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SignWriting List
May 28, 2010

Hello Tim!
Great to hear from you and I am so glad you were able to fly to Malta! And you met Maria and Nedelina and perhaps Carlos Machado? (hello Nedelina, Maria and Carlos! ;-)

You have to admit it is a small world - and a wonderful one - when we all have this common interest and can meet each other all over the globe....

And the day that it rains "signs" written in SignWriting, and you see them floating in puddles throughout the streets of Malta - ha! That is the day we can say that SignPuddle is really established - when the heavens rain signs (big grin ;-)

And Tim - I really like your new software for SignWriting - it is a database, is that correct? And I love looking at the screen shots you have shown me, and your software could be very useful for others now...How do you feel about other people using it, or is it only for inside SIL?

The reason I ask is that now there may be a workshop for SignWriting held in August or later, in Southport, Merceyside, UK, and if your database has British Sign Language information in it, written in SignWriting, this could be VERY useful for the Deaf participants in that workshop. They actually do not have computers at the moment, but even if the teacher could just print out the information you have in your database, that would give the participants some BSL to study, written in SignWriting, and may help them learn. We have very little literature and dictionaries written in BSL...so your database could become an important part of learning SignWriting in the UK. Thank you for the work you are doing.

And I feel a little sorry about the work you must go to, to update to the ISWA 2010. The ISWA 2010 is now frozen...there will be no more changes. So at least this will be the last time you have to do this.

Do you know about these links for updating?

http://www.signbank.org/iswa_dev/convert/

http://www.signbank.org/iswa_dev/convert.zip

http://www.signbank.org/iswa_dev/convert/example.php

Although Adam and I have posted all of the handshapes with animated GIFs for ISWA 2010 on the web now, there is still one more improvement-posting we need to post on a few of the handshapes...when those are posted I will announce this and then you can grab all the updated photos for your database...

Keep us informed about your work -

Thanks Tim!

Val ;-)

PS. Did you present at the LREC 2010?

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On May 28, 2010, at 3:21 AM, Timothy W. Grove wrote:

> Sorry to be the last one replying from LREC2010, I've been trying to get to grips with the new ISWA2010 this week. (How's that for an excuse to be unsociable?!! I didn't realize that there were as many additions and changes from ISWA2008...)
> 
> Sorry too that this list didn't hear about it sooner but thanks so much for publishing the info; it gave me the chance to meet some really wonderful people. My family really enjoyed our stay in Malta and we are already thinking about when we might return. Friendly people and beautiful weather, although when I stepped out of our hotel on Monday morning and found myself splashing about in puddles (the kind filled with rain water and not signs :-) ), I realized that it must be time to return to Britain!
> 
> Best regards to all,
> Tim
> 
> Valerie Sutton wrote:
>> SignWriting List
>> May 27, 2010
>> 
>> Thank you, everyone, for your discussions about the LREC 2010. I feel many of you have missed the point a little...So let me explain from my point of view.
>> 
>> SignWriting software development presentations dominated the LREC 2004 in Lisbon. You can see the majority of the papers presented at the LREC 2004 were using SignWriting for software development. I created a special web area for all the papers and the whole proceedings and even the group photo:
>> 
>> LREC 2004
>> 
>> http://www.signwriting.org/forums/software/lisbon/index.html
>> 
>> 
>> HamNoSys presentations were there too, in 2004, but in that conference, SignWriting had more presentations.
>> 
>> So when it comes to conferences, these things wax and wane...sort of like a tidal wave or a snowball effect...and SignWriting will dominate at the LREC conferences in the future...I am sure of it!
>> 
>> Meanwhile, in 2010, behind the scenes, Steve's software development with SignWriting, which we are soon to announce, is so totally fabulous for people who write sign languages on a daily basis, for writing real literature and encyclopedia articles in the facial expressions and handshapes and movements and role shifting of sign languages, that it is really not correct to compare our work with anyone else's, including HamNoSys, since the HamNoSys system's goals are different. HamNoSys cannot write sign language literature. There is no comparison because the goals of the two systems were never the same. HamNoSys is not a system designed for writing for everyday use like SignWriting is...and therefore I feel it is wrong to even compare the two systems, since our goals are different.
>> 
>> Why was SignWriting not present at this current LREC 2010? Because we didn't even know about the conference until all the papers had already been submitted and accepted...and besides...our organization doesn't have the funds right now to pay our own way to Malta from the US, and meanwhile our work is free on the internet for everyone to use, and we are making huge strides forward now with really cool software for people who read and write sign languages on a daily basis, and that has nothing to do with any other system...
>> 
>> So this is more a choice as to when we present our work at conferences, and not a statement as to whether one system is better or not...or more used or not for that matter...
>> 
>> Meanwhile, there are other linguistic-based software projects that DO use SignWriting, and also three different Avatar projects, so SignWriting is used for these other areas too, but those projects were not represented at this particular conference...One of the current linguistic projects using SignWriting has recently submitted a grant to fund it, so it is just getting started with using SignWriting for their linguistic database. If that project succeeds, it may influence other linguistic programs in the future to use SignWriting too, and Steve's new software development will help that process along.
>> 
>> Remember Maria, that you did not know about the 2010 conference yourself, until it was too late to submit? If it were not for Shane, who informed us about the conference (thank you Shane!), I don't believe we would have known about it...and that is ok...there are conferences in the future where SignWriting will be present again...too bad not in Malta though!
>> 
>> I am giving you all big hugs and just know that great things are coming...
>> 
>> And may I ask...was Tim Grove from the UK, and Nedelina Ivanova from Iceland, able to fly into Malta, and did you meet each other? I hope so...I was thinking of all of you the whole time...I know the volcano in Iceland made flying difficult...
>> 
>> Val ;-)
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> On May 27, 2010, at 8:10 AM, Steve Slevinski wrote:
>> 
>>   
>> 
>>> MARIA AZZOPARDI wrote:
>>>     
>>> 
>>>> Dear Steve, Val and all the list,
>>>> I attended the LREC 2010 and I must say I was slightly disappointed at the
>>>> very low use of SignWriting in Computer Sign Language linguists. There
>>>> were some researchers that told me they considered SignWriting, but opted
>>>> for HanNoSys. It would be ideal if SignWriting were used, I thought, but I
>>>> probably can't understand the technicalities, as computers are not my
>>>> area.
>>>> Could you explain why the situation is so.
>>>>       
>>>> 
>> 
>> 
>>   
>>