SignWriting List
November 17, 2011

Schuyler -
I found this ReadMe file on Github - thank you for posting your sources and files on Github - this is a real gift to the SignWriting Community - I only wish I had an Android so I could test it… Can others test this for us please? smile … once it is on an iPhone, can it also be used on an iPad? I do have friends who could test it on an iPhone...


Description of program in the ReadMe file:

ASL SignWriting Dictionary

Learn sign language so you can chat and flirt at death metal concerts and loud bars! Also tap into the rich American Deaf culture.

This application is targeted to those familiar with at least the alphabet and several signs. Using SignWriting, an ideographic writing system for sign language, we store over 8000 signs on your device without the need for an Internet connection. The icons communicate hand shape, context and movement, but there are no illustrations or videos. If you are looking for a smaller dictionary with easy-to-understand illustrations, try "ASL Ultimate" on the Android.


Val ;-)


On Nov 17, 2011, at 11:01 AM, Valerie Sutton wrote:

SignWriting List
November 17, 2011

Hello Schuyler!
Thank you for this work…I am amazed and excited about it. Bill…if it works please tell us!

Val ;-)


On Nov 16, 2011, at 9:33 PM, Bill Reese wrote:

What a coincidence, I just tried your old app again a couple of days ago and it still didn't work - pressing on the buttons didn't do anything.  I uninstalled it from my phone.  I hope your new one works this time.


On 11/16/2011 11:20 PM, Schuyler Duveen wrote:
[log in to unmask]" type="cite"> Hello again,

Thanks everyone for sending feedback and issues back in September.  I just started a new job, so I've been a little distracted, but finally was able to come back around to this project.  A new version is at the same URL:

You can also just download it from the Android Market by searching for 'skysigns'

It's still a little slow on older devices, but please let me know if something doesn't work.  It's basically a functional dictionary now.

I'm now working on a composer, which will let people upload signs which will then get added to the dictionary (after some moderation).  After an issue or two is resolved, it will also be an iPhone app and a website with the same functionality.

If you want to preview the composer functionality, go to the About page and scroll ALL the way down, and then click the "enable experimental mode" link.  Nothing will happen, but if you exit and re-enter the app, you'll suddenly have a 'Add new sign' option and you can edit any sign in the dictionary.

One thing I was trying to do is use the compose context as a kind of intro to sign writing -- by indexing common symbols.  A few of the sign lists in the help/compose section have been selected by looking for the most common elements used in the dictionary.  But the general approach is not to be comprehensive with all the shapes -- instead having a short but useful list.  I'd love feedback on important hand-shapes that are not included or anything that's mislabeled.

Finally, the html/javascript part of it is open-source:


PS If you reply, please CC my email address ([log in to unmask]) since I read the list in digest format, and it will be harder to answer.

On 09/06/2011 11:02 AM, Schuyler Duveen wrote:
[log in to unmask]" type="cite">Hi folks,

I'm new to the community.  I became interested in learning sign language early this year, and discovered Sign Writing through some web searches.  Recently, I also became interested in learning about mobile application development, and SignWriting seemed like a great way to store a large ASL dictionary offline (so I can get it on the subway and without downloading a large video or something) and SignPuddle's export made it possible to start with a large database of signs.

This is still not-even-alpha software -- lots of bugs, and debugging data exposed, but for those of you with Android phones you should be able to install this .apk file:

(Follow these instructions:
 and then visit the above link from your phone.  After install, read the About page first.)

Right now, it's just a dictionary with look-up, but I hope eventually to add reverse-lookup, a sign composer (so people can add to the dictionary easily), and support for arbitrary dictionaries (via spml files?).

I'd also like to open-source license it, but because I'd like this app to be available on the android and iphone markets, I need to figure out what the best license is for such things (since they're pretty antagonistic toward open-source apps).

In the meantime, this is also just a hello.  SignWriting was really easy to learn, and the infrastructure that all of you have built is amazing.