[Sw-l] Report from Steve's desk

Stephen E Slevinski Jr slevin at SIGNPUDDLE.NET
Mon Aug 10 13:59:08 UTC 2015

On 8/9/15 11:15 AM, Stefan Woehrmann wrote:
> Hi Steve,
> thank you very much for your detailed answer. Of course I am not able 
> to understand anyhing of the software-secrets behind these 
> developements but I will share your answer with our delegs team. ;-))
Hi Stefan,

I realize that I talk technical.  I appreciate everyone who takes the 
time to read my emails. I have sufficiently built up my foundation to 
show some great visuals.  3 years ago, I could talk about it, today I 
can show it.  We're improving all of the time. Slowly to the future, 
step after step.

The software secrets are all contained in the SignWriting 2010 
Javascript library (SW10JS).  It is self contained and less than 6 KB 
zipped.  If your development ever uses Javascript, you can shorten the 
development time significantly regarding visual display and advanced 

If you are using a language other than Javascript, you will need to 
recreate the SignWriting library functions.  I would suggest an open 
source license, but that is not required.  I have the SignWriting 
library available in PHP as the SignWriting Icon Server (SWIS), but it 
is a legacy server and contains many layers of conversions with older 
data formats and other loose ends.

In time, I hope that other programming languages will have a free and 
documented function library for Formal SignWriting.  In Javascript, 
SW10JS has the cleanest model focusing on Formal SignWriting.  In PHP, 
SWIS is backwards compatible with previous models.  Both libraries 
implement the advanced searching of Formal SignWriting.

> Thanks for explaining to visualize FSW Data as SignWriting ... I 
> checked it with the Rand-Keyboard.  Wow ..this is cool.

It is very cool.  Although Yair started with the SignWriting Thin 
Viewer, his keyboard has far outgrown my FSW viewer script.  The initial 
script was less than 3,000 characters long.
* http://swis.wmflabs.org/#thin

I am so excited for the Rand-Keyboard and for increased activity on 
Incubator for all sign languages.  I wrote about the Yair's keyboard 
development for the Wikipedia Signpost as a suggested story.  If anyone 
wants to help me polish the story, I'd appreciate it.


I see that you wrote my name sign.  This is the same way that Madson 
Barreto wrote it last year at the 2014 Symposium.  He wrote it by hand 
in the blink of an eye.  How long does it take to write with the Rand 
> Can you look for the meaning of a sign once you know the FSW Data of a 
> sign?

Ah.  That is exactly the point.  You can search for FSW stings based on 
exact matches or approximate matches which meet a set of criteria.

This can best be seen through SignMaker 2015.  For searching, you need 
to load the correct dictionary.  I picked the ASL Dictionary with the 
English interface.

I copied my name sign above and pasted it into the FSW field on the 
dictionary tab.

If the FSW string is valid, it will be loaded into the SignBox.

Excellent.  Now open the search tab.  There are 6 options, but 2 are 
grayed out.

Any of the first four buttons will find my name sign in the SignPuddle 
dictionary.  It has been entered twice.  Very nice to be added.  Neither 
has a SignSpelling Sequence, so I will add that in SignMaker.

When my sign name is sortable, it is longer and looks like this.

The searching is powered by query strings.  After pressing one of the 
search buttons (Same Symbols is below), the appropriate query string 
will appear at the top of the green dictionary box.

If you can read query strings, then the above is searching for 3 exact 
symbol keys:  S33100, S20310, and S26b02.

Playing around, I found out that my name sign is the only ASL sign in 
SignPuddle that uses that exact movement arrow, but there are over 30 
that use the same arrow with different rotations and different fills. 
Query string QS26buu.  With SignMaker, delete every symbol but the 
movement arrow and then press the search button "Base Symbols".

> Thanks for informing me about the problems with SignMail.  I am sorry 
> to hear that ..it has been such a neat way to exchange messges with my 
> students. But we will find a workaround with screenshots and gifs  
> since it is so easy and no problem at all to create a message with the 
> delegs Editor ... Thanks for your feedback.
Thank you Stefan.  I love to talk about SignWriting.  I realize that I 
deal with abstract concepts, but I'm happy to say that I've been stable 
for 3 1/2 years with no further disruptions planned.

There is a trail of historical formats before Formal SignWriting, but 
they are larger and more complex to process. Searching in Formal 
SignWriting takes the blink of an eye.

I'm happy that you and your classes have enjoyed SignMail.  It is on my 
list, but as part of SignPuddle 3.  I still need to get back to the new 
SignText based on SignMaker 2015.

I am so grateful that you have Delegs you can use in your classroom. 
What a great time to write signs!




Valerie Sutton
SignWriting List moderator
sutton at signwriting.org

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sw-l at listserv.valenciacollege.edu

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