From: Stephen Slevinski (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Mon Jun 14 2010 - 17:36:18 CDT
Thanks for the great discussion. A lot to think about, a lot to learn,
and a lot to do.
Just to clear up a few points.
There are no issues with SignWriting and IP or copyright. The term
SignWriting is trademarked, but the writing system is meant to be used
without restriction. The symbols are available under the open font
license. If that is not enough, Valerie Sutton has made several public
statements that cover this issue. The standards documents are all
available under creative commons, by-sa. If anyone feels the issue is
not resolved, we're willing to take whatever steps to resolve the doubts.
Regarding plain text, I was using it in a very loose sense. Personally,
I use the term "sign text". As characters, I encoded only those needed
to represent sign language as a readable script. I didn't include extra
formatting or structures. This is the minimum set of characters
required to produce a readable script. Any less and you could not
represent SignWriting as character data.
Regarding the community of users... There are many who write by hand.
I believe this is the largest community, but I have no solid numbers.
Our online community (SignPuddle Online), started 6 years ago. We set
up dictionaries for the various international sign languages. The top
14 dictionaries range from 1,000 to 10,000 sign entires. The next 14
have a few hundred. Several dozen only have a handful of signs.
I believe the script is stabilized. In 2004, we were using the
International MovementWriting Alphabet. We learned a lot in 3 years of
use. In 2008, we did a major refactoring of the symbol set to focus on
sign language only. We've happily used the 2008 symbol set for 2
years. About a month ago, we discussed several small issues. We
decided for one last minimal refactor before standardization. That
refactor has been completed as the International SignWriting Alphabet 2010.
I will be very happy if we are able to encode the symbol set in
Unicode. Encoding the characters needed for the script layout would be
nice, but one step at a time.
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