embedding ASL in pdf/html

Valerie Sutton sutton at SIGNWRITING.ORG
Mon Mar 22 15:28:23 UTC 2010

SignWriting List
March 22, 2010

Hello Alan!
Welcome to the SignWriting List. Thank you for this message...

It is great to know that you are enthusiastically working on a project that uses SignWriting!

Questions regarding software development are Steve's territory...so we will wait for Steve to answer your technical questions about SignPuddle and the SignWriting Image Server...

Meanwhile, if you need to learn how to write a sign in SignWriting, or want to know what a symbol means, or would like instruction on how to use existing software, or would like to discuss the cultural and social ramifications of written sign languages, I and others, like Adam, can help you here on the List...

And Bill Reese is so right - take a look at Adam Frost's vlog - it is amazing!

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On Mar 22, 2010, at 8:05 AM, Alan Post wrote:

> 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!
> -Alan
> 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
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