The creation of a wiki for SignWriting is a very exciting development. In the language committee we have indicated that technical issues are what prevents a Wikipedia for sign languages at this time. The SignWriting wiki is effectively an incubator for the technology needed and for the languages to write the minimum number of articles they need for acceptance as a new language.

Given all the technical issues, I am of the opinion that a requirement for localisation can be waved. Sign languages with SignWriting would introduce the writing in lanes ie top to bottom with characters moving slightly to the right or left.

What I am looking for is agreement what technical issues need to be solved before a sign language can become a Wikipedia. Compatible policies are not an issue. I am thinking of being able to include images in the text and having wiki links. What else is absolutely required before we can move forward once there are sufficient articles ?

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Valerie Sutton <[log in to unmask]>
Date: 28 May 2010 21:04
Subject: SignWriting Encyclopedia SignWriting Wiki
To: [log in to unmask]

Hello SLLING List members -

We are working towards the goal of providing written literature in sign languages.

We have started a new project. It was just posted on the web yesterday. Here is the information:

New Special Feature
Posted May 27, 2010

Go to:

SignWriting Site

1. SignWriting Encyclopedia Projects
Writing Encyclopedias in the Sign Languages of the World

2. SignWriting Wiki
Wiki-style Articles written in Any Sign Language

3. Blogs on the ASL Wikipedia
Incubating ASL for new Wikipedia

4. SignWriting Image Server (SWIS)
Display and edit SignWriting images with fast installation

The new SignWriting Wiki is open to anyone who wishes to add a category for their sign language, and start writing articles in SignWriting using SignPuddle Online, and then transferring the articles from SignPuddle Online into the SignWriting Wiki for viewing and reading by the general public.

The SignWriting Wiki is the incubator, or the development site, hopefully for a future ASL Wikipedia (or Wikipedias in any sign language we hope someday).

The SignWriting Wiki is the test area for our new software, the SignWriting MediaWiki Plugin, by Steve Slevinski.

In the future, it will be possible to write the SignWriting articles directly in the SignWriting Wiki, without having to transfer them from SignPuddle there is ongoing software development behind the scenes to make this happen...

But for right now, this is a big "first step" and I want to thank Steve Slevinski, Adam Frost (Deaf ASL editor who posted the first two articles in the SignWriting Wiki in ASL) and Gerard Meijssen from the Language Committee of the Wikimedia Foundation, for their hard work and encouragement...

The first two articles added to the ASL SignWriting Wiki are based on the ASL videos by Lucinda O'Grady Batch, of the history of Charles-Michel de l'Épée and the history of Laurent Clerc. Both videos were first transcribed into SignWriting by Charles Butler, and placed in SignPuddle Online, and then Adam Frost transferred them into the SignWriting Wiki for people to read. You can read them at these links:

ASL SignWriting Wiki

History of Charles-Michel de l'Épée

History of Laurent Clerc

Any feedback is much appreciated, so write anytime -

Val ;-)

Valerie Sutton
[log in to unmask]

Read & Write Sign Languages

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