Hi Valerie, 


thank you very much for your excellent explanation.


Regards Stefan



Von: SignWriting List: Read and Write Sign Languages [mailto:[log in to unmask]] Im Auftrag von Valerie Sutton
Gesendet: Montag, 8. April 2013 22:14
An: [log in to unmask]
Betreff: Re: AW: Using the SignWriting Thin Viewer bookmark on iOS


SignWriting List

April 8, 2013


Hello Steve, Stefan and Maria -

Thank you for this discussion…And thank you, Steve, for your excellent explanation below…


Maybe this will help…I will explain it from my "non-computer-programmer" perspective…


1. Underneath the visual world we see on computer screens, is a bunch of source code, based on 0s and 1s, that I have no clue how they work! But by some miracle I use computers everyday, and computers are a blessing for all of us…but there is source code hidden underneath what we see. While I am typing this message, there is source code that is helping me do it, yet I never see it…


2. When we write SignWriting in SignPuddle, or in Delegs Software, or in SignWriter Studio, there is source code underneath the visual SignWriting symbols. I know the source code is there, but I never have to think about it, because I can live and breath inside the beautiful visual world of SignWriting and sign languages…


3. Steve has developed the source code to make this possible, which he calls FSW, for Formal SignWriting, and if you saw the source code for a SignWriting text you would be amazed…you can see it anytime….Go to a SignPuddle document, and clicking on the FSW link at the bottom of the document - and there you can see the underlying sources, that are like long strings of letters and numbers and so forth -


4. Up until this new development, the only software that could read those FSW sources were software programs specially designed for SignWriting, like SignPuddle or Delegs, but now with this new development called the SignWriting Thin Viewer, which is a plugin that can be installed on web pages and can also be used in the Bookmarks of your web browser…now if you see some of that FSW code but cannot see what the SignWriting looks like, because you are outside our specialized software, you can use the SW Thin Viewer to see what the SignWriting really looks like, and you are not using SignPuddle or Delegs, but other web sites! For the first time, we are "stepping out" of our own specially designed environments and using SignWriting in the general world.


5. Let me give you an example…I create web pages using HTML by using a program called DreamWeaver. Before now, for me to place some SignWriting from SignPuddle onto my new web page, I would have to go into SignPuddle and click on the ColumnMaker button and format the column and then save it as an SVG-PNG, and then bring it into my web design as a graphic file… but now, with the new SW Thin Viewer plugin, I can instead paste the plugin source on the header of my new web page, and then I don't have to create a graphic of the SignWriting any longer - I can bypass ColumnMaker and just grab the FSW code and paste it into my new web page and save the page and when I post it on the web, it will show up as real SignWriting instead of the FSW code - so it bypassed my having to create a graphic of the file -


This has a great future for iPhones too - and for iPads - there is much to explain but there are no worries either - because we can still work just as we have before and no one is forcing us to change anything - just new opportunities - smile -


Val ;-)




On Apr 8, 2013, at 12:22 PM, Stephen E Slevinski Jr <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

On 4/8/13 3:04 AM, MARIA GALEA wrote:

Dear Steve,

Well done for the accomplishment - however all this information is just an

unknown language for me since my programming skills are non-existent. Do

you think you could somehow simplify what is going on. 


On 4/8/13 7:58 AM, Stefan Wöhrmann wrote:

Hi Maria, 


this is exactly what has been on my mind. I would love to estimate what is

going on but I do not understand ... Will this accomplichment change

anything in the way I am using SignWriting with SignPuddle or the



Thanks for your message! 


All best 




Hi Stefan & Maria,

Thanks for your patience and interest.  

When reading SignWriting, we want to see the signs like...

However, that is a graphic.  The real name of each sign is a string.

If we use ASCII, the text is:
M518x529S14c20481x471S27106503x489 M523x536S2eb48485x504S10011502x463S2eb04507x497S10019477x472

Unicode without a font (image)

Unicode without a font (characters)
󽠃󽼒󽼝󽡼󽠒󽠠󽻭󽻣󽦡󽠐󽠦󽼃󽻵 󽠃󽼗󽼤󽨛󽠔󽠨󽻱󽼄󽠰󽠑󽠡󽼂󽻛󽨛󽠐󽠤󽼇󽻽󽠰󽠑󽠩󽻩󽻤

Unicode with a local font:
screen capture from
with Graphite enabled in Firefox.

Formal SignWriting
Until the SignWriting font is perfected, we will be using Formal SignWriting as the ASCII codes.

Here is what Formal SignWriting looks like:
M518x529S14c20481x471S27106503x489 M518x533S1870a489x515S18701482x490S20500508x496S2e734500x468 S38800464x496

The word "Formal" is used in the technical sense of a "Formal language".  It basically means each word is formed as a string of characters.

The Plugin
The plugin basically takes the ASCII string and wraps it for presentation.  This first plugin works for web pages and HTML documents.  The writers must still deal with the FSW, but the reader is shown the SignWriting images.

Please view without the plugin enabled.

Notice the Formal SignWriting strings.  If you have the SignWriting Thin Viewer bookmark ready, you can run the plugin in your browser to show the SignWriting instead of the Formal SignWriting.

Now view with the plugin enabled.

The purpose of the plugin is to replace the Formal SignWriting strings and display the SignWriting.  

If the web site includes the SignWriting Thin Viewer, you will see the SignWriting:

If the web site does not use the SignWriting Thin Viewer, you will see the Formal SignWriting ASCII strings.  It is here that you can use the bookmark.

I hope to explain it better with videos and more features in the near future.

I'd be happy to answer any questions.