SignWriting List
August 31, 2014

Yair -
Thank you again for this exciting new development. I really like your new typewriter for SignWriting. I like the way, with your new keyboard, we can type signs directly in the Right Lane, Left Lane or Middle Lane and we can type directly in vertical columns - very cool.

There are 2 Rotate Keys - one counter clock wise and one clockwise, for each hand - so there are four Rotate Keys in all - that is an easy way to type. The left hand does not have to reach over to get to the one Rotate Key like we have in our typing keyboard design in SignWriter DOS. Our SignWriter DOS keyboard only has one Rotate Key, because we use the Shift Key to go in the other direction, but I suspect that your four Rotate Keys may make typing faster…that is good.

And there are 8 Direction Keys, four keys for moving symbols up and down and side to side in different directions, for the right and left hands - that should be quicker too...

Have you studied the old SignWriter DOS keyboards? I am glad you are developing your own new design, but just to show you where the symbols were located on the keyboard we use in SignWriter DOS…since there are typists still alive who use it - ha!! Here are some documents:

SignWriter DOS documents

Here is a PDF showing how we type actual SignWriting documents in SignWriter DOS:

There are also Fingerspelling Keyboard Designs here:

Different countries:

How the Fingerspelling Mode works in SignWriter DOS:

I cannot figure out how you get Facial Expressions, so I have yet to complete a sign with your typing method, Yair. Can you teach us how to do one sign? Maybe a little video?

Val ;-)


On Aug 31, 2014, at 8:23 PM, Valerie Sutton <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

SignWriting List
August 31, 2014

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

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. :)


Hello Yair!
There is so much to talk about in your message, but I just had to jump to the section in your message about your new development…a way to type SignWriting with a keyboard design… Thank you for taking this new idea upon your shoulders. Maybe we can host it on, or Would that be feasible? Or maybe it really belongs on Wikimedia in the future… But we will be happy to host it if that is good for you...

As you know years ago we developed a way to type in SignWriter DOS, and I noticed you plan to have a Fingerspelling mode, just as we have in SignWriter DOS. I can give you the Fingerspelling mappings for around 17 sign languages, which you will need sooner or later… 

May I show you our symbol design from the SignWriter DOS keyboard, so you can see what all the symbols mean? I believe that will help, even if you do not use our design, you can at least learn from it…

But take a look at this new way of tying SignWriting, everyone - I think this has potential -

Yair Rand SignWriting Keyboard



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