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From:  Valerie Sutton
Date:  Wed Oct 28, 1998  3:15 pm
Subject:  Re: iconicity

On Tue, 27 Oct 1998 Angus B. Grieve-Smith wrote:
>2) searchability. A friend pointed out to me that SignWriter's use of
>non-standardized coordinates (as well as using GIF images) means that text
>in SignWriting can never be indexed and searched. Unless significant
>changes are made to the software-internal representation of SignWriting
>and some system is in place for displaying them on the Web, we'll never
>see AltaVista in SignWriting, and you'll never be able to so much as look
>up a name in an address book in SignWriting.

October 28, 1998
Thanks, Angus, for bringing this up. In SignWriter 4.3, Rich Gleaves
developed an ingenious method for Search, Find, and Replace by SignWriting
symbol. So searchability has already been done in SignWriting. The Danes
also developed their own computer program for SignWriting called
"TegnBank", and they also can search by symbol I believe.

SignWriter 5.0 would improve all this...I just need to raise money to pay
for the programming. In time it will happen. One of the plans for the
future is to make our SignWriting Web Site an environment where we can
search and find by SignWriting symbol - but that would be within the SW Web
Site's environment.

In regards to searching for signs in Yahoo or another directory on the web,
I guess the first question is....can people search Yahoo in Chinese right
now? I heard that there are special web browsers being developed to search
the web in other writing systems, such as Japanese, but perhaps you know
more about this? It may be possible for us to hook into that technology

Of course you are correct about GIF files not being searchable- no graphic
is searchable... but GIF files are a useful tool, for the moment, to show
the writing system on the web and through email.

I am one who believes that technology should be developed to meet the needs
of the writing system, and not the other way around - so we are trying to
develop the technology needed to meet these points.

Many thanks for your input -

Valerie :-)

Valerie Sutton at 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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