[sw-l] Downloading the IMWA and SSS-1999

Sandy Fleming sandy at FLEIMIN.DEMON.CO.UK
Sat Dec 11 10:59:13 UTC 2004

Hi Trevor!

> As an ex-programmer looking to use IWMA for his signing I personally would
> still need to have more than one subset. Stuff I've done recently involves
> lexical borrowings (typically from ASL but I've just had to think about
> NZSL and AUSLAN to name but two) into BSL.

This isn't too hard - we have, say, one subset for each sign language and
you just make sure each subset you need is installed. You might have on your
disk, say, one folder per subset (many of the symbols would exist in more
than one folder) and then when the software needs to display a give symbol
it looks through all the folders till it finds one that has the symbol it

If we stored components of symbols instead of whole symbols then more
flexibility could be acheived with a small symbol set but there are various
trade-offs here in terms of disk space, file size, amount of work required
to develop the software, and ease of typing. Each programmer or team would
have to decide on each factor for themselves.

I think that the "component" approach might be an excellent way for a typist
to produce heads, ie type the eye(s) they want, the mouth, eyebrows, nose
they want, etc, rather than having to search for the whole head required
down through a tree structure of categories.

Not so sure of the advantages of breaking handshapes down into components,
but maybe. A possible way of making handshapes fastter to type would be to
make the four "universal" handshapes (spread, flat, fist, index) immediately
accessible on the keyboard and somehow get at the other hands from these. I
believe these four handshapes are thought to account for over 50% of the
handshapes used in any given sign language in the world, so perhaps it's
important for the typist to get immediate access to them from the keyboard.

(Apologies to Stefan, who would naturally prefer the SW-DOS keyboard no
matter what. Perhaps it could be supplied as an option!)


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