android app for SignPuddle US dictionary

Valerie Sutton sutton at SIGNWRITING.ORG
Sun Nov 20 19:04:09 UTC 2011

SignWriting List
November 20, 2011

Hello Sky and everyone -
I only wish I could test your software, SkySigns, right now…I do not own a cell phone that is sophisticated like all of yours…I just have one for emergencies because I do not travel so we just have one in our car just in case, so I am not skilled at testing SignWriting software on mobile devices, but I can tell you that someday it would be wonderful to be able to use SignPuddle, or your software SkySigns, to send SignMail…email written in SignWriting in different sign each other - whether it is cell phone to cell phone or cell phone to computer or computer to whatever - right now we can compose and send SignMail to each other in SignWriting from SignPuddle Online. Try it. Go to a SignPuddle dictionary, like the ASL Dictionary:

...and press the Translate button on the far left of the screen. Then type the English gloss for the signs you want and the dictionary finds those signs. Then you choose the variation of the sign you want and then push the Update button and that gives you the sentence you want in ASL. If you want to do it more sophisticated writing, you can then load the sentence into SignText for editing, or you can just push the SignMail button to send it as an email.

I am going out the door to a family event here, and cannot send a SignMail right now, but I hope others can do that, or perhaps you can compose one -

If your software could do a SignMail based on your dictionary, that would be a wonderful fun and informative feature -

Val ;-)


On Nov 20, 2011, at 8:52 AM, Schuyler Duveen wrote:

> Could you explain the use-case a bit more for why you want to compose in
> sign-writing? Is it to transcribe signing that you see, or write 'in
> ASL' or use signwriting only when english/text does not suffice?
> For the near-term, I'm focusing on dictionary capabilities -- composing
> entries, lookup, reverse-lookup, etc.
> cheers,
> sky
> On Nov 17, 2011, at 12:52 PM, Freddy wrote:
> Awesome. I downloaded this apps. Nice apps. I would like to see next
> version capable to copy and paste or note pad where I can write in
> signwriting. Thank you!!!
> ----- Reply message -----
> From: "Valerie Sutton" <sutton at SIGNWRITING.ORG>
> Subject: android app for SignPuddle US dictionary
> Date: Thu, Nov 17, 2011 11:01 am
> SignWriting List
> November 17, 2011
> Hello Schuyler!
> Thank you for this work…I am amazed and excited about it. Bill…if it
> works please tell us!
> Val ;-)
> ------
> On Nov 16, 2011, at 9:33 PM, Bill Reese wrote:
>> Schuyler,
>> What a coincidence, I just tried your old app again a couple of days
> ago and it still didn't work - pressing on the buttons didn't do
> anything. I uninstalled it from my phone. I hope your new one works this
> time.
>> Bill
>> On 11/16/2011 11:20 PM, Schuyler Duveen wrote:
>>> Hello again,
>>> Thanks everyone for sending feedback and issues back in September. I
> just started a new job, so I've been a little distracted, but finally
> was able to come back around to this project. A new version is at the
> same URL:
>>> You can also just download it from the Android Market by searching
> for 'skysigns'
>>> It's still a little slow on older devices, but please let me know if
> something doesn't work. It's basically a functional dictionary now.
>>> I'm now working on a composer, which will let people upload signs
> which will then get added to the dictionary (after some moderation).
> After an issue or two is resolved, it will also be an iPhone app and a
> website with the same functionality.
>>> If you want to preview the composer functionality, go to the About
> page and scroll ALL the way down, and then click the "enable
> experimental mode" link. Nothing will happen, but if you exit and
> re-enter the app, you'll suddenly have a 'Add new sign' option and you
> can edit any sign in the dictionary.
>>> One thing I was trying to do is use the compose context as a kind of
> intro to sign writing -- by indexing common symbols. A few of the sign
> lists in the help/compose section have been selected by looking for the
> most common elements used in the dictionary. But the general approach is
> not to be comprehensive with all the shapes -- instead having a short
> but useful list. I'd love feedback on important hand-shapes that are not
> included or anything that's mislabeled.
>>> Finally, the html/javascript part of it is open-source:
>>> cheers,
>>> sky
>>> PS If you reply, please CC my email address (sky at since I
> read the list in digest format, and it will be harder to answer.
>>> On 09/06/2011 11:02 AM, Schuyler Duveen wrote:
>>>> Hi folks,
>>>> I'm new to the community. I became interested in learning sign
> language early this year, and discovered Sign Writing through some web
> searches. Recently, I also became interested in learning about mobile
> application development, and SignWriting seemed like a great way to
> store a large ASL dictionary offline (so I can get it on the subway and
> without downloading a large video or something) and SignPuddle's export
> made it possible to start with a large database of signs.
>>>> This is still not-even-alpha software -- lots of bugs, and debugging
> data exposed, but for those of you with Android phones you should be
> able to install this .apk file:
>>>> (Follow these instructions:
>>>> and then visit the above link from your phone. After install, read
> the About page first.)
>>>> Right now, it's just a dictionary with look-up, but I hope
> eventually to add reverse-lookup, a sign composer (so people can add to
> the dictionary easily), and support for arbitrary dictionaries (via spml
> files?).
>>>> I'd also like to open-source license it, but because I'd like this
> app to be available on the android and iphone markets, I need to figure
> out what the best license is for such things (since they're pretty
> antagonistic toward open-source apps).
>>>> In the meantime, this is also just a hello. SignWriting was really
> easy to learn, and the infrastructure that all of you have built is
> amazing.
>>>> cheers,
>>>> Schuyler

Val ;-)

Valerie Sutton
Sutton at

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