[sw-l] left-handed or right-handed?

Sandy Fleming sandy at FLEIMIN.DEMON.CO.UK
Tue Dec 7 08:29:52 UTC 2004

Hi Val,

> Although I don't read SWML at the moment, I am not sure that I am
> missing something...Programming variants could be useful for some

U think you are missing something...

> I still want to be able to type directly in SignWriting without the
> restrictions of pre-defined linguistic variants...like SignWriter DOS
> or Stephen Slevinski's new MovementWriter program...I personally need
> flexibility to be able to type unusual movements that no
> standardization could ever know in advance...like mime and gesture and
> dance and foreign signed languages I don't know...but your idea of
> variants would be great for languages that people have already analyzed
> and know the parameters of...

...and now I think I understand what it is!  :)

The same thing happened when I tried to explain this originally, and Antonio
Carlos made the same assumption as you're making now - that by "variants"
I'm talking about the properties of individual sign languages. But that's
not what I'm talking about.

Rather, I'm talking about the potential of SWML as it stands for expressing
a large number of variant signs at very little extra cost. It's nothing to
do with the properties of the sign language at all, simply an unexploited
source of expressive power already inherent in SWML.

Having variants in SWML would enable programmers to consider introducing the
parameters of a particular language into their software if they wanted (for
example when writing spellcheckers for a language), but it's not what
variants is about, it's just one of the many possibilities that they open

I agree wholeheartedly with what you say about having to be able to show
nuances of expression that aren't expressible in current software systems,
but adding variant capabilities to the SWML would enable current software to
incorporate more of this flexibility very easily in programs that do rely on
dictionaries, such as current mailers.


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