August 6, 2014
Hello SignWriting List, and Steve -
Thank you for your three presentations at the SignWriting Symposium! They were excellent and very informative for me …I plan to re-view them several more times, because I learned so much from them.
Your footnote below about Unicode is great news and a reason to celebrate ;-)
There are colorful balloons falling down from the ceilings of our offices right now!
Congratulations, Steve! SignWriting is in Unicode, based on your work encoding the ISWA 2010.
Thank you for working so closely with all of us to make the ISWA 2010 and the SignWriting Script a viable and useful writing system around the world.
To explain in more depth for our readers… Steve and I worked closely together for 10 years to try to find a symbol set that is useful for the many sign languages in the world, and the result is the ISWA 2008, and later the ISWA 2010.
Steve created different encoding formats for the ISWA 2010. One of them is the Unicode PUA (private use area) in Plane 15.
So there are 2 reasons to celebrate right now, regarding Unicode (as Steve’s Footnote mentions below):
1. The SignWriting Script in Unicode, PUA version, has been used around the world and is stable for over 2 years - since January 12, 2012. The PUA version provides everything needed to write the complete SignWriting Script, including the ability to place symbols over, under and to the side of each other, and on top of each other, and to write full documents in vertical lanes or in horizontal lanes - The TrueType Font for the PUA version is close to being completed.
2. The SignWriting Script in Unicode version 8 will a limited set of the ISWA 2010 characters (symbols or glyphs) on Plane 1 of the Supplementary Multilingual Plane. It does not include everything needed to write with…there will not be an ability to place symbols on top of each other, or to write symbols above each other and so forth. So this is just the beginning. It is a limited version that will need to be enhanced at a later time. It will be announced in Summer 2015.
Unicode version 9, a few years away, may give us a chance to provide enhancements...
Nonetheless, this is still a major breakthrough, because the SignWriting Script in Unicode version 8 was just voted in by the Unicode committee recently, and I learned about this just a day or two before we broadcast the SignWriting Symposium..
I am so delighted to know that the SignWriting Script is in Unicode...
For those who want to use Unicode in your software development, the working version is the Unicode PUA- Write to Steve to learn more about it, or ask questions here on the SignWriting List -
I would like to thank all those who worked so many hours to make this come true - but especially you, Steve - Without you it would not have happened -
Much more to do and we are just getting started!
Hi SignWriting List,
What a great SignWriting Symposium 2014 and what a wonderful world
of sign writers,
Thanks to everyone who presented. It was inspiring to hear your
stories and it was fascinating to learn more about your work with
I was fortunate enough to present 3 times during the symposium. The
video segments and my slides are available on my presentation
pages. If there are any questions or comments, I'd love to hear
about them either on the SW list or privately via email.
The SignPuddle Standard for SignWriting Text
Constructing a TrueType Font for the SignWriting Script with Unicode
Characters Using the Graphite Rendering System
Digital collaboration with machine-readable sign language text in
the SignWriting script
The Unicode mentioned in my presentations encodes the entire
SignWriting Script. The characters are located on plane 15 of the
Private Use Area. It has been stable since January 12th, 2012. We
have an almost working TrueType Font.
Next summer, Unicode version 8 will include a modified version of
the ISWA 2010 symbol encoding. The characters are located on plane
1 of the Supplementary Multilingual Plane . The official proposal
does not include characters needed for layout. It might be useful
if they produce a font. It is a great acknowledgement of the
standard that is the International SignWriting Alphabet 2010.
Congratulations Valerie Sutton and a special thanks to Adam Frost.