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
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.
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
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
Unicode: private use area
Full text processing
Stable design specifications
Modern SignWriting v2
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.
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.