ISWA web font

Stephen E Slevinski Jr slevin at SIGNPUDDLE.NET
Thu Sep 4 21:05:40 UTC 2014

On 9/3/14, 7:25 PM, Yair Rand wrote:
> I don't understand why is a 2-color font is necessary...
There are issues of overlap that must be addressed.  Each symbols has 
positive space (line) and negative space (fill).  The negative space of 
the symbol on top will cover the positive space of the symbol underneath.

The writing does not look right, unless these overlap issues are 
handled. The symbol fills took a lot of time to complete, and they add a 
lot of value.

> A few issues on using a font to supply the symbols on Incubator:
> 1. Having the colors inherited directly from the font color would 
> solve some issues on the Incubator, such as getting the :visited 
> colors to work, and getting past the heavy MutationObservers 
> monitoring style changes.

It would be great to use standard CSS without MutationObservers.  A 
properly created font would be able to handle many of these issues.

I have been investigating SVG Glyphs for OpenType Fonts and believe it 
will be possible to create a font for the SignWriting symbols as they 
will be defined in Unicode 8.  I have started the project and I have the 
raw material ready.  See the font test page.

> 2. If the symbols themselves are actual simple text nodes in the 
> document, wouldn't this interfere with copy-pasting signs?
The Unicode and the SVG Glyphs in the OpenType font would only be used 
for display.  We would need a similar technique to the SVG Background 
idea so that we could still use the FSW for storage.  The technical 
details aside, we would still be using FSW for copy and paste.

> 3. Is there an existing way to convert FSW straight to the Unicode 
> symbols?
Yes.  The Unicode characters are a little tricky to deal with, but the 
SignWriting Font Test Page include JavaScript fuctions that can convert 
the FSW strings into the Unicode characters. The code on the test page 
works great.  It is purely functional with a lot of extra content.  It 
definitely needs cleaned up and restructured if we want a general 
purpose library.




Valerie Sutton
SignWriting List moderator
sutton at

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