Translation Feature on PUDL Site

Valerie Sutton sutton at SIGNWRITING.ORG
Thu Mar 18 16:29:00 UTC 2004

SignWriting List
March 18, 2004

Dear SW List and Stephen!
There are two ways to write SignWriting: horizontal from left to right,
and vertical from top to bottom. The vertical writing in columns is
preferable, and new software will include the feature of writing down
in columns. However, the old SignWriter programs are still just
offering typing from left to right...That is why you see so many
documents still writing from left to right...because the old software
is limited...

So the translation feature in the PUDL site at the moment, is only
giving us left-to-right sentences. I hope someday you might be able to
give us vertical too...

I will now explain the spacing between signs, when writing
left-to-right...Please see the attached diagram...You will see I took
the signs and placed them on a grid...The grid is only for this
demonstration...We do not normally write on a grid!

The grid is a good way to show you the spacing. Notice that...

1. The signs are always centered from left to right. In SignWriter DOS
we have a Center-Feature, a special key stroke, that automatically
centers the signs from left to right after typing them.

2. The fingerspelling symbols need to be closer together, creating a
unit. The fingerspelling becomes like a sign in its own right, and
needs to become more cohesive within its own sign space.

3. Although each sign is individual, and some are wider or taller than
others, it is important that even the smallest signs have a certain
standard amount of space around them. Notice in the grid, there are
vertical-grid-lines, and notice how I placed each sign in the center of
each column although there will always be exceptions,
think of each sign having its own signing-space...we call that the
Imaginary Sign Box in the SignWriter DOS manuals, and in SignWriter DOS
the space around each sign is officially set, when the person presses
the space bar....

4. I would suggest that each line has a standard spacing too. My
diagram may have too much space between lines, but I wouldn't go too
much tighter, because we don't want people to think that the sign below
is a connected to the sign above it...

In the next message I will explain the vertical column issue, just in
case you may someday want to do that too...But for now, just getting
the horizontal writing to work is a major accomplishment!   Val ;-)

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