forum SignWriting List Forum
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From:  Valerie Sutton
Date:  Sun Jul 4, 1999  1:05 pm
Subject:  Re: SignWriting & Unicode

>Hmmm.... I agree with the emotion (especially the way Micro$oft
>effectively stole TrueType from Apple and then unilaterally extended the
>specification to entrap people in it, classic "embrace and extend"), but I
>was under the impression that there was a free rendering engine for
>TrueType somewhere. The initial SignWriting programs would probably use
>bitmaps, but at least we should be able to generate the bitmaps from a
>common source.
>-- Greg Noel, retired UNIX guru


Yes - the SignWriting symbols are bitmapped, in the SignWriter Computer
Program. I have a specially designed symbol editor that only works with the
SignWriter Computer Program. It is a bitmap editor that can hold thousands
of symbols and is programmed right into SignWriter, so as soon as I have
created a new symbol, it flops, rotates and shows all 48 positions of each
symbol on the screen immediately.

So the SignWriting symbols are bitmapped, except for the TrueType fonts we
are developing now - but those TrueType fonts are not being entered into
the SignWriter Computer Program, since our special symbol editor cannot
create TrueType fonts.

We are creating the TrueType fonts with a program called Fontographer, that
can only access 255 characters, so the True Type fonts that we are creating
cannot automatically flop and rotate all the symbols, since it is just
hooking into the normal system folder in the computer. That is why we are
only developing Fingerspelling Fonts in TrueType right now - they are just
like typing English, but instead fingerspelling symbols come out instead of
the letters. This is very useful for teaching the SignWriting symbols for
those specific handshapes, and then people can type Irish Fingerspelling
and UK Fingerspelling and learn about other fingerspelling systems too, and
can have the fun of playing with the symbols in other programs outside of
the SignWriter Computer Program. But of course there are limited uses.

So the SignWriter Computer Program is still the norm - the TrueType fonts
are just for fun and a little education!

Valerie :-)

Valerie Sutton


The DAC, Deaf Action Committee for SW
Center For Sutton Movement Writing
an educational nonprofit organization
Box 517, La Jolla, CA, 92038-0517, USA

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