Should PUDL's Open Dictionary be international?

Valerie Sutton sutton at SIGNWRITING.ORG
Thu Mar 11 18:48:03 UTC 2004

SignWriting List
March 11, 2004

Dear SW List, and Stephen...
Thank you for all you are doing...Getting grants for this kind of 
project would make sense. I try to write grants regularly for our 
non-profit here, but it is not easy, and I end up doing the work 
anyway, whether I get the funding or not...and I would assume that is 
what you are doing too...So the one thing I want to share with all of 
you is that before we met Stephen's dictionary (smile), I was already 
in the process of trying to establish an international database on the 
web...The skeleton of the design is posted now, but with very few signs 
in it...Go to this web page to look, and click on a flag...that will 
give you an idea of what I had planned to do...


But the truth is, it takes time to build such databases, and I cannot 
administer a database where others upload right now. So if you really 
want to do this international work, Stephen, then I can change the way 
I am doing things too, or we can help each other and have two 
international databases...and what could be better? It is good for the 
world to have several inter-linking resources...

Meanwhile, the SignBank computer program (database software) that 
people install on their computers, can sort by Sign-Symbol-Sequence and 
do all the fancy stuff that our simple word-to-sign dictionaries on the 
web cannot do...So that is another opportunity for those who want to 
create bi-lingual or multi-lingual databases...

I am now going back to focus on Happy Birthday in ASL! Please excuse by 
delay, Adam!

Val ;-)


Stephen Slevinski wrote:

> Charles,
> OK.  I'll consider it.  I've actually thought about it from day one.  
> I know just how I would do it.  It would take me a few hours to get 
> set up.
> But would anyone really use this? 
> What I have right now is very basic.  If a dictionary gets large, it 
> will require attention.  I am willing to give an ASL dictionary this 
> attention, but could become overwhelmed by multiple languages.
> However, I could improve the dictionary significantly.  For each 
> signed language, I could create utilities for managers, supervisors, 
> and contributors who would be able to manage each dictionary on their 
> own.  I could set up a voting system for input from users about 
> existing signs.  Dictionaries could have definitions, synonyms, and 
> antonyms.  I could even create an online utility for creating new 
> signs.  Really anything is possible, and I'd really love to do this, 
> except for time and money.
> And if the dictionary becomes popular, the bandwidth requirements 
> could get very expensive each month.  I would never charge for access 
> to the site, so if I set this up I would add a begging page to the 
> site.  I might even have a quarterly fund-raiser that would appear at 
> the top of the page.
> So I really need some feedback here.  Would it be used?  Would it 
> provide value?  Anyone know of any good grants?
> And back to ASL. I have 1464 signs in the ASL dictionary, and I've 
> only finished up to letter D.  I've been transcribing from SignWriter 
> Java.  I really like the source field.  I've made sure to give proper 
> credit for each sign.
> Has anyone tried the Build utility with the dictionary?  I like to 
> think of it as a simple SignWriter Online.  It’s really easy to use.  
> You can either type in text directly in the build section, or you can 
> search for a sign, view it, and  press the add button. 
> -Stephen Slevinski

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