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From:  Valerie Sutton
Date:  Wed Nov 1, 2000  2:39 pm
Subject:  Re: New SymbolBank Databases Online

On 10/31/00, Lourdes Tollette wrote:
>Hi, Sorry I haven't be there for while. I had so many busy thng to do. I
>just went to symbolbank... and already prnt out. I couldn't understand
>what it meaning... with 2 different colums like here say symbol with
>numbers, variaton and fill rotation.. Can you explain to me? Lourdes<

SignWriting List
November 1, 2000

Hello Everyone, and welcome back Lourdes!

It has been a long time. It is wonderful to see you posting messages
again. We have all missed you ;-)

For those new to the SignWriting List, Lourdes is the Deaf author of
Frosty the Snowman, written in ASL, on our web site:

Frosty The Snowman

It was almost a year ago that your story was posted on the web...Time
flies quickly!

In regards to your question about SymbolBank above....

SymbolBank is a database for computer programmers. The SignWriting
List has different kinds of members. Some are Deaf like yourself,
Lourdes...but there are also people who join for other reasons.
Computer programmers, who want to create new software using
SignWriting, also join the List, waiting for information from me, on
how SignWriting works.

Software is hard to develop, because hidden underneath the SignWriter
computer program are a bunch of numbers. The numbers are the ID
numbers for each symbol in SignWriting. So when you type a sentence
in ASL with the SignWriter computer program, deep inside the program,
SignWriter searches for the numbers of the symbols you requested. It
then places those numbers (symbols) on the screen for see
visual pictures of signs, but the program is thinking in numbers -
Amazing, isn't it?

So programming SignWriter is actually a complicated task, because
there are thousands of pieces of symbols that have to be numbered so
the program can find them. And it is my job to create the numbering
system. As the inventor of SignWriting, I am responsible for all
those little pieces, that later are used to create signs.

So the SymbolBank shows the programmers what numbers were used in
SignWriter 4.3. That is called SSS-1995, which means
Sign-Symbol-Sequence in 1995. But the new computer programs are using
a different symbol set which I designed in 1999. It is called

So in SymbolBank, each symbol is listed with the old and new numbers,
so programmers know how to convert old SignWriter 4.3 files, to the
new format.

Meanwhile, signers like yourself will be interested in SignBank, not
SymbolBank. SignBank is for real written signs, like dictionaries
online. Someday, after I do a little more with SymbolBank, I hope to
also place dictionaries in SignBank online the future is
bright! ;-)

Thanks for your question!

Val ;-)


Valerie Sutton

Visit the SignWritingSite:

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