Date: Wed May 19, 1999 2:01
SignWriting List Forum
Subject: SignWriting Report May 19, 1999
May 19, 1999
Please excuse my delay in responding to some of your great messages. As you
all know, we are in sore need of a new version of our computer program,
SignWriter, and for several years we have been working on a new version,
called SignWriter 5.0.
Two weeks ago we received a grant from the Sefton Foundation to help us pay
a programmer this summer. Of course that is great news, but the programmer
we did have, Larry Peranich, works full time elsewhere and cannot do the
So I posted an announcement in something called "JobTrac" which places
information on jobs in a computer network for university students. I know
there are some brilliant student computer programmers. Well...it has been
close to comical! I do not normally hire people and I am not used to the
flood of resumes that have been sent to me by Computer Science majors. This
morning I opened my email box, and there were 24 resumes attached to email
Last night I spoke briefly at the Java Professional Group here in San
Diego. It was a meeting with presentations. I felt fortunate to be given
the chance to tell them about the new job opening, because I would prefer a
professional programmer. The other speakers were terrific. And afterwards
different programmers talked with me about the job and everyone thought the
project was outstanding and important. Some of them expressed interest, but
they wanted to go visit the SignWriting Web Site before making any
committments - let us cross our fingers!
I am quite excited about something else too - one of the other presentors
last night was a famous programmer who is one of the developers of SWING,
which is a part of the Java programming language. All Java programmers are
learning and using SWING now, which is having a major influence on new
computer programs, and thus the world. It is the future. I want SignWriter
5.0 to be written in SWING (a form of Java).
So...the developers of SWING spoke with me last night about helping us.
They like the idea of SignWriter 5.0 being written in SWING and although
they cannot give us a programmer, once we have a programmer they can assist
with technical support and perhaps even tell others about our project.
SWING has been used to create typing programs for Japanese and other
non-western languages, so I think this is very encouraging. And to have the
developers excited about the project means that a working SignWriter 5.0
will have the recognition it deserves.
And just as a side note....they are using SWING now, not just on computers,
but in ATM machines, giving access to machines for the Blind. They shared
this new program for the Blind with us last night - what an astonishing
development! They have a little computer program on a gold ring no bigger
than a ring on your hand. And the blind person has this ring programmed
just for them. Then, with new ATM machines, the blind person can insert the
ring and withdraw money from an ATM as easily as a sighted person - So now
Java is being used in ATM machines - can you imagine!
So ...just wanted to share this with you...now you know how I am spending
The DAC, Deaf Action Committee for SW
Center For Sutton Movement Writing
an educational nonprofit organization
Box 517, La Jolla, CA, 92038-0517, USA