Arm Lines

Sandy Fleming sandy at SCOTSTEXT.ORG
Sat May 5 07:35:18 UTC 2007

Val wrote:

> Obviously handwriting does not have the same problems as  
> computerization of writing languages...two totally different  
> mediums.... So there is always good and bad to handwriting versus  
> computerization...
> But back to computerization of arm lines and leg lines...that is your  
> real question I believe...
> The answer is....Val has to clean up the IMWA, or the ISWA ;-)


Computers aren't as dumb as you seem to think  :)

Imagine a person using some sort of interactive SignWriting editor or
word processor to input signs using the keyboard and mouse.

Let's say they've put in the right hand, and positioned it where they
want it on the screen. Let's say they've also decided to draw shoulders.
They press the keys or select the menu item that will draw the shoulder
line they want, and probably they don't have to position it because the
computer knows where to put simple things like shoulders.

Now they want to draw an arm and they press a key or something to tell
the computer this. Does the computer then show him a selection of arms
from the IMWA to draw? No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no! :)  Just
as I didn't have to actually type all those "Noes" because the computer
helped me, the user doesn't have to actually draw the arm because the
computer can help him.

When the user selects to draw an arm, the computer decides on a probable
position for the elbow and draws the forearm from the wrist of the hand
to the elbow, and an upper arm from the elbow to the shoulder. It then
allows the user to drag the elbow into the position he really wants with
the mouse (or by using the arrow keys), and the arm lines move with it,
while saying attached to the wrist and shoulder.

As you see, the problem is with the design of the IMWA, which tries to
offer loads of stuff that software with appropriate drawing capabilities
is better off without, because the software can do these things for us.

I'm not saying we don't need the  IMWA (or IMSA?) - I find the design of
the symbols important for reference and the naming conventions of the
SSS important for referring to symbols from within software and between
components of software, but computers can do an awful lot of work that
you seem to think the IMWA should do for itself.

Another example is with the number of different orientations offered by
the IMWA. As others discussed recently, we only need a fraction of these
- one instance of each shape is enough.

Sandy (now wondering if this email sounds less calm than intended  :)

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