[sw-l] How to manage a SignPuddle dictionary

Valerie Sutton sutton at SIGNWRITING.ORG
Sat Sep 25 15:34:01 UTC 2004

SignWriting List
September 25, 2004

Dear SW List, Stephen and Charles -
Thank you for the excellent suggestions. The most important thing is to
make the dictionary editing a friendly experience. People should not
feel shut out or accused that their dialect is not the same as someone
else's. My experience with dictionary creation is that many people
assume that their sign for something is the only one, and that another
sign must be wrong...Then later they find out that there are four or
five different signs for that concept, and not all of those different
signs are different dialects..Signed languages have bigger vocabularies
than most people realize, and in most languages there are several words
or signs for the same concept. The study of dialects is a major
research project, so I do not feel that the subject of dialects should
come up...
unless of course, a researcher requests a special SignPuddle just for
their research project...That situation could become a closed
SignPuddle that is only accessible by the researchers on the project,
and the general public will not be allowed to use the signs.

So we are talking about Open SignPuddles...ones that are usable by the
general public...

Regarding OPEN Sign Puddles...

> Level 1: Contributors
> Contributors can add new signs and edit existing signs. Every sign
> change
> is marked for review. Contributions can be open to the public, or
> restricted to a specific group of password protected users. This can be
> defined by dictionary.

Anyone should be able to create signs in SignMaker, and then post them
to the dictionary. And they will need to be able to change what they
posted, if they made a mistake but realized it after they had posted
it...I did that several times.

And we want those new signs to be available immediately for use in
SignPuddle, since the reason the person posted it, is that they needed
that sign immediately.

I would suggest, if it is possible, that the new posted signs are
marked with a tiny asterisk...and down at the bottom of the screen,
there will be a footnote that states that the sign is unedited at this
time...so that other users know that even though they can use that sign
now, that it has not been reviewed yet...

Then, when the new signs are posted, the Dictionary Editor receives a
private email, stating that a person with the following email address:
_____ at ____________ has just posted a new sign. The name of the sign
will be necessary too, so the Editor can find the sign quickly. This
will alert the Editor to go look to review the signs, and if they are
accepted by the editor, then the asterisk will be taken off the sign in
the dictionary.

> Level 2: Editors
> Editors can review changes made by contributors. They can either
> approve of
> the changes, or undo the changes and restore the dictionary. Editors
> can
> also delete and rename signs.

> Level 3: Administrators
> Administators manage who is an editors and who is a contributors.

Yes. That is fine. I think the webmasters, namely Val and Stephen, as
the Administrators, should also have editing priviledges for all
SignPuddles, not because we want to be a Dictionary Editor, but because
if the Dictionary Editor is on vacation, or ill or over-scheduled, then
we can help keep the dictionary running smoothly...That would only be a
last resort, if the official Editor cannnot do the work at the moment.
And I think that the largest dictionary...the ASL dictionary...that one
should have more than one Dictionary Editor, so they can share the job.
When the DAC wrote the original ASL dictionary in SignWriting back in
the early 1990's, it was written by five Deaf people, and we always had
a minimum of three review signs, because then if there was a
disagreement, the uneven number three helped us make a final

And everyone will need a button for Tech Support (smile)....

Thank you for your great ideas and now I am going to create my five
signs in SignMaker for today and post them, and share them with the

Val ;-)

More information about the Sw-l mailing list