Valerie, Stefan, thank you both so much for listening at this old geezer. I remember the first demo I did in the AppleIIe version where one could take a signed sentence, with one swipe turn everything into fingerspelling, or in one swipe change every word that had an assigned meaning into sign (sort of like a Gloss-based dictionary).  This is very similar to what is being developed in Germany in parallel lines. 

When I demonstrated SW in Brazil, that was the model I was envisioning, to show, in classroom use for a spoken language, the differences between a signed language and a spoken languages grammar. 

With the vertical version, it's a little more ticklish, but it does give one a way to show how different ASL or any other signed language is from spoken languages as a facial expression marker may apply to a whole sentence or topic and then change. I showed that in transcribing several ASL narratives where I had to be careful to show the topic markers when they came in with each sign and when they left. I am not sure how to show facial topic markers in the German program and not sure how to encode them as such for searchability in the sign puddle as we haven't come up with a convention for "searching by facial expression". 

Any help? 

Charles Butler
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Clear writing moves business forward.

--- On Thu, 10/13/11, Stefan Wöhrmann <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

From: Stefan Wöhrmann <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: AW: Please help us test SignWriter Studio Beta 5!!
To: [log in to unmask]
Date: Thursday, October 13, 2011, 12:59 PM

Hi Valerie,


... and not to forget the great efforts and achievements of  Lars Majewski  who developed SignWriter Python


Stefan ;-)




Von: SignWriting List: Read and Write Sign Languages [mailto:[log in to unmask]] Im Auftrag von Valerie Sutton
Gesendet: Donnerstag, 13. Oktober 2011 17:32
An: [log in to unmask]
Betreff: Re: Please help us test SignWriter Studio Beta 5!!


SignWriting List

October 13, 2011


Just a quick note here - 


Jonathan, you are doing an excellent job with your current program, and when you do have time, you have (and everyone has) Richard Gleaves' and my full permission to use our old source code for SignWriter DOS, to re-implement the software in modern operating systems...We would love that.


The old sources are on the web for download and have been for over a decade. They are in Microsoft Pascal...a very old version. Here are the download pages:


There are three download pages, which include downloads for SignWriter Java too...



The SignWriter DOS source code is number 7 on the page 2 -


There is also a wonderful program called SignWriter Tiger that is actually close to being both a re-construction of SignWriter DOS plus a way to write in vertical columns - it was developed by Daniel Noelpp Ly and he has left his sources online for download - if anyone would be willing to finish that program that would be a blessing as well...


SignWriter Tiger


It was so close to being finished and then he could no longer work on it and so it sits there, waiting for a savior!


smile -


No matter what, we look forward to using SignWriter Studio, which is uniquely your own and that is important too...


Val ;-)





On Oct 13, 2011, at 8:09 AM, Jonathan wrote:

Hi Charles,
    I just tried out SignWriter DOS to see exactly what you are talking about.   I see you can type right over a sign if you want to, below, above and if you type a long sentence the other signs move over.  Is it important for you that the be place on top of the signs too?  Or is it more important for you to be able to write some text, then some signs, then some text, etc?
    Had I realized that so many just LOVE the old SignWriter Dos I may have gotten permission to duplicate it very faithfully.  With SignWriter Studio some things may be similar but none are identical.  Right now I am trying to get the three main parts of the program working, the dictionary ( I will soon have a preview version available), the signlist (for printing lists of signs from the dictionary) and the document.   Once I get everything working again after changing to ISWA 2010 and a new database, I am interested in implement a keyboard like SignWriter DOS.  But first things first.
    The document isn't functional right now.  Also it only deals with vertical columns of writing for the time being.  It can have text above the sign up to the width of the sign, then it wraps onto more lines.  At present there isn't any way of writing just text without a sign but it shouldn't be too hard to implement.   The editing of the signs is done in a popup box instead of directly in the document like SignWriter DOS.  A lot of thought has been put into it to use the keyboard but it may need a few more adjustments yet.

Thank you for sharing this important feature with me and list.


On 10/10/2011 9:48 AM, Charles Butler wrote:

Jonathan, What I really want is SignWriter DOS on a modern system.

In that program you could interleave written alphabets and sign writing. Clunky, but effective.

You could clip signs from a narrative and put them somewhere else.

It was a true typing system for signing so that you could assemble a sign by typing on a keyboard not a mouse. Yes, I know that the current encoding of the ISWA is dependent upon a linking of graphemes and coding equivalents.

None of the Studios or other efforts have gone back to actual interleaved Spoken Language and Signed Language. 
I can clip a sign and put it in here
, in TEXT, when does THAT come back in a program. I feel like we are continuing to take a great leap backward. Until one can type or easily assemble, one can't' send email that is in sign language with a spoken language. IF Chinese can do it, I am disappointed in every Sign Writing compiler on the market that can't interleave.

Charles Butler

This is an email program and I can do that, but the SW studio and all other programs do not do that.

Charles Butler
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Clear writing moves business forward.


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