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From:  Valerie Sutton
Date:  Wed Jun 17, 1998  9:14 am
Subject:  SW Keyboard Design

On June 16, 1998, Neil Bauman wrote:
>I have a question here. Do you really map the new symbol to the Ascii
>character or to the physical key. The reason I'm asking is that about 3
>years ago I changed over my keyboard from the standard Qwerty layout to the
>Dvorak layout and after typing Qwerty for about 35 years I had to learn to
>type all over again. Now I can only type using the Dvorak layout--and the
>only two keys that are the same are the letters A and M.

Hi Neil & Everyone -
Thanks for this question. There are two different SignWriter programs - the
current program and the future program. The current program is SignWriter
4.3 for MS-DOS. That is what I am discussing here.

Our current program types "in its own environment". It does not "hook into"
other software...for does not "hook into" keyboard software in
your system folder on your computer. Therefore it "mimics" Ascii. The user
never knows this detail, because it works. SignWriter 4.3 places you "in
its own little world with its own special keyboards".

In regards to the Fingerspelling Keyboard...
Your Dvorak keyboard will be a "new country", and just like all the other
15 countries, I will create a special country for the "Dvorak Keyboard", so
that you do not have any problems.

Just send me the keyboard layout for Dvorak in a picture, showing me where
they have placed each letter of the alphabet, and I will create the 16th
country, called "Dvorak".

Do you want ASL fingerspelling symbols on the Dvorak keyboard? Or do you
want French or Italian Fingerspelling - you have 15 countries with 15
fingerspelling systems to choose from :-)

In regards to the Sign Keyboard...
that should work right now - The Sign Keyboard is not "hooked" to A or B or
C on the keyboard. It is in its own environment. So if you downloaded the
shareware, I believe you will find the Sign Keyboard will work properly on
your Dvorak Keyboard right now without a special version from me. Of
course, you will need to learn the new technique of typing signed languages
- but that is fun! Everyone types signs the same in SignWriter, even if you
are a 16th country!

Of course, if I am wrong, then we will work together until we get it to
work - simple as that!

The reason SignWriter 4.3 is used now all over the world, is because I have
done an enormous amount of collaborative work to make sure it is working -
so if others are willing to work with me - we do succeed.

Sometimes software can be frustrating to develop, because there are so many
factors to consider - but it is all a matter of a good attitude and hard
work :-)

So if you want me to create a working SignWriter 4.3, for the Dvorak
keyboard, just mail me the keyboard design through snail mail.

I look forward to seeing it!

All the best -

Valerie Sutton :-)

Sutton at the DAC
Deaf Action Committee For SignWriting
Box 517, La Jolla, CA, 92038-0517, USA
(619)456-0098 voice
(619)456-0010 tty
(619)456-0020 fax

  Replies Author Date
215 Re: SW Keyboard Design Neil Bauman Fri  6/19/1998

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