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Hello André,
you are correct, I learned SignWriting by myself after I saw you using it.
In your successive e-mails you raised many important questions about SignWriting in French Canada.
I will provide my detailed opinion in several days.  It will present my perspective on SignWriting usage from a hearing student perspective.  I am not Deaf and I do not work with Deafs so my opinion will be incomplete and inaccurate.  I would appreciate if we can work together on this document.  The idea is to develop an action plan that will support sign language development.  SignWriting being a mean, not an end.  Obviously, the simplest approach for me is to assist you in your projects if I can.  I am just an outsider...
 
My preliminary analysis:
a) For me, SignWriting was long to learn and write (I am slow), however maybe it is fast to learn to read it.  That would be the key to usefulness.
b) In Québec, LSQ sign language is not official.  It competes with Cued Speech, Signed French, Lip reading with implants...  SignWriting cannot be a priority if LSQ is still not wide spread.
c) We have few video and paper LSQ dictionnaries.  It can take a year to create a video lexique of 500 words on a technical matter.  SignWriting dictionaries can be faster to produce.
d) SignWriting can be useful for interpreters in need of a simple notation system.
e) SignPuddle in LSQ with 5000 signs is as big as 3 other official dictionnaries.  It is an important accomplishment already.
f) Writing speed is important.  I will suggest a simplified interface (in LSQ we need at most 120 handshapes, the others may be hidden).  Even the 30 least used symbols may be hidden. Example, at most 3 clicks to get  a symbol.
g) Universities already have a notation system (1 page of notes per sign).  It is long.
h) There are few schools for Deafs in Montréal city area.  It is unlikely that a Deaf student in immersion with hearing students will have access to SignWriting.
i) LSQ interpreters already need more training in Quebec.  They may have many other priorities to address.
j) SignWriting needs marketting in Fench Canada (Example: one free lexique per year in pdf format).  We need French teaching and reading material (this is long but easy).  Classes need to be organized with competent teachers (this is difficult).
k)  Softwares like Anki, combined with SignPuddle dictionnary using SignWriter studio may be a powerful tool to teach sign language by using SignWriting.
l) We need SignWriting teaching material adapted for Deafs.
m) Some Deafs may prefer to write French.
 
What ever the strategy is, it has to be pleasant for us because it is long.
 
André Lemyre
 
 
Date: Tue, 14 Oct 2014 21:31:06 -0400
From: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Signwriting keyboard Kickstarter project idea
To: [log in to unmask]

Hi Jonathan, software developers and everyone, This is not only for me. My goal is that a Deafian community in French Canada could grow up to write their own Sign Language. Remember that Maria (who lives in Malta) sent her message to the SW list. She  wrote: ‘’How many people do use a Sign Writing?’’  That is a good question!!! About 45 people (35 from French Ontario and 10 from Quebec) learnt how to read and write it. Don’t forget that they never write it daily. There are only two people who write it often in real life situations: André Lemyre (Signwriter Studio) and me (SignPuddle). That is all. Note that I never taught a SW course to André Lemyre. I believe that he participated in the workshop to learn the tactile LSQ. I used PowerPoint and compared the structure of the LSQ and the structure of the tactile LSQ using the SW.  He saw them. Later, he joined to the SW list. André L., am I right or wrong? Continued on the next message. Best regards, André
De :  Jonathan Duncan <[log in to unmask]>
Répondre à :  "SignWriting List: Read and Write Sign Languages" <[log in to unmask]>
Date :  Thu, 09 Oct 2014 09:04:59 -0600
À :  <[log in to unmask]>
Objet :  Re: Signwriting keyboard Kickstarter project idea


  
    
  
  
    

    On 10/9/2014 8:54 AM, Valerie Sutton
      wrote:

    
    
      
      SignWriting List
      October 9, 2014
      

      
      Thank you, Jonathan, for taking on this initiative!
      

      
      I really like your idea of making the SW Keyboard design that
        is in SignWriter DOS and Java, usable on the web, with
        SignPuddle, and also with SignWriter Studio - that is a very
        cool idea!
      

      
      I hope everyone will support this idea and help all you can -
      

      
      I assume that people can still use SignPuddle and SignWriter
        Studio with a mouse too, as always…
    
    That right this will be adding the keyboard.  Not replacing anything
    that already exists.

    
      

      
      The SW Keyboard would be an addition to the current software
        that is available - is that right, Jonathan?
    
    Yes that is right. And I hope that the new keyboard will be able to
    be  included in any future websites that let the users write
    SignWriting.  It is only the keyboard with SignWriting composing
    capabilities but the other features needed will be provide by the
    website that is installed in.  For example  you could write a    document with it then save it to a Literature Puddle, and use it
    from there as you always have before.

    

    Or just add an Entry to the Dictionary Puddle.

    

    Jonathan

    
      

      
      Val ;-)
      

      
      -----------
      

        
          On Oct 9, 2014, at 7:45 AM, Jonathan Duncan <[log in to unmask]>
            wrote:
          
          
            
            
              Excellent Natasha, thanks for
                you interest!!

                

                Anybody else interested that I do this project?  I'm
                interested in all feedback.

                

                Regards Jonathan

                On 10/8/2014 6:14 AM, Natasha Escalada-Westland wrote:

              
              
                This is great!  I'm in.
                Natasha Escalada-Westland
                On Oct 7, 2014 8:59 AM,
                  "Jonathan Duncan" <[log in to unmask]>

                  wrote:

                  
                    
                      Hi List,
	I have seen that over the years the request for a keyboarding feature like SignWriter DOS has been asked for over and over and over ...  And we still don't have it.  Back in 2010 Val suggested that I implement it in SignWriter Studio.  At that time I was unable as I was getting the program up and running.  So know I want to implement the keyboarding feature but I am thinking that it would be most useful for all of you if I did it for the web then ported it back to run in SignWriter Studio at a latter date.


My idea is this create a Kickstarter project to raise the funds to make the program. It will be web page (SPA single page application) that can easily be included into other web sites.  It will be open source so that other programmers can modify it and add more features if they like.  Once I get it made then I want to incorporate it into Personal Puddle so that it will be very easy for Steve Slevinsky to add to SignPuddle online. (I am hoping he will be open to the idea).  Think of it as an alternative to the SignText Editor in SignPuddle.


These are the features I am thinking of implementing.
                      
                        Keyboard selection resembling as much as
                          possible SignWriter Dos but adjusted to
                          ISWA2010
                        Seeing the full keyboard at all times
                          something like this
                        <Mail Attachment.png>
                        Symbol selection keyboard. (Sign Mode)
                        Fingerspelling keyboard. (Fingerspelling
                          Mode)
                        Setup and customize fingerspelling layout.                        Setup and customize keyboard in use layout.
                          (not everybody types with a USA keyboard)
                      
                       
These are the features that we need to discuss 
                      
                        Typing text into the sign (Alphabet Mode)
                          See below
                        Horizontal Sign writting (How many of you
                          feel that it wouldn't be worth it without
                          this?)
                      
                      These are the features that are not going to be part of this version of the project
                      
                        Write when disconneted from the Internet
                        Use of mouse to click on keyboard or move
                          symbols around.
                        Printing
                        Use of special fonts

                        
                      
                      For this to work I will need you help with letting a lot of people about our Kickstart project that that they may donate if they wish.  If you want make some YouTube videos or other SignWriting related letters or information that you think could help people see the importance of supporting this project then please send them to me and I will add them to our Kickstarter project page.  

For those of you who are wondering how Kickstarter works from the site itself https://www.kickstarter.com/help/faq/kickstarter+basics#faq_62996
                      A project is

                        a finite work with a clear goal that you’d like
                        to bring to life. Think albums, books, or films.

                      The funding


                          goal is the amount of money that a creator
                        needs to complete their project.

                      Funding on Kickstarter is all-or-nothing.
                        No one will be charged for a pledge towards a
                        project unless it reaches its funding goal. This
                        way, creators always have the budget they scoped
                        out before moving forward.

                      A creator is

                        the person or team behind the project idea;
                        working to bring it to life.

                      Backers are

                        folks who pledge money

                        to join creators in bringing projects to life.

                      Rewards are

                        a creator's chance to share a piece of their
                        project with their backer community. Typically,
                        these are one-of-a-kind experiences, limited
                        editions, or copies of the creative work being
                        produced.

                      We also have to think of what kind of rewards people in the Deaf community, people who use SignWriting and people unaquainted with sign language would appreciate most.


My take on 
Typing text into the sign (Alphabet Mode)
I know this is one of the VERY big reasons people want the Keyboarding.  I could implement it but I don't believe that SignPuddle has a way of representing text on top of the SignWriting.  So you wouldn't really be able to use it until someone writes a SignWriting web site that supports text with the SignWriting.
How important is it that text can be placed anywhere as opposed to let say only below?  How do we keep it from becoming messy switching between vertical and horizontal layout?



Look forward to all of your questions and comments.

Regards,
Jonathan Duncan

SignWriting List
October 13, 2010

Hello Jonathan and Steve -
Thanks for these messages. Richard Gleaves is the developer of the original SignWriter program, which was first developed for the Apple //e and //c in 1986, and was then transferred and developed further in MS-DOS. SignWriter DOS was our world standard program from the late 1980s until 1996, when Richard Gleaves stopped working with SignWriting, and started working for Qualcomm, here in San Diego, California. So Rich lives close to me here, and I will be seeing him in the next month, so we can always turn to Rich with questions if you need his input. I also have his Source Code, for SignWriter DOS here, which I will be happy to send to you privately. The last symbolset that we were using, at the time that Rich stopped developing SignWriter in 1996, was the symbolset called SSS-1995.

Then, in 1996, I hired a company that was using a new development language very modern and cutting edge, called Java. it was new then, and there was not automatic way to program printing from Java yet, but I hired a company to transfer the SignWriter DOS code over to Java, but it took longer and was a harder job than the company expected, and they stopped doing the development. So the end result was SignWriter Java, which cannot print, and it is only for one country at a time (SignWriter DOS can switch back and forth easily between countries)...so because SignWriter DOS is more complete, most people who want SignWriter are most likely still using SignWriter DOS using DOSBox, which is required in modern operating systems.

However, having said that, SignWriter Java still has the same typing system (keyboarding)...but it created new features that are NOT in SignWriter DOS...the biggest difference between SignWriter DOS and SignWriter Java is that the Java version allows some mouse work, where SignWriter DOS is solely keyboard - no mouse capability whatsoever.

To learn about how to type using SignWriter DOS, read the documents on this web page:

SignWriter 4.4 Instruction (how to type)
http://www.signwriting.org/forums/software/sw44/sw44less/index.html
(I can send you the source code if you want it)

To download the sources for SignWriter Java, go to:
http://www.signwriting.org/forums/software/sw50/download/download01.htmlhttp://www.signwriting.org/forums/software/sw50/download/download02.htmlhttp://www.signwriting.org/forums/software/sw50/download/download03.html

SignWriter Tiger uses the sss-1999 symbolset. To learn about Daniel Noelpp Ly's programming of SignWriter Tiger, and to download his source code, go to:
http://www.signwriter.org/

The end result of all these beautiful programs were that between 1996 until 2004 when we met Steve, we had many developers graciously offer to help, but because the jobs were so enormous and more complicated than people expected, SignWriter DOS never got re-written well enough to become a modern typing program...

The typing system that Rich Gleaves and I designed works beautifully, and Steve was kind enough to implement some of the Special Command Keys from our design in SignWriter DOS, into Command Buttons in SignPuddle, for example for Rotate, which used to be the Rotate Key in SignWriter DOS, and the Mirror or Flop Button, that is the MIrror Key in SignWriter DOS...so I think users remember these details and recognize them from program to program...

If you would like to learn to type using SignWriter DOS, Jonathan, let's get together on Skype, and I can teach you one on one how to type quickly using SignWriter DOS. If you can implement the same typing system in SignWriter Studio, that would be a miracle and make your program the obvious choice for SignWriter DOS users, because you will have the best of both worlds - SignWriter Studio would become the alternative for SignWriter DOS users -

By the way, go to SymbolBank for downloading these different symbolsets from over the years...

Sutton's SymbolBank
http://www.movementwriting.org/symbolbank/

Val ;-)

------


On Oct 13, 2010, at 11:16 AM, Jonathan y Yolaine wrote:

> Hi Steve,
>     Thank you for filling me on this information. 
>     Which of the two programs in your opinion has the most users?  SignWriter DOS or SignWriter Java?  Which created the most documents?  
>     So if I understand correctly SignWriter DOS still has SSS-95 symbols.and SignWriter Tiger has SSS-99.  
> Do you know what kind of format SignWriter Tiger is using?  Is it a binary file too?
> 
> Do you know if there is source code for SignWriter DOS?  If it's available, it would be a lot easier to figure out how to read the binary file.  What language was that programmed in anyway? C? 
> 
> So I guess if we were to read the SignWriter DOS files to convert to BSW or a XML format to be used with other programs, we would need to first figure out how to read the files and then write a conversion algorithm from S-95 to ISWA2010.  Going the other way would be counter productive because SSS-95 is a much more limited symbol set and a lot of symbols in ISWA 2010 do not have a corresponding symbol in SSS-95.
> 
> Jonathan
> On 10/13/2010 11:08 AM, Steve Slevinski wrote:
>>  The SignWriter keyboarding style is great.  There is a steep learning curve that is worth the effort to learn.  There are multiple layers of fine tuning that went into the SignWriter keyboard design over the years.  Valerie and Richard Gleaves spent years improving the flow using a detailed symbol editor that controlled the default behaviors for centering and cursor controls.  Different symbols needed different information that had to be manually created. 
>> 
>> Unfortunately, SignWriter Dos uses dense binary files to store and retrieve information.  There was a tool released to convert SignWriter Dos SSS-95 binary files to SignWriter Java SSS-99 data files. 
>> 
>> I believe SignWriter skipped SSS-2002.  I think SW-Edit uses the SSS-2002. 
>> 
>> I started using the SSS-2004 symbol set, which became known as the IMWA. 
>> 
>> The conversion between the IMWA and the ISWA 2008 is about 99.99% accurate.  Some symbols are slightly off center. 
>> 
>> The conversion between the ISWA 2008 and the ISWA 2010 is flawless. 
>> 
>> Keyboarding should return.  Eventually, we'll need to create an advanced symbol editor for the ISWA 2010 so that we can capture and process specialized symbol information for keyboarding.  This will fine tune the keyboarding experience and improve a writer's speed and accuracy. 
>> 
>> Regards, 
>> -Steve 
>> 
>> 
> 
> 
> -- 
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