Hi SignWriting List,
Adam Frost's and Nancy Romero's work on the ASL Wikipedia project
has really shown the need for automatic fingerspelling. I was going
to wait until SignPuddle 3 was ready, but discussions with Valerie
reiterated the need.
I'm happy to announce that fingerspelling has returned to
SignPuddle. The feature currently supports the ASL Manual Alphabet,
but in theory any of the other 17 fingerspelling systems can be
used. Valerie has these fingerspellings documented online.
Here is a screen capture of FingerSpeller at work.
Each variety of fingerspelling requires a simple hand-crafted
configuration file of a few dozen lines. Each line has 2 parts.
First is the letter and second is the FSW code. It took me about 2
hours to make the English to ASL config file of 26 lines.
The complication is the default centering of the letters is wrong
for fingerspelling. Consider the sign for Z.
For fingerspelling, the center should be the center of the palm.
Current editors can't manually set the center of a sign, so I
created a special tools, poorly named.
By manually adjusting the center using x and y values, I was able to
properly align the sign for Z. I copied the FSW code and put it in
the config file.
With the centers properly defined, creating fingerspelling is the
same as aligning a row or column of sign text. I was able to use
the same functions with diminished spacing between signs.
Most fingerspellings varieties can be supported in a few hours work
depending on the language dictionary. Thanks Adam for the ASL
entries. Very nice.
If anyone is interested in supporting Fingerspelling for their sign
language, please contact me and we can get it done. Additionally, we
may need more than one version of the ASL Manual Alphabet.
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