Thank both you and Kim for underlining how strongly we need to go back before we go forward. When I was in Brazil in 2000 I was able to enter a sign with a typing program, save it to the dictionary and retrieve it later with a few keystrokes. There were pages on pages of keystrokes that the project put together to aid in entry and retrieval. I'm sure that there are plenty of people who preferred the system created for their own languages and interactive with others. Although the ASCII breakthrough is great, what does that mean practically. Will I be able to go back to "highlighting an English alphabet word", "changing that to fingerspelling" and "finding and replacing with a chosen sign" a given English phrase with ASL or LIBRAS or any other sign language? Right now, I see the "save the code into an interactive database". Well,
what happens if that database is NOT on my computer, is only available on a netserver which on that day happens to be down and I'm teaching in a public school.
That is a critical need, and it is very frustrating. We need a PocketPuddle that is retrievable as a database.
In Italy, Fabrizio Borgia (univ. "Sapienza"
of Rome 1), one of my "favorites collaborators", is working on an OCR
system for SW for his PhD Thesis. When he will finish we can handwrite SW, scan
it and obtain a digital version unloadable in the puddle. With Fabrizio we also
develop new software (called SWift) for typing SW, in my opinion is really
faster than SignMaker. I have to ask him when our SWift will be available for
everyone. But you can have an overview in the last chapter of my PhD thesis and
in some of our articles (available here: http://www.csbianchini.com/index.php/liste-commentee-des-publications)