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SignWriting List
December 8, 2020

Hello SignWriting List - Hope all of you are doing well -

Hello Steve -
Thank you for this report summarizing so many (but not all) of your SignWriting accomplishments. Your work is so extensive, one report cannot capsulize it. 

Thank you for working with the encoding of Sutton SignWriting, creating fonts for SignWriting (many). Thank you for working with the Unicode Committee that produced SignWriting in Unicode 8. Thank you for then creating improved (better) fonts for SignWriting, such as the SignWriting in Unicode Font (SWU). Unicode 8 is not good enough, and you have improved it with the SWU. Your dream to develop a 2D SignWriting Font seems like it has been put on the back burner, but maybe this coming year, 2021, can be the year of the 2D SignWriting Font. We need to find the funding. We can make it happen and I am open to this if you have the time.

Meanwhile, your current accomplishments are amazing because they are reaping rewards now. THANK YOU for your software development of SignMaker, SignText, and SignPuddle, which is used daily around the world.

And thank you for keeping all these programs and fonts up and running smoothly on our SignWriting Server. Without you, signwriters all over the world would have no place to write their Sign Language Literature on the web. Keeping our SignWriting server running smoothly, and providing technical support is invaluable.

We have a team of wonderful writers and developers. Maybe we can talk about more collaboration. Because of SignText (inside SignPuddle 2), there are very long literature documents written in SignWriting in many sign languages, in vertical columns, posted freely on the web for anyone to read.

One of SignWriting's biggest contributions is providing written sign language literature for the world, and you have made this possible. For example, the writing of the complete New Testament in ASL in SignWriting could NEVER have happened without SignText inside SignPuddle 2 Online - So many long documents are currently being written directly on the web because of your software.

The other day the SignWriting Server needed some tech support by you, and while you were fixing the server, we received several emails from signwriters who were in the process of using the software online, writing their documents, and they couldn’t work without the SignWriting Server. You had the server up and runnning quickly, and it was really exciting to realize how actively used SignWriting is, including the SignWriting Server.

So I say THANK YOU. You have given the world of sign languages an enormous gift, to which I will always feel grateful. And the year 2021 looks bright ;-)

Happy Holidays and Happy 2021!

Val ;-)




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> On Dec 8, 2020, at 12:48 PM, Stephen Slevinski <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> 
> Hi SignWriting list,
> 
> In 2020, the state of SignWriting is strong and diverse.  I enjoy working with SignWriting on the weekends.  There is too much to do and so much possibility.  I wish I had a team and I could devote all of my efforts for SignWriting, but we have enough.
> 
> 2020 didn't go as planned.  It started with a new technology stack and ended with the return of Unicode 8.
> 
> Let's review https://SignPuddle.org <https://signpuddle.org/> .  The website needs rewritten for 2021, but other priorities come first.
> 
> ======
> Showcase
> ======
>  SignPuddle 2 - Still in use and still writing text.  Source code is available on GitHub.  It offers features not available anywhere else.  Parts need rewritten before it can be moved to the new server.  Legacy code using old technology, inefficient processing, and historical character encodings.
> 
> SignMaker 2017 - An intermediate platform.  Demonstrates the utility of both Formal SignWriting in ASCII (FSW) and SignWriting in Unicode (SWU) character sets.  Creates SVG and PNG images for signs.  Still useful.
> 
> SignPuddle 3 Beta - SignPuddle 3 isn't going to happen without full-time development.  Because I switched to part-time development for 2020, I can no longer continue this project.  The front-end is being replaces by the Sutton SignWriting Web Components.  The back-end is being replaced by the SignWriting Cloud on the new server as a Restful and GraphQL common data resource.
> 
> The Sutton SignWriting Project - Stand alone implementation for most of the current technology stack.  Uses an older JS library, but the product is solid.
> 
> 
> =========
> Work Projects
> =========
> Two-Dimensional Font - No progress.  Grant from Wikimedia is not going to happen.  This project is still on my mind and will happen, but it is low priority due to budget, complexity, and time-constraints.
> 
> SignPuddle 3 Network - to be replaced by the SignWriting Cloud.  Work in progress.
> 
> Additional Handshapes - New progress this year.  I've heard from Brazil and Portugal along with a few others.  I have a few options for making this work.  Unicode will consider the addition of new handshapes.  We need to collate, document, and process the new handshape applications.  This will require a font update.
> 
> Printing HTML and PDF - The PDF printing is available on the old server.  This custom installation was time consuming and SignPuddle 2 specific.  This will need re-implemented on the new server as part of the SignWriting Cloud.
> 
> Dictionary Cleanup - We lack real tools to make this possible.  Never the less, people continue to work with the tools they have.
> 
> Handwriting Practice - I practiced a little bit of handwriting this year.  How about you?
> 
> International Awareness - More every day.  The Annex of Universal Languages includes a section for "International SignWriting by Valerie Sutton".
> 
> Fund Raising - No success.  My current Patreon campaign pays for the old server hosting fees and part of the new server costs.  Luckily, my full-time job outside of SignWriting is able to cover the additional costs.
> 
> =========
> Collaborations
> =========
> Sutton SignWriting Facebook group - Lots of visual posts and updates about SignWriting.
> 
> SignWriting List - Email group for posting questions, answers, and general information.
> 
> Center for Sutton Movement Writing - The CSMW closed in 2019.  We are planning a new organization for the future, but we are currently working together as individuals and friends.
> 
> Wikimedia Sign Language Projects - Active.  Lots of use for the SignWriting in Unicode 8 (uni8) character set on the English Wikipedia and Wiktionary.  The test sign language wikipedias on incubator use old technology that needs to be replaced.  Lost of posted sign graphics for Polish Sign Language.
> 
> Steve Slevinski - I'm always available to chat about SignWriting.  Want to say thanks or formalize our relationship?  Join my Patreon campaign to help secure SignWriting's future.
> 
> =======
> Challenges
> =======
> Unicode Standard - The challenge was accepted by Google.  They created an OpenType Font that is compatible with the SignWriting in Unicode 8 (uni8) specification.  The font is called Noto Sans SignWriting.  It forced me to reconsider the official Unicode design.  This last Sunday, I created a new support library over a twelve hour code sprint.  It resulted in the  @sutton-signwriting/unicode8 software package available on NPM.  I still don't like this character set for a variety of reasons, but I will be including support in the Sutton SignWriting Web Components as a third option for the character encoding.
> 
> Script Encoding - I didn't see any new ideas or development of older ideas with regards to script encoding and layout.  People keep assuming that polar coordinates are better than cartesian coordinates.  I still have my proposal for 17 additional characters to finish the Unicode design for structural markers and number characters.
> 
> Font Design - The Noto Sans SignWriting works with facial diacritics.  This is untested but good enough for experimentation.  The new @sutton-signwriting/unicode 8 support library is ready, but I still need to update the Sutton SignWriting Web Components before we can really test it out.
> 
> =========
> Internet Draft
> =========
> The Internet Draft called draft-slevinski-formal-signwriting is expired.  It contains information about SignWriting 2020, but does not include the latest developments and technology stack.  It contains useful and valuable information.  I will update it again some day.
> 
> ===========
> SignWriting 2021
> ===========
> I look forward to working with SignWriting next year.  I have three main focuses.  1) Keep the old server running, 2) Move the websites to the new server, 3) New developments for the Sutton SignWriting Web Components and the SignWriting Cloud.
> 
> I am also interested in everyone else's SignWriting projects and wish them all the best in 2021.
> 
> -Steve
> https://SteveSlevinski.me <https://steveslevinski.me/>
> https://patreon.com/signwriting <https://patreon.com/signwriting> 
> ________________________________________________
> 
> SIGNWRITING LIST INFORMATION
> 
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________________________________________________


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