SignWriting List
August 31, 2014

Yair -
We owe you a debt of gratitude for all you are doing…Thank you for this…

I would like to take this step by step, because there is so much to share…and I am learning as we go...

First, to access the main page of the ASL Wikipedia on the Wikimedia Incubator site, please use either Chrome or Safari web browsers, because Firefox does not support the technology needed yet, to view the columns properly…

So go to this link, using Chrome or Safari, and you will see beautiful spiffy new columns with color background and colored text for links and so forth (see attached screen capture). This is very impressive. Thank you Adam for the new translation text for the information - This looks so great ….

ASL Wikipedia main page


On Aug 31, 2014, at 7:24 PM, Yair Rand <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

It's been a while since the ASL Wikipedia work has been mentioned here, so I figure it's a good time for a general update on the efforts towards Wikipedias in sign languages.

First off, take a look at the spiffy new ASL Wikipedia main page. The design is based off the English Wikipedia main page, and the new translations/content were provided by Adam Frost.

The ASL Wikipedia has 53 articles, and to the best of my knowledge none of the other sign language Wikipedias have any. There's still no built-in editing tool on the Incubator, but you can contribute by copy-pasting Formal SignWriting (FSW) from elsewhere. To contribute:
1. Log in on the Wikimedia Incubator. (If you have an account on any other Wikimedia site you can log in using that.) If you don't have an account, you can create one by clicking on the "Create an account" link in the corner of the page. Note that you can have a username in SignWriting.
2. Go to the Internationalization section of Special:Preferences, select "Wikipedia" for "Test wiki", and fill in the ISO 639 code for the language you want to work on in the "Test wiki language" box. The ISO code for American Sign Language is "ase", German Sign Language's is "gsg", LIBRAS's is "bzs", Russian Sign Language: "rsl", British Sign Language: "bfi", Italian Sign: "ise". You can usually look up a language's ISO 639 code in Wikipedia.
3. Put the title (in FSW) of the page you want to create into the search box in the corner of the page, press enter, and then click the red link to create the page.
4. Enter your content into the text box, click the preview button to make sure it looks alright, and click Save.
And voila, you've created an article on your language's Wikipedia!

On to TranslateWiki work: 427 Mediawiki core messages have been translated into ASL by Adam Frost. That's 13% of the entire message group, and once 18% has been reached, the ASL interface will be added to the general distribution, which is required for the a Wikipedia to be moved to its own domain as a full Wikipedia project. To help with the interface translations in ASL or any other language, go to and create an account!

On Vertical Writing support in Mediawiki, which is necessary for the sign language Wikipedias: A Mediawiki architecture meeting was held regarding Vertical Writing support about six weeks ago, and Brion Vibber from the Wikimedia Foundation agreed to provisionally look into extending CSSJanus so that it can rotate the CSS appropriately for vertically-oriented pages. If you're good with PHP, please consider volunteering to help out with the CSSJanus work. 

(I think Stephen Slevinski has been working on the SignWriting Asset Provider, but I don't understand that work well enough to summarize it, unfortunately.)

Finally, I'd like to unveil my new keyboard-based SignWriting input method, available here. (I'm hosting it at Google Drive until I can figure out a better location.) It's written in javascript and should work in all major browsers. The script is still a work-in-progress, and doesn't have all of the symbols yet. Many of the symbols are not in the best locations (partly because I don't understand what all of the symbols mean), and there's probably going to be a lot of bugs in the current version. Please take a look, test it out, and give lots of feedback. Happy typing. :)



Valerie Sutton SignWriting List moderator [log in to unmask]

Post Messages to the SignWriting List: [log in to unmask]

SignWriting List Archives & Home Page

Join, Leave or Change How You Receive SW List Messages