SignWriting List
December 31, 2011

Hi Stefan, Steve, Jonathan and everyone -
Thanks for this great message. All computer programs are useful. Of course using the modern programs, such as SignPuddle, the Delegs SignWriting Editor and SignWriter Studio are best, because they are more up-to-date with the way we write now, but programmers need to see how the old programs were programmed, to be able to develop the new programs...So every program builds upon the last…

And each new program provides different features because software designs are unique to the people who design and develop them - That is why it is good for SignWriting that we have multiple software programs. It is good that the developers work together so we all have more choices -

Writing vertically gives us the proper grammar writing tools for writing role shifting and sign language storytelling from Deaf sign languages - the three Lanes are invaluable for that purpose and that is why the Deaf adults (the DAC) with whom I work, suggested vertical writing…

The horizontal writing from left to right seems to be useful for deaf education and translation work relating to spoken languages that are also written from left to right….

Writing from right to left for Arabic translation and Arabic deaf education is needed too, since SignWriting is used in Saudi Arabia...

In the case of writing many mouth movements within one sign, I can certainly see the issues you are having, Stefan, since our vertical columns in SignPuddle are not based on writing the facial expressions left to right or right to left.

When I write several facial expressions in vertical columns, I would write them down within one sign, rather than horizontally… in other words…when I am writing vertically, I write fingerspelling and facial expressions vertically (most of the time ;-)…

But what I personally do when writing is not the point either - we all have our own writing styles -

So writing lots of facial expressions from left to right within one sign would fit better with horizontal writing in general I would think… that is my guess…have I guessed correctly? smile...

I am running to the post office with a big order from a library in Ohio - they will be presenting SignWriting books and materials at a display in February and I have to send them a package before the post office closes for the New Year holiday -

So I will be back shortly -

And Happy New Year everyone!

Val ;-)


On Dec 31, 2011, at 7:55 AM, Stefan Wöhrmann wrote:

Hi Valerie, Steve, SW-list friends -

ha Valerie - I have to smile - I guess you and me are the only two in the
world who keep the good old DOS SW - Software at hand .. and to be honest I
worked with this program yesterday.

But I cannot believe that you want to start others to use it. There are now
programs available that might be accepted by newcomers and teachers much
better. (Well - you and me - we know what they do not know... ;-)) )

Nevertheless - Steve is right - we need both - horizontal and vertical

Today I feel very comfortable with both directions - ;-))

For the purpose of worksheets to develop spoken language skills I prefer
absolutely horizontal writing because of the intuitive understanding ...

One problem - and Steve - asked for that is the "head bobbing"  that did not
happen in SW DOS because I used to add the headcircels at a given height in
the signwindow - once the new signs had been added to the dictionary they
all show a beautiful horizontal level throughout the signs.

Now with SignPuddle this is not true anymore. Whenever I add a new sign to
the SignPuddle-dictionary I have to do extrawork if I try to coppy and
rewrite a given sign, because now the headcircles move down in direction to
the middle of the signmager-window. In order to get nicely arranged
headcircles  well in our dictionary we need many of them as you already know
( ;-)  - I use the uppest horizontal line as kind of orientation - line.
Afterwards I add the other symbols that I need to write a given sign.
Now - due to the new centering-procedure the heads are proper organized if
it comes to vertical writing- but it is a continuous and disturbing "head
bobbing" if we arrange the single entries in a horizontal way -

This is the answer to your second question Valerie.

So far we take the signs just as they are to be found in the SignPuddle

In the future our team is interested to create a special software (kind of
SignMaker " that allows to write the signs themselves instead to download
them from the SignPuddle dictionary.
So we write - right now - horizontally - as you can find out if you type
words and look at the signs that show up ...

Would be great to have the head as the constant height level - at almost 4/5
of the height of a sign window.

This would allow you to read horizontal writing with less interruption
(caused by these head bobbing!)

Hope you are doing well - the last day of this year.

All the best and a wonderful evening to all of you


-----Ursprüngliche Nachricht-----
Von: SignWriting List: Read and Write Sign Languages
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] Im Auftrag von Valerie Sutton
Gesendet: Samstag, 31. Dezember 2011 15:56
An: [log in to unmask]
Betreff: Centering signs in Horizontal SignWriting ….

SignWriting List
December 31, 2011

Hi Steve, Jonathan and Stefan -

Regarding programming horizontal writing...

When programming SignWriter DOS, I believe Rich Gleaves centered the signs
without any notice of the heads when pasting in from the dictionary - the
whole sign as a unit was centered …you can see this if you download DOSBox
for either Mac or Windows and install SignWriter DOS and play with the
program for a while… I just tried it...


Download SignWriter DOS

but I remember there was a way to center signs with a keystroke in
SignWriter DOS and I cannot remember it right now - I would suggest writing
to Rich Gleaves to ask him -

And then the DELEGS program may be programmed differently - how do you
center a sign in DELEGS, Stefan?

Val ;-)


On Dec 31, 2011, at 5:17 AM, Steve Slevinski wrote:

Hi Jonathan & Stefan,

Happy New Year.

Horizontal writing is important and fundamental for using SignWriting.
I'm glad you are both involved with SignWriting applications.

Regarding horizontal writing, how do you center?  Is it based on the
center of the entire sign image?  Is it based on the center of the head &
trunk symbol cluster like vertical writing?  Other than head bobbing, does
it matter?

Looking forward to 2012,