orientations and IMWA

Charles Butler chazzer3332000 at YAHOO.COM
Sun May 6 13:20:38 UTC 2007

Sandy, I am impressed.

The principle for this keyboarding system (it would take a while to learn) seems excellent.  I like the pivot system as it literally turns the sign at the wrist point through a full circle at 9 degree points, much finer than the current SW point and click, and once you have the contact points available, (one assumes the mannikin is there as a faded outline for all of this, it becomes very interesting).  The end result is a mannikin-based placement which could, I suppose) then print into the SWML as a clustered sign without the mannikin showing, except as a placement spelling.  

I would like a feature that would pop up a window with the keyboard layout (not as a list, but as a graphic), so that one could get used to the 26 or 36 key layout (with layers as you add contact point and arm / leg / shoulder / head contacts etc.

Charles Butler

Sandy Fleming <sandy at scotstext.org> wrote: On Sat, 2007-05-05 at 04:09 -0700, Charles Butler wrote:
> For orientations, sometimes one instance is not enough, you might need
> three for front, back, and middle, then the rest are rotations and
> mirrors, but when the thumb switches sides, or goes into the middle
> pointing toward or away from the reader, there is only so much that a
> computer can be "taught" to do, and it requires a human eye to ensure
> that you actually have a properly oriented symbol that is clear. I
> think we can do with 3 with the rest as rotations, flops, and
> shadings.  

As Stuart wrote, these aren't really a problem: software can deal with

> The old keyboarding system had a lot of positionings assumed, but we
> have discovered with using the IMWA point and click that "assumed"
> positioning is not fine motor enough for points of contact.  We have a
> rather large corpus of signs now to start doing some experiments with
> computerized assumptions, but we are still learning. 

My old prototype SW editor (which only handled handshapes and a few
other things) was perfectly capable of handling fine positioning. How it
worked was like this:

1. User presses keypress for handshape, computer draws handshape in
neutral signing position.

2. User uses arrow keys to move the handshape by jumps of one
handsbreadth at a time to move it into its "coarse" position.

3. User holds down "shift" key and uses arrow keys as before. Now the
hand moves only one-fifth of a handsbreadth at a time and the symbol can
be positioned finely.

This distinction between "coarse" and "fine" positioning, where the
shift key was held down for "fine" work, I extended to rotations and
fills. for example, you could rotate a hand by 45 degrees at a time, but
when holding down the shift key it only rotated by 9 degrees. And a
similar principle for fills.

This worked very well, because if you created the sign without using the
shift key then most signs could be created very quickly (and tended to
have similar positioning styles), while you would only use the shift key
where fine work was really needed.

Incidentally, you can still download this program from
http://bsltext.org/ and mess about with it if you like (Windows only,
unless you have Perl installed on your system), but be warned that my
ideas have advanced since I wrote it. For example, Val made a remark
that clued me in to the fact that the keyboard was difficult to learn,
but I've found ways of simplifying it a lot since then.

> And once you add dance and ballet, one can assume nothing, as a dancer
> can move the arms and legs into any number of positions that simply
> cannot be assumed.  

I hope nobody's expecting me to do movement writing  :(


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