Thank both you and Kim for underlining how strongly we need to go back before we go forward. When I was in Brazil in 2000 I was able to enter a sign with a typing program, save it to the dictionary and retrieve it later with a few keystrokes. There were pages on pages of keystrokes that the project put together to aid in entry and retrieval. I'm sure that there are plenty of people who preferred the system created for their own languages and interactive with others. Although the ASCII breakthrough is great, what does that mean practically. Will I be able to go back to "highlighting an English alphabet word", "changing that to fingerspelling" and "finding and replacing with a chosen sign" a given English phrase with ASL or LIBRAS or any other sign language? Right now, I see the "save the code into an interactive database". Well, what happens if that database is NOT on my computer, is only available on a netserver which on that day happens to be down and I'm teaching in a public school.

That is a critical need, and it is very frustrating. We need a PocketPuddle that is retrievable as a database.

Charles Butler
[log in to unmask]
Clear writing moves business forward.

From: Claudia S. Bianchini <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask]
Sent: Sunday, May 5, 2013 1:35 PM
Subject: Re: typing program

In Italy, Fabrizio Borgia (univ. "Sapienza" of Rome 1), one of my "favorites collaborators", is working on an OCR system for SW for his PhD Thesis. When he will finish we can handwrite SW, scan it and obtain a digital version unloadable in the puddle. With Fabrizio we also develop new software (called SWift) for typing SW, in my opinion is really faster than SignMaker. I have to ask him when our SWift will be available for everyone. But you can have an overview in the last chapter of my PhD thesis and in some of our articles (available here:

2013/5/5 Kimberley Shaw <[log in to unmask]>
You said it, Charles!
That's why so many of my SW texts exist in handwritten -- but not yet
"typeset" -- drafts.
Kim from Boston

On 5/5/13, Charles Butler <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Having been a part of the SignWriting community for more than 30 years, i am
> somewhat concerned that the usefulness of a typing program has been lost.
> When computers were first introduced to signwriting, I went to New York City
> for a demonstration of program on the AppleIIe which worked almost
> magically.
> I could start with an English sentence, with a highlight of a mouse change
> that sentence to ASL fingerspelling, and then go through and word by word
> replace English words with ASL signs and then begin moving them around to
> show the changes into ASL grammar.
> I can't do that now. Entry into the SW puddle is slow, painstaking, and is
> not given to the speed of typing which is going to be needed if SW is ever
> going to be an everyday writing system on a computer.
> What ever happened to the approach of typing, not moving a mouse, to
> retrieve a handshape, rotate it, add facial expressions, and think like a
> signer not digging through a mouse-retrieval system to a shape buried under
> 5 layers of clicking?
> With the change to your new coding system, that becomes even less
> transparent. It may be great for programmers but for the layperson it has
> become frustrating and trying to demo a program in a public school system is
> not one I would want to do now.
> SignWriting as handwriting is still very useful, but even with my dictionary
> program, I can't just "retrieve" an entry. A relational database would have
> to be tied to every piece of writing, and that gets very cumbersome. What
> happens if the net goes down, there goes the writing.
> Charles Butler
> [log in to unmask]
> 240-764-5748
> Clear writing moves business forward.

Claudia S. Bianchini, PhD
A.T.E.R. Licence SDL-LSF @ Univ. Poitiers (France)