[Sw-l] Formal SignWriting in ASCII (FSW) is 6 years old.

Stephen Slevinski slevin at SIGNPUDDLE.NET
Fri Jan 12 22:42:33 UTC 2018

Hi SignWriting List,

6 years ago today, I published the specification of Formal SignWriting 
in ASCII (FSW).  Since the initial release, the characters have remained 
the same.  Sign language written in FSW is safely encoded in a stable 
standard that will be readable in 100 years from now.

To celebrate 6 years of FSW, I created a presentation about why I 
created Formal SignWriting and about the organizing principles around 
the design.

First, I believe in real literacy and that means reading and writing.  
Literacy should be learned in a person's primary language as well as any 
secondary languages.  FSW makes it possible to write and share sign 
language in ways that are impossible with video.

Second, I believe in the utility of formal structures such as formal 
conventions, formal order, freeform construction, and formal languages.  
These structures make it possible to write sign language in FSW.

Lastly, I believe in the benefits of living forward.  I believe we 
should learn from the past, apply in the present, and work towards the 
future.  The real benefits of FSW will be in 100 years from now.  For 
sign languages, FSW makes it possible to create a tradition in literacy 
with writing that is documented and portable.


The same principles hold true for the 2017 characters of SignWriting in 
Unicode (SWU).




Valerie Sutton
SignWriting List moderator
sutton at signwriting.org

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