SVG and Unicode

Steve Slevinski slevin at SIGNPUDDLE.NET
Tue May 1 13:52:02 UTC 2007

Hi Stuart,

I'm sure the IMWA can be formatted to save space.  I've squeezed all of 
the IMWA symbols into 450 files for SignPuddle 1.5 and the pocketpuddle.

Part of the Unicode process should be to get an entire Unicode platter 
of 56 thousand symbol markers for MovementWriting rather than the 
existing 256 for SignWriting.  A committee has decided that new platters 
would not be opened until the existing platters were filled first.  
Either sign languages in general, or movement writing specifically needs 
to have a new platter opened and assigned.  This would be news! 

Movement Writing has symbol sets for Ax Chopping and skateboarding as 
well as dance.  We'll need symbol extension pack and subsets for the IMWA. 

Sounds like an interesting project.

For what it's worth,

Stuart Thiessen wrote:
> Well, getting the symbols into Unicode requires a proposal to the 
> Unicode people detailing what symbols will belong at what positions. 
> To do that, we have to determine how the SignWriting will be rendered. 
> There are several components involved: the font itself, the renderer, 
> and the input method editor. The renderer is software that tells the 
> display how to create the writing on the screen. We will have to 
> determine how much responsibility is in the font and how much is in 
> the renderer. For example, should the font have the rotations or 
> should the renderer take care of that? Should the font have all the 
> fills or should the renderer fill it in for us? Also, it is my 
> understanding that Unicode allows us to have one codepoint for a 
> character, but that character can have multiple glyphs (symbols). So 
> that would be another aspect to consider. Once all of those issues are 
> resolved, then we would have a firm proposal to present to them for 
> their approval. Because SignWriting is not a simple linear alphabet 
> like the Roman alphabet, we will also have to deal with creating 
> instructions for a renderers so they will know how to display 
> SignWriting text.  All of that is stuff I plan to research as part of 
> my thesis. I have contact with people who work with non-Roman scripts 
> regularly and who have contacts with the Unicode people so that should 
> help. Also, Michael Everson has been very supportive of the idea of 
> SignWriting being in Unicode.
> As to your other question about SVG, it is my understanding that SVG 
> is an excellent format to have in place because it should be possible 
> to use the SVG to develop a font later on. So using SVG now will make 
> it easier later on when Unicode becomes a reality (or at least I hope 
> it will become a reality). :)
> Thanks,
> Stuart
> On May 1, 2007, at 8:14, GerardM wrote:
>> Hoi,
>> When it comes to Unicode, there are two questions relevant to me.
>>     * How do we get all the SignWriting symbols in Unicode.
>>     * Will having the SignWriting symbols in SVG help the move of the
>>       symbols into Unicode
>> I start off by stating that I am ignorant about SignWriting, but when 
>> I look at the website I find fifty base figures that can be 
>> manipulated in some fifteen ways. If I have this correctly, it means 
>> that all symbols and UNICODE glyphs will be based on these. If this 
>> is true, it may mean that we could start with a quality SVG and 
>> result in a glyph that is acceptable for use in UNICODE. Obviously I 
>> do not know and I am probably overly optimistic, but I am sure you 
>> will tell me if I am.. :)
>> Thanks,
>>     GerardM
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