Sandy in UK: Flexible computer programming

Sandy Fleming sandy at SCOTSTEXT.ORG
Sat May 19 22:22:14 UTC 2007


Thanks for bringing this up.

It's no problem to store this sort of thing in the computer, and it's no
problem to display it, either, with a geometry-based display system like
SVG or any Graphical User Interface.

The difficult part is to figure out how to make it as easy as possible
for the typist to input it via the keyboard and mouse. As you might have
gathered, once a symbol was typed and on display at the prototype editor
I wrote a couple of years ago, the user could then rotate it either way,
add more or less fill (in handshapes), or move the symbol up, down, left
and right. These would work in fairly coarse jumps, but then by holding
down the shift key he could do all of those things more finely.

The prototype didn't work with movements, but these principles can be
applied to movements: we wouldn't need fill but we would need rotation
(perhaps in three dimensions?) and positioning, and to these we would
need to add resizing - making the movement bigger or smaller (and once
again, the shift key could be held down for "fine resizing").

But we'd need still more: with circular movements it's necessary to say
where the movement begins and ends (with linear movements the position
and size already tells us that). And then some movements such as zigzags
have yet another number associated with them: just how many zigs and
zags are required? Again, storage and display is easy, it's how to make
the keyboarding and mousing simple that's the challenge. We'll just have
to keep thinking about it!

I started programming this week. Unfortunately I have a lot of (paid!)
work on at the moment (more than usual) so progress will be a bit slow
for a while. But I hope to be able to describe exactly what's happening
sometime soon, probably on my website.


On Sat, 2007-05-19 at 13:40 -0700, Valerie Sutton wrote:
> On May 17, 2007, at 10:10 AM, Sandy Fleming wrote:
> > Now that I think about it, there is something I (and I'm sure other
> > developers) could really use, and that's a collection of SignWritten
> > signs - from any number of languages - that are particularly difficult
> > to write clearly, that could be a challenge to present legibly on the
> > page.
> Hello Sandy!
> Here is an example from Sleeping Beauty in ASL...Sometimes we need  
> Circle Symbols that are different sizes...although I can add more  
> sizes to the ISWA, the truth is that there will always be another  
> size not if you can somehow develop flexible circle sizes  
> that would be great!
> This is supposed to be one big circle:
> That is why I say that handwriting is better than dumb  
> computers...because we are not limited by hand...but computers limit  
> the symbolset that is normally flexible by hand...
> Thanks for your question!
> Val ;-)

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