I've added a new feature to SignPuddle: advanced symbol searching.
It is flexible and it is fast. It searches both individual signs
and sign texts. There are 5 new possible searches you can perform: 4
available for sign entries, and a separate custom search.
The four sign entry searches
==Search Location - Exact==
Find signs that are exactly the same. Same symbols, same exact
==Search Location - Approximate==
Find signs that are approximately the same. Same exact symbols,
approximate locations. The search location for each symbol uses a
range of values. These values are based on the symbol position
relative to the sign's center.
==Search Symbols - Exact==
Find signs that have the exact same symbols. Location is ignored.
==Search Symbols - Base==
Find signs that contain the same base symbols. Fills and rotations
For sign entries, these 4 search links are available. Let's
consider the entry for "season" in ASL:
Staying in the ASL dictionary puddle, a search for an exact sign
match, will only find the entry for season.
Searching for approximate locations will find 2 entries:
Searching for the exact same symbols, ignoring location, will still
only find 2 entries:
Searching for the base symbols, ignoring location, will find 5
If we return to "season" and select the Search Location -
Approximate link, we are given the option to search a different
If we select the ASL Bible puddle
will find 6 different signs that look very similar to the sign for
"season", but they have different strings. One of the entries was
used 38 times, the other entries were only used once each. If we
click on the sign that was used 38 times, we will view all of the
signs or sign texts that used this exact sign:
This last page takes a few seconds to load due to all of the column
images that are downloading.
Custom Symbol Search
The 5th search is the revamped "Search by Symbols".
The first thing you'll notice is the new cross-hairs in the center.
These are used to specify the position of each symbol. Different
positions have different results.
Searching for the index above the center:
Searching for the index below the center:
You can search for more than 1 symbol. Each symbol can have 1 of 4
different types of symbol match. The default for each symbol is the
"Exact Match", which matches the base, fill, and rotation. The "Any
Match" matches the symbol base only. The "Fill Match" will match
the fill (palm facing), but ignore the rotation. The "Rotation
Match" will match the exact rotation,but ignore the fill.
Searching was one of the last barriers to being able to efficiently
process the SignWriting script. This new searching technique uses
relatively simple regular expressions. It is easy to code and fast
to execute. No matter the programming language or the device, real
searching of the SignWriting script is now a reality.
Most importantly, this technique does not require artificial
restrictions on the SignWriting script.