Hi SignWriting List,

Yesterday, I released version 1.2 of the new SignMaker.  There are a 
couple of great improvements and much wider platform support for 
desktops, tablets, and phones.

SignMaker Index page on SignBank:

Valerie Sutton is currently improving the SignMaker Index page on 
SignBank.  Thanks for your hard work Val.

SignMaker Project Page:

SignMaker and Fonts
I'm happy to announce that SignMaker now works without installing the 
fonts on your system. If you don't feel like installing the TrueType 
fonts on your system (Windows, Mac, Linux, or iOS) or you can't 
(Android), the fonts will automatically be downloaded to your browser's 
cache on the first visit.  Once the fonts are downloaded into the 
browser cache, any other SignWriting Font website will automatically use 
the fonts cached in your browser.  If you ever clear your browser cache, 
the next visit to a SignWriting Font website will download the font 
again and reinstall the font in the browser cache.  The fonts are 13 MB, 
so the first install make take a few seconds or longer depending on your 
download speed and processor.

I've tested Windows, Linux, Mac, iOS, and Android.  Nearly every browser 
works as expected, with 3 exceptions.  First, the default Android 
browser is not usable.  For Android, use Firefox or install the App.  
Second, unless the system font is installed, for Linux you may require a 
browser refresh if a page doesn't load properly the first time.  Third, 
Chrome has issues with the font.

Chrome and Chromium Font Issue
There are minor and major font issues with Chrome and Chromium.  The 
worst is that 5 symbols are missing.  Specifically, S10008, S10009, 
S1000a, S1000b, and S1000c.  To see the issue in SignMaker, on the 
symbol palette, click on the main index finger twice and then press 
Mirror.  You'll see a gap in the palette.

I believe the problem is caused by certain characters on plane 16 of 
Unicode.  The affected codepoints are U+100009 thru U+10000D.  I will be 
researching the issue further and submitting a bug report to the 
Chromium development team soon.

SignWriting App
There is an App available for Android.  You can find information and 
download links on the SignMaker project page.

Small screen and the popup keyboard
There are a few usability issue for small screens, especially when the 
keyboard pops up.  These issues are with the SignMaker application 
itself, rather than the usage of the fonts.  Even for phones, the 
SignWriting 2010 JavaScript library and associated CSS work properly for 
nearly everyone.

Create Website that use the SignWriting Fonts
Using the SignWriting 2010 Fonts requires a small JavaScript library (17 
KB) and a few CSS statements.  With these 2 parts, any website can show 
SignWriting to any viewer.

Future Development
Still lots to do.  I'm excited for the symposium this year.  I have 2 
presentations to prepare.  One will cover SignMaker in depth for end 
users.  Another will talk about the technology behind the development.

A new SignText is coming later this year so that we can compose entire 
sentences in SignWriting.  It will be based on the new SignMaker code.




Valerie Sutton
SignWriting List moderator
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