Hi SignWriting List,

The SignWriting 2010 font development continues.  I've had some major breakthroughs.  When I started working with the TrueType fonts, I was unsure how far I could take the development.  I'm happy to report that everything is falling into place.

This work will be a solid foundation for future SignWriting development.  The reduction in file size, network connections, and processing is staggering.  Files are 30 times smaller.  Thousands of network connections are eliminated.  Processing is instantaneous rather than network dependent.

While the details are technical, the average user will not need to know the specifics.  These tools will be used by developers to speed their development and their resulting applications. 

I am still working on some of the finer details, so any feedback or comments are welcome.  If you are feeling adventurous, please view the source HTML, Javascript, and CSS for more details.


Here are a few of the latest achievements.

Nice looking symbols
I have been able to improve the TrueType font import so that the symbol glyphs in the font look as nice the symbol SVG.

Two color fonts
Rather than a 2-color font, I've created 2 different fonts: one font for the primary color (SignWriting 2010) and one font for the secondary color (SignWriting 2010 Filling).  These fonts work together.

Properly aligned symbol glyphs in 2-dimensions
The fonts can be used with SVG or with the HTML 5 Canvas to create 2-dimensional images.  Either way, the symbol glyphs are easy to arrange in 2-dimensions without extraneous processing or conditions.  A few dozen simple lines of Javascript can handle either conversion.  ( See functions getSignSvg and getSignCanvas in file signwriting_2010.js )

Symbol glyph sizing
An unusual constraint for SignWriting is that the symbols come in various sizes.  There are 37,811 symbols.  If we specifically define the size of each, we need a data file that is over 600 KB. 

Conversly, we can achieve the same effect with a few dozen simple lines of Javascript (about 1 KB) using the TrueType font with the HTML 5 Canvas.  ( See function getSymSize in file signwriting_2010.js )  There are minor errors (off by 1 pixel) with some of the symbols. I'm hoping to be able to fix this soon.

The function to get the symbol size is quick.  It can be called thousands of times a second.

SignWriting 2010 Glyph Sizing Demo

The top of the page, starts with the following.

If you press the "Hello World" button, you will see several sign image examples.  Each of these images is created by using the TrueType fonts that have been installed on your computer.

The SVG images are similar to what we are using now, but uses SVG Text with the TrueType font rather than SVG Paths from a server.

The HTML 5 Canvas works nicely with the TrueType fonts.  The glyphs are written to the canvas and then the canvas can be converted to a PNG image.  This all happens in the browser without requiring a network connection. 

There is also a speed and accuracy checking section.  This section will compare the actual symbol size against the function derived size. The test will check each of the 37,811 symbols.  The full accuracy test will take less than a minute.  You can select less time to end the test early.

Here's the output for a 1 second test:

Here's the output for a 1 minute test:

If you don't have the fonts installed, you will receive the following message is you try any of the buttons.

I updated the development fonts yesterday, so you will need to remove or replace any SignWriting 2010 fonts from an earlier time.



Valerie Sutton SignWriting List moderator [log in to unmask]

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