, 2003

Daniel Noelpp wrote:
> With Unicode 3 and 4 there is a provision for additional "planes",
> that means, 3 or 4 byte codes are possible in Unicode. And in
> the first new plane (codes 0001xxxx) there is already space
> reserved for SignWriting symbols. But more about plans and
> organizing the Roadmap for SignWriting Unicode you should
> ask Valerie.

Yes. My understanding is that there is enough space, within Unicode, to
place all of the SignWriting symbols...all 16,000 of them or more...so
I don't think that space is the issue, but how those symbols are then
manipulated when typing...that is the issue. I remember being impressed
when I first learned that Chinese, for example, is in Unicode...but
then I am not sure how they manipulate the Chinese symbols, once they
are typing them...If the Chinese symbols are "one unit" and do not
rotate, flop and change sizes, then typing Chinese with Unicode would
take less special programming than SignWriting will...

>> (i.e., all rotations, placements, etc. are to handled algorithmically)
> Maybe some control codes are neccessary within Unicode.
> Something like Carriage Return (which already exist in Unicode)
> but generalized to make placements. But this is an effort for
> several man-years to integrate this subject in Unicode I have
> been told.

Yes. It is several man-years. There is also a current way of typing,
used in SignWriter DOS and Java both...We have a system for typing that
works for me and lots of other people that is fast, if you have
training. When a symbol is typed, it can be flopped by taping a certain
key, and it can be changed too..for example, all 6 palm facing changes
are under one particular key...and rotations and sizes are under other
keys...so it is a way to get all those symbols easily accessible by the
typist...so Unicode does not have those keystrokes...If Unicode is to
be valuable for us, we need to program the use of Unicode into
SignWriter Java later...right now SignWriter Java is accessing the
Symbol Editor and Keyboard Editor designed by Richard Gleaves. You can
download them on the web, as you know. The Symbol Editor is the program
I used to design the better-looking graphics used in SignWriter
Java...and it establishes the coding system for the symbols that we use
in SignWriter Java. I hope in time to go back to that Symbol Editor to
add all the new symbols....at the moment....the symbol set in the
Symbol Editor is the sss1999. The SignBank-SymbolBank set is the
sss2002, and it has not been added to SignWriter Java yet, and it
should be...If I did that, we could have the more expanded symbol set
available to users of SignWriter Java, but the problem then arises that
old DOS files can only convert to the sss1999, and could not convert to
the expanded symbol set...so a new conversion program would have to be
written to update the conversion to sss2002...

> I am sorry, I have to leave the computer now or else I would
> have written more or more carefully.

Appreciate your input!

Val ;-)

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