[Sw-l] January 2017 - Report from Steve's desk

Valerie Sutton signwriting at MAC.COM
Thu Jan 12 10:53:18 EST 2017

SignWriting List
January 12, 2017

Hello SignWriting List!

Thank you Steve, for this report from your desk January 2017.

This is inspired work. Without Steve, SignWriting symbols would not have been incorporated into Unicode v8 in 2015, and we are so fortunate that Steve is continuing to strive for an improved Unicode for the SignWriting script.

For those who may not be tuned into the world of Unicode...

Unicode is a computing industry standard for the consistent encoding, representation, and handling of text expressed in most of the world's writing systems. Writing sign languages with the SignWriting script is one of the writing systems in Unicode.

But right now, even though the symbol characters of the International SignWriting Alphabet (ISWA) are in Unicode, they cannot be used properly for writing sign languages because we are still lacking the coordinate symbols that give us the ability to place one symbol on top of, or below, or to the side of another symbol. We need the "layout" ability to write down in vertical columns too.

And it can be done in Unicode if the committees that administer Unicode accept Steve's idea of how to do it.

We are very hopeful that the enormous work Steve mentions in his report below, will be the key to the future of written sign languages on mobile devices as well as computers.

So thank you, Steve, for the links below. I particularly enjoyed looking at your slides, explaining this in simple terms:

SignWriting in Unicode Next, Version 3, 2017
http://www.slideshare.net/StephenSlevinski/signwriting-in-unicode-next <http://www.slideshare.net/StephenSlevinski/signwriting-in-unicode-next>

Val ;-)


> On Jan 12, 2017, at 5:40 AM, Stephen Slevinski <slevin at SIGNPUDDLE.NET> wrote:
> Hi SignWriting List,
> Happy New Year to all.  I have lots to share and I hope you do too.
> First, I'm happy to celebrate 5 years of stability with Formal SignWriting: the computer encoding of Sutton SignWriting.  I have a new internet draft available that contains all of the technical information about the specification.
> * https://tools.ietf.org/html/draft-slevinski-formal-signwriting
> Second, I'd like to announce a new effort for Unicode.  Section 4 of the document above contains a new design that builds on the 672 Unicode characters that have already been accepted.  The new design completes the script encoding with an additional 17 characters. I've put together a brief presentation available online.
> * http://www.slideshare.net/StephenSlevinski/signwriting-in-unicode-next
> Third, the Center for Sutton Movement Writing is working on a grant proposal from the Wikimedia Foundation.  The grant involves the creation of a 2-D font that will work with the new Unicode design. The new font will be the key component of the official submission to the Unicode Technical Committee for the 17 new characters.
> * https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grants:Project/slevinski/ASL_Wikipedia_2-D_Font_Development_for_SignWriting
> Fourth, the Sutton SignWriting project is a nice collection of resources that explain and leverage the state of the art for using SignWriting online.
> * https://slevinski.github.io/SuttonSignWriting/
> 2017 is going to be another great year for SignWriting.  Warmest wishes to all.
> Regards,
> -Steve



Valerie Sutton
SignWriting List moderator
sutton at signwriting.org

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