SignWriting List Archive 1
October 1997 - May 1998

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April 29, 1998

SUBJECT: SignWriting Chat Room

On April 28, 1998, Leonardo Mahler wrote:
> I´m studing Informatic on PUCRS( Brazil ). I´m developing a
>software(chat) that uses Sign Writing as comunication between peoples.
>I´m interested in how is Sign Writer implemented ( source code ) to
>access it´s database structure. (dictionaries .DIC).
>I´d be very happy if you could get me any material about this.

>Thanks for your atention, Leonardo Mahler.

Good Morning Leonardo and Everyone!
I have already written Leonardo privately with information about the details of programming. Leonardo works with the group in Brazil using SignWriting in the school system there. You have already read messages about Brazil from Ronice M. de Quadros and others. They are a great group and are actively using SignWriting with Deaf students, and in computer technology.

For those of you on the list who did not realize, we already have a way to type SignWriting. It is called "the SignWriter Computer Program". The original SignWriter program was developed by Richard Gleaves, back in the mid-1980's. It took many years to develop a way to type SignWriting, and it is a successful program that is used all over the world.

I am planning to write a new history chapter on the development of the SignWriter Computer Program, because it is a fascinating story, with many twists and turns. It will be posted on our SignWriting Web Site when it is completed.

Meanwhile, for your information, there are two versions of SignWriter, one for MS-DOS, and another version written in the Java programming language.

SignWriter 4.3 is in MS-DOS. It is available now, as a package and as shareware. The shareware is free and you can download it from our web site:

Download Shareware

Or you can read about the SignWriter 4.3 package on our web site at:

Computer Program Package

The exciting thing about the SignWriter 4.3 package is that it is available in 8 spoken languages, and 14 signed languages, and I am happy to tell you that we are working on the 15th country, Switzerland, which will include the 9th spoken language, German.

SignWriter 5.0 is written in Java, and we are actively working on the software development right now. When it is completed, it will be for Windows and Macintosh and other computers as well, since it is a "cross-platform" program, which means it runs on many different computers.

SignWriter 5.0 is a different program in many ways, and it is a lot of work. I am the person adding and designing the SignWriting symbols, and I am working closely with the programmers, so I know!

SignWriter 5.0 will open other new developments, such as a "SignWriting Chat Room" where people will be able to enter a special "chat room" and using SignWriter 5.0, they will be able to type to each other in SignWriting on the web. So there is much to look forward to!

We hope to have SignWriter 5.0 ready for the new school year in September, 1998.

All the best -



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Looking forward to hearing from you!

Valerie Sutton


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