[sw-l] Vertical and Horizontal Writing, Sign-Poetry

Sandy Fleming sandy at FLEIMIN.DEMON.CO.UK
Sat Dec 11 08:44:19 UTC 2004

Hi Stephen!

> Sandy wrote:
> >> Lanes should be implemented in the user interface
> >> as a facility for positioning signs. But the lane
> >> information shouldn't be stored in the users' documents.
> Couldn't disagree more.  There is no other place to store the lane
> information than in the document itself.  If you write a document with
> lanes, you can use that document many ways.  In theory, you can send an
> email, generate HTML code, or create a PDF file.

As I understand Val's earlier clarification about lanes, if the head is in a
certain lane, then the whole sign is in that lane, right? So the position of
the head defines which lane the sign is in. There's no need to add more
information to the SWML to say which lane the sign is in, because the
position of the head is in defines it already.

If you're writing a typing program such as an editor or a word processor,
then this is clearly the best way to do it - we simply position symbols
where the typist types them and don't ask what they think they _mean_ by it.

If you're writing a dictionary-based program you're pulling whole signs from
the dictionary and then you want to reposition them into a lane. The head
should always be centred in the dictionary. There's still no need to store
lane information in the text file - you just pull the sign from the
dictionary when the user requests to insert it, and add the lane
x-coordinate to all the symbol positions in the sign for inserting it into
the file. When the file is saved as SWML you just save the symbol positions
as normal, the lane information is automatically stored in the x-coordinate
for the head.

> Sandy wrote:
> >> No, they can both [oral and signed languages] be
> >> expressed as strings of characters from their respective
> >> fonts - they're essentioally the same.
> I'm getting really confused.  Are we talking about SignWriting?  I don't
> Each and every symbol requires positioning information.  I would be
> interested in seeing an example of what you are talking about when you
> mention a string of characters.  Perhaps you can use paint or
> some graphics
> program to create an example.

Sorry, I got ahead of myself here and made assertions about what can be done
before I've gone as far as explaining how. I'll  explain it in my reply to
Dan's latest latest email.

> Sandy wrote:
> >> I still think it's important to say this now for any
> >> programmers who may be starting out on something and
> >> think that they're supposed to use SWML as standard,
> >> the way I thought I was supposed to use the IMWA as standard.
> Couldn't disagree more.  Both SWML and the IMWA are important standards.
> You should have an alternative ready before you tell people to ignore the
> standards.

It's just discussion, without which we wouldn't learn much. I assume that if
a programmer does what I suggest it's because they've decided for themselves
that it's the best way.

> In my opinion, all current SignWriting applications should use
> the IMWA (or
> a subset).  At this time, there is no other acceptable alternative.

We're talking about developing an acceptable alternative.

> While
> using SWML is not mandatory, being able to import and export SWML
> should be
> encouraged.

I wouldn't for a moment suggest that a program shouldn't be able to import
and export SWML. But it doesn't have to use SWML as a file format itself to
be able to do so.


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