embedding ASL in pdf/html

Alan Post alanpost at SUNFLOWERRIVER.ORG
Mon Mar 22 15:05:52 UTC 2010

Hello Steve, Valerie, and the rest of the list,

My name is Alan Post.  I was introduced to Sign Writing last night,
doing some research for a creative commons project of mine which
involves recording ASL signs both in print media (pdf), html, and
eventually physical signposts.

I don't think I can adequately express how wonderful it is to find
Sign Writer.  My previous plan for recording ASL signs was to
purchase a copy of Poser, which is character modeling software, and
animate the signs myself.

I have suddenly found the scope of my project go from "learn Poser,
make a convincing pose for every word I need, render to an image,
and annotate the image to add gesture hints." to "figure out how to
talk to the Sign Puddle server."  Building on the work you've done
is easily an order of magnitude less work for higher quality results.

Thank you thank you thank you thank you.

I spent last night learning as much as I could about Sign Writing,
and I could really use some orientation.  I have the following "next
steps" that I would like to perform, to teach me how to interact
with the Sign Writing infrastructure and to begin integrating it
into my own project:

 * I would like to display ASL sentences on my website.  I'd like to
   construct these sentences from individual words and control the
   word layout locally.  I'd like the layout of individual gestures
   making up a word, however, to be whatever sign puddle is programmed
   to say they are.

   I think I can use the dictionary to look up the word and copy the
   created glyph to my server.  It seems I could also download a
   copy of the server to my website and transcribe the CSS rendering
   instructions directly onto my page.

   Is there same way in which I could embed an ASL word into a URL
   that when retrieved returns the image/glyph I'd like from sign
   puddle server?  Can you help me better understand how all of
   these pieces fit together?  Teach me to fluently access single
   words from you server programmatically.

 * I would like to render ASL sentences to embed in a pdf document.
   The source for the document is TeX, and in my perfect world I'd
   embed an SVG graphic in my document.  In this usage, I have three
   different font sizes and would like to scale my ASL sentences to
   match my English font.  As well, I need to display these
   sentences in right-to-left order to match the flow of non-ASL
   text in the document.

   I see that there are SVG base glyphs available.  Is there a way I
   can mix these together like the PNG base glyph files can be turned
   into a word by arranging them in space using css?  Can I generate
   SVG graphic files of words and sentences?

   The rest of my pdf document will scale, so I can print them four
   to a page, poster size, &c and the fonts will still look nice.
   I'm hoping I can embed ASL words into these documents in a
   scalable format to preserve the ability to scale my documents, but
   I haven't figured out whether this is possible yet.

I would be delighted if, by the end of the day, I had my first page
with ASL sentences uploaded to my website, and by the end of the
week had succeeded in embedding svg or png graphics of signwritten
ASL words into my pdf.

May I have some guidance understanding where to go from here?  My
fingers tremble to write some ASL!


PS: I'm a software developer, and really don't mind as many
technical details as you would like to provide.  I'll understand
things better if you literally describe the technology, rather than
trying to simplify it through metaphor.  No detail of how this stuff
works will bore me: I'm tremendously impressed by just how well
engineered it is, from the study I've given it so far.
te djuno lo do sevzi


SW-L SignWriting List

Post Message
SW-L at majordomo.valenciacc.edu

List Archives and Help

Change Email Settings

More information about the Sw-l mailing list