Hi Val,

On 10/12/11 11:48 AM, Valerie Sutton wrote:
> Can we say now, that the "Search by Symbols" feature in SignPuddle 
> 1.6, allows us to:
> 1. search for all the signs that use a specific SignWriting symbol in 
> SignMaker entries (dictionary entries) and SignText entries 
> (literature entries)
> 2. search for combinations of symbols
> 3. search for symbols combined with location
> 4. search for exact SignSpellings
Yes, yes, yes, and yes.

> If this is all true, then we can finally say that searches can be 
> conducted on SignWriting literature documents, which is what linguists 
> have been asking for, for years -
Yes, we can say that real search is possible with SignWriting documents.

In 2004, there was a paper presented at Lisbon by Antonio Carlos da 
Rocha Costa, Gracaliz Pereira Dimuro, and Juliano Baldez de Freitas.  

Although, not an implementation of their design, the advanced search now 
available in SignPuddle addresses the same issues.

Guylhem Aznar discussed this same issue.  He called the slight symbol 
positioning differences between signs "Intra-personal variation".  He 
correctly states that:

    /Such near-imperceptible variations in the fine positioning are due
    to the human manual positioning of the symbols. It is nearly
    impossible for two SW signs, even while using the same set of
    symbols, to share the exact position for every symbol on the sign
    canvas : the relative position of the symbols to the center of the
    sign changes./

He suggested that these variations should be prevented.  I've gone the 
opposite way and embraced the existence of slight variations.  The signs 
in SignPuddle Online demonstrate the variability of the SignWriting 
script.  The advanced searching of SignPuddle show that these variations 
are not a problem.

> I would like to announce this to the Sign Language Linguist LIst 
> (SLLING) because there are several linguists who have requested this 
> feature before...
Yes, please do.  I am very proud of the new search, both in terms of 
flexibility and speed.

> But I also understand that the "Search by Symbol Frequency" feature 
> does not search on literature in SignText yet - it is only the "Search 
> by Symbols" feature that can do that so far, is that right?
So far, symbol frequency does not include sign texts.  The option will 
be available soon.