SignWriting List
June 1st, 2010

Hello Stefan!
It will not change a thing for any user of SignWriting, and nothing will change your wonderful writing in SignPuddle...

So no worries.

Steve was talking about programmers who are using the BSW code for their software development - so this is only an issue with software development -

Meanwhile, SignPuddle users will see no change whatsoever -

You will never have to re-write any entry - absolutely not!

Val ;-)


On Jun 1, 2010, at 2:10 PM, Stefan Wöhrmann wrote:

> Hi Steve, Valerie and everybody, 
> I do not understand these software discussions - so excuse this question.
> Will this change effect the work we already have invested in the SignPuddle
> online dictionary? Do I have to rewrite entries? 
> Thanks 
> Stefan ;-)
> -----Ursprüngliche Nachricht-----
> Von: SignWriting List: Read and Write Sign Languages
> [mailto:[log in to unmask]] Im Auftrag von Steve Slevinski
> Gesendet: Dienstag, 1. Juni 2010 22:49
> An: [log in to unmask]
> Betreff: Fixing a fundamental flaw in Binary SIgnWriting
> Hi List,
> This is a technical discussion.  Nothing is going to change regarding 
> the writing system.  The change is only data related.
> Back in 2008, I made a poor design choice for Binary SignWriting.   I 
> needed to define what was a character for the encoding model.  I decided 
> that each symbol should be a character.  Some others (Stuart Thiessen, 
> Michael Everson, members of the WLDC, ...) thought that each BaseSymbol 
> should be a character with an individual symbol being defined as a 
> BaseSymbol character with one or two modifying characters.
> Encoding with symbol characters seemed the better choice, rather than 
> using 3 times the amount of data to say the same thing.  I was wrong.  
> My choice made searching by BaseSymbol much more difficult.  I was 
> forced to pre-process the data before I could search.  This was wasted 
> effort.  I realized the error of my ways when I was reading a discussion 
> of searching with Unicode.
> I need to fix my poor design choice and reencode the ISWA 2010 with 
> BaseSymbol characters and modifiers.  I then need to refactor the 
> character encoding model.  This should be a quick fix I'll have ready by 
> Friday, but it changes BSW once again.  Hopefully for the last time.
> On the bright side, this makes it easier for inclusion in Unicode.  With 
> my previous encoding, I required an entire Unicode plane of 65,000 
> characters.  With the new encoding, I only need 1,280 characters.  This 
> is a much better number. 
> Years ago, Michael Everson worked with Unicode for the tentative 
> acceptance of SignWriting into the standard.  If you look at the Unicode 
> roadmap for the Supplementary Multilingual Plane, you'll see that Sutton 
> SignWriting has 4 rows set aside awaiting a proposal.  These 4 rows 
> represent 1024 characters.  With the new encoding, I can create a 
> proposal that requires 5 rows.  Much more reasonable that an entire plane.
> Sorry to any and all programmers / users this will inconvenience, but it 
> is a needed change.
> Regards,
> -Steve