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From:  Valerie Sutton
Date:  Fri Aug 27, 1999  9:11 pm
Subject:  SignWriting Report Aug 27, 99

SignWriting Report
August 27, 1999

Dear SignWriting List Members...

First, I would like to express my gratitude to Michael Everson and the
Irish National Body, for submitting the application to the ISO. Many
thanks, Michael, for all your hard work....

This morning I had a long meeting with our computer programmer, Richard
Johnston. Rich tells me that he refers to the ISO standards all the time,
and he feels that recognizing signed languages is a major step forward.

Rich came over to my office with his laptop computer. He demonstrated this
summer's programming accomplishments....which are really outstanding. This
has been the summer of "developing an international, visual, multi-lingual
user-interface" for the new program SignWriter 5.0. Rich has really worked
hard on was much harder to program than I had realized, but I am
glad we did it, because the Menus in Signs, or Words or Icons will be a
great feature for SignWriter users.

Sometime this week, Rich will install the new interface on my computer, and
then I will start the job of adding all the different languages to the
program. I will be adding Menus in Taiwan Sign Language, and Menus in
Chinese, as well as several other spoken languages. Thank you to Wayne
Smith, for sending me the two" Taiwan-based" languages....they are a
fascinating challenge!

At the moment, we only have Menus in ASL and Menus in TSL. I hope someday
other signed languages will also contribute their signed languages....but
there is no rush....I have a lot to do right now anyway, and we can test
the program with two signed languages. Someday we can add up to 50 signed
languages...imagine choosing Menus in one of 50 signed languages!!

Antonio Carlos Rocha da Costa, from Brazil, mentioned this the other day...

> Answering the original question: to me, there is no fundamental
>dificulty in making computers interact in sign languages written in
>SignWriting. It's just a matter of producing useful softwares and
>practical interfaces (which doesn't means its a simple matter...).
> Antonio Carlos

How true that is, Antonio Carlos! This summer has proved to me that
developing a good user-interface is a large job...I can already see things
that should be improved later...

So I will keep you all informed as to how it is going....

I can see there are some exciting messages posted to the SW List this
morning - I look forward to reading them!!

Have a great evening!

Valerie ;-)

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