On Fri, Nov 28, 2008 at 02:28:23PM -0500, slevin(_at_)signpuddle(_dot_)net
Second, Unicode is used with sequential scripts: one character after
another. Our script is spatial: the words are characters written in space
based on coordinates. The words are sequential, but not the characters.
Even if we were part of the Unicode standard, I do not believe existing
applications could properly edit or display the words.
I did a quick examination of your specification, and I couldn't find
any documentation for how your control chracters and spatial
coordinate system works in practice. Given that this seems to be
critical for interoperability and for anyone else to be able to write
software that utilizes your character set, it appears to me your
specification may be incomplete.
Something that may be useful would to be try to get someone else to
create an independent implementation that can at least display your
script, going solely from your specifications. That would be a very
good sign that the specification completely specifies your new writing
After all, the whole point of standardizing something is to allow
multiple people to create implementations that can interoperate. So
if you only have one implementation utilizing your scripting system,
and you haven't yet built up an implementation community interested in
utilizing your writing system in multiple applications that need to be
able to interoperate with each other, standardization efforts may be a
The other comment I will make is that using a writing system which
isn't compatible with existing writing systems which are purely
left-to-right (or right-to-left) will significantly hamper the
development of application programs that can support your SignWriting.
It means that instead of being able to use an unmodified version of,
say, Open Office or some other word processing software, you will need
to implement either your own word processing software, or at the very
least, need to modify existing application programs one at a time to
support your new writing system.
I know you've spent a lot of time putting together a system which very
accurately models the physical movements of signing. This is an
approach similar to using a purely comprehensive description of every
possible audible sound/phomeme that could be used in a spoken
language, such that one writing system could be used for recording
sounds used by all spoken languages --- the International Phonetic
Alphabet (IPA) is one such system that attempts this, for example.
However, this might not necessarily be the most efficient way of
encoding sign language, and if it requires the spatial coordinates
into characters, this might not be the most appropriate encoding
system for everyday use by deaf people, just as most people do not use
the IPA for encoding spoken languages for everyday common use when
they are writing letters, books, sending e-mail, etc.
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