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SW-L  December 2011

SW-L December 2011

Subject:

SignWriting Unicode update and a path forward

From:

Steve Slevinski <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

SignWriting List: Read and Write Sign Languages

Date:

Thu, 8 Dec 2011 11:52:09 -0600

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (108 lines)

Hi SignWriting list,

Before the end of this year, I was hoping to announce that we were going 
to be on the February 2012 Unicode ballot with my syntactic 
decomposition of the ISWA 2010.  This was going to encode Valerie's 
chosen SignWriting symbols, each with an international meaning.  There 
was no agreement on higher level script layout.   We wouldn't be able to 
write with the full script in Unicode, but we would be able to discuss 
the modern SignWriting symbol set in plain text regardless of the higher 
level encoding.  It was going to form a common foundation between 
historic SignWriting and Unicode SignWriting.  This, unfortunately is 
not going to happen in the near future.

This is in stark contrast with the amazing search breakthrough I had in 
October of this year.  The difference isn't a few times faster, but 
several magnitudes of order faster.  Even without normalized data, I can 
search hundreds of thousands of signs and find exact matches or 
approximate matches.  We can have real time auto-complete, suggested 
spellings, and meaningful normalization tools.

The solution to the final piece of the puzzle was regular data that 
could be processed with simple regular expressions.  Blazing speed and 
meaningful results for all platforms, devices, databases, and 
programming languages with a simple, flexible and powerful abstraction 
layer.

Based on formal and regular math, my work has nothing to do with 
Unicode.  It utilizes a 16-bit font and an ASCII encoding.  It is the 
end result of 7 years of trial and error with a beautiful script and a 
simple mathematical model.

I am ready to put the unstable path of development behind and start a 
solid future based on a mature stable public standard.  I am preparing 
that standard as a 12 part series to be ready on 1/12/12.  This will 
form the basis for the standard.
http://signpuddle.com

I am finalizing SignPuddle 2.0, which will use the same user interface 
as previous versions, but incorporates the latest search breakthrough. 
The form used to encode sign words as strings is final.  Any changes 
will be a different major version.  The XML files used to store the 
dictionaries and documents are defined with the SPML dtd.  The ISWA 
2010, sign words, and the SPML files are the elements of the stable 
public standard.

SignPuddle 2.1 will be a jQuery (JavaScript) update for the editors and 
user interface.  It will embrace modern browser support.  I am 
considering a series of add-ons to the Yii Framework.

SignPuddle 2.2 will be for touch devices and deal with the user 
experience of writing and editing.  Both iOS and the Android platforms 
will be targeted.

The SignWriting Image Server 2 is an unstable development version.  I 
will post the code on Github soon, but major parts of the code are not 
compliant with MSW v1.

The SignWriting Image Server 3 will be a standard compliant 
implementation of Modern SignWriting v1.  It will support viewing, 
editing, searching, sorting and more.  Development will be based on SWIS 
2 and start early next year.  The viewer section will be production 
server ready and available as a MediaWiki plugin.

So that I can compartmentalize Unicode, I have divided the SignWriting 
Universe for my own sanity.

Modern SignWriting v1
-------------------
ISWA 2010
ASCII encoding
Unicode: private use area
Syntactic decomposition
Historical foundation
International corpus
Full text processing
Stable design specifications


Modern SignWriting v2
-------------------
Unicode encoding
Visual decomposition
Initial design stages

The Unicode process is still alive and kicking, but they will not have 
anything to propose for this coming February.  They are starting over 
with a visual decomposition of the ISWA 2010.  This may lead to better 
integration with the Unicode libraries.   The current goal is to support 
the ISWA 2010, so we may end up with a common foundation yet.

I've started 2 discussion groups on LinkedIn: one for each version of 
Modern SignWriting.  If you're interested in an in depth discussion, or 
know someone who might be, join one of the groups.

http://www.linkedin.com/groups/Modern-SignWriting-v1-discussion-4209083
http://www.linkedin.com/groups/Modern-SignWriting-v2-discussion-4209106

If you like what SignPuddle has done in the past or you are excited 
about what we'll do in the future, consider helping me build my online 
reputation and network.

http://facebook.com/people/Stephen-E-Slevinski-Jr/692219249
http://linkedin.com/in/slevinski
http://twitter.com/slevinski
https://github.com/slevinski

Regards,
-Steve

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