Date: Sat May 6, 2000 2:02
SignWriting List Forum
Subject: Re: SW in Databases
> I think this would be an excellent idea. I envision using SignWriting
>for research purposes, but so far have been unable to figure out a way to
>put the SW symbols into a database. I usually use Microsoft Works, but am
>also learning Microsoft Access, which is compatible with Excel. I don't
>know anything about FileMaker. Who makes that? I would be extremely,
>extremely interested in any news you have along these lines.
> - Wayne
May 6, 2000
Hi Wayne - Yes I remember we talked about "floating dictionaries"
before, and I totally agree that is what we need.
Lately I started to realize that although new software for
SignWriting will always be welcome, there is existing software,
created by others, that COMBINED with SignWriter 4.3, can give us
more modern documents in other formats.
One of those is the PDF format, created by Adobe. With the help of
either Adobe Acrobat 4.0, or Angus' suggestion of
GhostWriter-GhostView (a shareware program), we can now convert
SignWriter files into PDF files. I never knew that until recently,
when it suddenly dawned on me that the Postscript printing command in
SignWriter might be our key to more modern software compatibility.
That same Postscript feature might be the clue to exporting
SignWriter dictionary files into other database software, such as
Microsoft Excel, or FileMaker.
And even if that is not possible, dictionaries can be created in
other database software by simply making .GIFs of each sign and
pasting them one by one into the database. I am glad to do that
process too, if it will help everyone access the dictionaries.
So I am still researching this...
Meanwhile, let's list some well-known standard database programs that
we could use:
1. Microsoft Excel....for the Macintosh and Windows (made my Microsoft)
2. FileMaker Pro 5.0...for the Macintosh and Windows (made by Claris)
What about Microsoft Access? Is that another database program?
FileMaker Pro was originally designed for the Macintosh, but is now
used on Windows too. There are actual clubs of people who use
FileMaker to do very sophisticated databases - you can even get
newsletters from the FileMaker clubs...so in some circles it is
considered to be "the database program of choice".
FileMaker is being used for the Swiss-German Sign Language database
for example, in which they will be including SignWriting...that is
probably because they are on Macintoshes, but the program works
exactly the same on Windows, so it is totally portable -
And there is a large population that uses Excel...
If anyone else has other database software to recommend - please inform us!
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