ANNOUNCING: International SignWriting Alphabet 2008

Valerie Sutton sutton at SIGNWRITING.ORG
Sun Sep 21 14:54:17 UTC 2008

SignWriting List
September 21, 2008

Hello Maria, and also Ingvild and Hasna from two previous messages...

Thank you for your congratulations...It means a lot to me. The  
International SignWriting Alphabet is the best symbolset we have ever  
had, based on 35 years of experience learning what was needed...I was  
telling Steve the other day, that the ISWA 2008 is "what SignWriting  
always should have been"...The ISWA 2008 feels comfortable to use, as  
if it was always there waiting for us to use it!

...but it just took 35 years to learn what was needed...through  
feedback and suggestions and studying the writing from signwriters  
around the world...

So I worked on the ISWA symbols, improving them and adding to them,  
for over two years, based on the last IMWA symbolset we were using...

And you are correct, Maria...I really worked hard at making the  
movement arrows just get longer, rather than change in width...There  
are basically two sizes...a small arrow and a larger one, and once you  
start using the larger one, if you want even larger, you just get a  
longer one without the width of the arrow changing...that was months  
of work on my part, trying to standardize that...

And yes...the Facial Circles are now standardized in size. The old  
IMWA symbolset had some facial circles that were not the exact same  
size, so some of them did not fit exactly on top of each other....well  
that problem got fixed in the that is why you used to  
struggle doing that in the old IMWA. so is now easier to put  
heads on top of each other may have to adjust some of those  
from your old writing because I fixed that problem now...

This was an enormous amount of work, you are right. I designed the  
symbols of the ISWA 2008, but without Steve Slevinski developing the  
software for us to use it in, we would have a much harder time using  
it, and I would not have been able to test it the way I did without  
Steve's software, and because of Steve's outstanding conversion  
software, we were able to automatically convert from the last version  
of the IMWA to the new ISWA without a was a flawless it is the Slevinski-Sutton collaboration that is  
making this possible.

In the ISWA 2008 Reference Manual, I wrote a brief history of  
SignWriting software development, and I also dedicated the ISWA 2008  
to Steve might want to read it:

Go to this web page and click on number 1:

ISWA 2008 Documents

And there is still more to do now...Now that the ISWA is posted in  
SymbolBank and in SignPuddle 1.5, I now have to update SignBank  
software with the new symbols, and Steve is working on updating the  
PocketPuddles and other software...

So the work goes on!

Once again thank you for writing your message, Maria...I am happy to  
know you are enjoying the new symbols -

Val ;-)


On Sep 21, 2008, at 4:54 AM, MARIA AZZOPARDI wrote:

> Hi Valerie and Steve,
> I've started using the new ISWA in Puddle - it really has improved!  
> Well
> done! There is a much wider choice of movement arrows - and I love  
> the way
> when you increase the size of the UP/DOWN arrow, the arrow doesn't  
> just
> become wider and bigger all over, but has the same width and just
> increases in length! I think that's very neat :))
> Also is it my immagination, or do the heads fit easily on to one  
> another?
> I used to struggle a little to overlap two head symbols, trying to  
> move
> them onto each other until they become just one head symbol, but now  
> they
> seem to fit onto each other much easily!
> Wow I'm just beginning to realise the amount of work you must have put
> into this project!
> Thank you very much :))
> Maria
>> This is great,
>> I loook forward to begin working with it
>> (Too busy just now, but in a couple of weeks ...)
>> Thank you for all your great effort,
>> Ingvild
>> From: sutton at
>> To: sw-l at
>> Date: Fri, 19 Sep 2008 13:17:28 -0700
>> Subject: [sw-l] ANNOUNCING: International SignWriting Alphabet 2008
>> SignWriting List
>> September 19, 2008
>> Dear SignWriting List:
>> Although we have much work ahead, I am happy to announce the Release
>> Candidate 1 for the International SignWriting Alphabet (ISWA 2008).
>> Yesterday, September 18th, we installed the ISWA 2008 into  
>> SignPuddle 1.5,
>> without any problems. The conversion from the old IMWA to the new  
>> ISWA was
>> automatic and flawless. THANK YOU, to Steve Slevinski, for his  
>> outstanding
>> conversion software.
>> (By the way, the problem that Stefan pointed out was related to  
>> something
>> else entirely from long ago, and was not connected to the ISWA  
>> conversion
>> process which Steve Slevinski designed.)
>> Now that you all can use the ISWA 2008 in SignPuddle 1.5, we will  
>> have a
>> formal review of the ISWA 2008 from September 20, 2008 through  
>> October 20,
>> 2008.
>> After the review, we will decide if additional changes are needed  
>> or if
>> the ISWA 2008 is final and complete.
>> Once the ISWA 2008 is finalized after October 20, 2008, no further  
>> changes
>> will be made to the ISWA 2008 symbolset.
>> In the future, there may be an ISWA 2010 or an ISWA 2012, but the  
>> 2008 symbolset will remain the same after October 20th.
>> So please enjoy testing and using the ISWA 2008 in SignPuddle. If  
>> you have
>> any suggestions, please tell us in the next month, here on the  
>> SignWriting
>> List.
>> We always look forward to hearing from you!
>> More information is coming next message...
>> Val ;-)
>> Valerie SuttonSutton at
>> 1. SignWritingRead & Write Sign Languages
>> 2. SignPuddleCreate SignWriting Documents
>> Online
>> 3. SignBankSignWriting Desktop Databases
>> 4. SignWriting ListTechnical Support: Ask questions to the List
>> 5. SignWriting Literature ProjectWriting Literature in Sign
>> Languages
>> Deaf Action Committee For SignWritingCenter For Sutton Movement  
>> Writingan
>> educational nonprofit organizationP.O. Box 517, La Jolla, CA, 92038,
>> USAtel 858-456-0098   fax 858-456-0020Skype Name: valeriesuttonD-Link
>> Videophone:
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