Typing in SignWriting

Stuart Thiessen sw at PASSITONSERVICES.ORG
Wed Mar 31 23:36:17 UTC 2004

Comments below ....

Stephen Slevinski wrote:

> Stuart,
> Thanks.  I appreciate you pointing out the disadvantages of glossing.
> Do you have any examples of SignWriting that demonstrate these
> limitations?
No problem.  I did a lot of glossing early on especially with people who
do not know SignWriting.  I found these out as I was trying to write
some of these things down with glossing.  I became quite dissatisfied
with glossing.

> The use of SignWriting is still evolving.  I can see the problem if
> people become accustomed to simplifing their language to fit an
> imperfect tool.  They may view SignWriting as flawed, when it is
> actually the glossing.

Yes. It is possible.  That is why I think we have to figure out a way to
make SignWriting the basis for composition.  I like what Valerie has
done with grouping symbols by using 1-10.   Perhaps there is a way to
capitalize on that. The only input I have ever had was from one deaf
person who thought it should be done like CAD programs.  Other than
that, I have not really sat down to analyze and brainstorm on that much yet.

> I hope that they would become interested in SignWriting and then
> dissatisfied with glossing.  This would lead to people willing to
> invest the time to learn a real tool like SignWriter.  Or they may
> even create a tool better than SignWriter.
I agree.  I think two critical features that might lead to success for
the next SignWriter program (Daniel, this can be version 2.0 if it is a
problem, but I have some ideas so let's talk ...) is for it to be able
to include some capability to include graphic images and have variable
sizes of SignWriting text. Other features could come  later as the
program expands.

These features are needed so that literature in SignWriting can be
created more easily and be able to add line drawings, illustrations, or
just other graphical images that can add a nice creative touch to the
document. That certainly adds some complication on the programming side,
but it will streamline the production of SW documents so that it does
not necessarily have to be put into Word, OpenOffice.org, AbiWord, or
whatever other wordprocessors people use these days.

Those are the things I hope to see myself.  I have brainstormed on these
things, but we need to find ways to help Daniel get the core programming
complete (input, display, printing, etc.) before we can add these things.


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