SignWriter software

Rodrigo Ferreira Bagni rodbagni at GMAIL.COM
Thu Sep 13 14:27:27 UTC 2007

I am posting in the list a question I asked to Valerie on private so that
everybody can be aware of it.

My question:
"Dear Valerie,

I would like to ask you something about SignWriter in Java.

I would like to add it to a project in which I am working, TIDIA-Ae project.
I have been working in the project since last month. Since then I have been
looking for some softwares for the Deaf to integrate to the project. I would
prefer to do this than only change the system's interface to make it more
accessible to the them. That is supposed to be a later task.

Then I thought, since the SignWriter's source code is available it is
allowed to get it and change it. But I have not found any license related to
the code. So I find the only thing I must do is to ask permission to alter
the software.
Therefore I am writing to you, to ask your permission to change the source
code and integrate it to TIDIA-Ae.
Of course, after that I will let everybody know. I am going to send you all
the material related to it.

Thank you

Valerie's answer:
"Rodrigo -

Of course you can use SignWriter code. That is why I placed it on the
web so people can use it. I never thought of licenses years ago when
I posted it. I know that now people do have licenses and I am fully
aware I have to read up on the licenses to try to understand the
modern world, but when I started SignWriting it was always my
intention to give it freely to the world, just as long as everyone
was good to each other, giving each other credit where credit is due
and so forth...and just as long as any software derived from it will
continue to be free and open to the go right ahead and
use Signwriter Java sources. The problem is that I have no one to
help you with the source code. The programmers of that specific code
are no longer working with us. Our current software is wonderful,
SignPuddle and SignBank, but I notice you are not interested in
that...if you are, we can talk about that too ;-)

SignPuddle sources are owned by Stephen Slevinski and in time he will
have licenses as well...we are both working very hard right now to
complete a great deal of software...

We have found the SignWriter Java source code can be confusing, but
one programmer in South Africa recently told me they are using
SignWriter Tiger sources that are on SourceForge...have you tried that?

SignWriter Tiger

Daniel Noelpp, the developer, is a wonderful young Deaf programmer
and I am sad we did not have the money to pay him full time to
continue that has the licenses you need...

Just know you are welcome to use the sources I placed on the web
years ago for SignWriter Java and of course I will say yes! Why would
I place them on the web if I didn't want someone to use it? ;-))

SignWriting is free to the world and even though I may not
have read the license agreements the world seems to think is
necessary, that does not mean that it is not most
definitely is...

So in the future, our symbols will be released under the SIL OFL
License...I still have to post that...that is not software
sources...that is the symbols on SymbolBank...the ISWA will be under
the OFL License...


Regarding the software in Brazil, Dr. Antonio Carlos da Rocha Costa
dedicated many years to SignNet and other projects and to him I am
grateful! He and his family have been here to visit me in the past
and it was always important to talk to him...

Brazil uses SignWriting in several places and we are fortunate...

I hope in time you might consider coordinating your efforts with our
modern software, SignPuddle and SignBank...there is a Brazilian
SignPuddle waiting for you to add signs free of charge on the web,
and a Brazilian SignBank is coming soon...

We will work together! it is just hard for me to do it all alone...maybe you
help me build the SignPuddle Brazilian dictionary on the web?

Val ;-) "

My reply:
"Thank you very much, Valerie. Of course that all credit will be given to
those who first created the software and for those, like you, who mantain it
on the site. But I needed a confirmation, since there is no license. Now I
have one.  :-)
And I am in favor of the free software, maybe you do not what it means. It
means that everything I do will always be available to everyone.

Of course SignPuddle is a great deal of software.  :-)
I have got in touch with Stephen last week. And maybe it is not time to do
that, because the TIDIA-ae project is under development and I think it will
be better to do that after we have something more evolved, regarding the
system itself and the advertisement about it. It is a big project and the
funding institution of the project want it to be known internationally. And
they also want to do partnerships in the near future, starting next year,
then I think it will be a great opportunity to work in cooperation with all
of you.

Make sure I will not forget it.

TIDIA-ae is supposed to be under a license called GPL (General Public
License), it means that if Stephen agree and want, he will be able to get
TIDIA's code and do whatever he wants with it.

Of course I am interested in it, but what I want now is something that could
be done fastly so I can present it to the committee and tell them about the
Deaf. And SignWriter is a good option I think.

About SignWriter Tiger.
My mistake, I did not try SignWriter Tiger. I thought that Tiger had to do
with another thing and not with Java Tiger.
In the area of computing we do not use the name Tiger much, so I have got
But sure, I will try it now!

I know Dr. Antonio Carlos da Rocha Costa and all he has done, Valerie. He
was the first person in the country I have met, through your web site, that
worked with SignWriting.
He was the only one that agreed to send me the code of a software. Really
such a great person.

About the SignPuddle Brazilian dictionary on the web.
Of course. I want it very much. But there is a little problem, I have just
started to learn sign languege, that is why I do not talk much about it. But
as soon as I acquire the necessary skills I will use SignPuddle a lot."

THE END   :-)
Rodrigo Ferreira Bagni
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