forum SignWriting List Forum
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From:  Valerie Sutton
Date:  Tue Nov 24, 1998  6:26 pm
Subject:  Re: Java and other things ...

>On Mon, 23 Nov 1998, Stuart Thiessen wrote:
>Lastly, what will it take to be able to do other tasks in SW such as
>databases or spreadsheets? I know that there are no resources to
>do that right now, but I am wondering if the way that the
>programmer is doing the SW program, if others could use his
>libraries or images or whatever to create other programs that are
>SW-based. I don't know if this makes sense, but I thought I would

This is an excellent question, Stuart, and the answer is yes...just as soon
as we have a working version of SignWriter 5.0, we plan to open the sources
to other programmers. This is the only way to truly benefit the world.

Something new started happening in the software world recently - it is
called the "open source movement". Commercial software programs started
placing their source code on the internet for other programmers to freely
access. Programmers around the world started to compete with each other to
see who could create a "better mousetrap" using the source code from the
"big-time software developers".

Of course, SignWriting is not commercial. You can download our software for
free on our web site, and even though we sell the program and other books
and videos, the sales do not support anyone. They just help re-print the

So "open sources" for SignWriter will not attract the big-time commercial
programmers, because they cannot make money from developing software to
type SignWriting. However, there are always idealistic people who want to
give to the world, so you never know...someone might want to help if they
have access to the source code.

Therefore, I want you all to know that the old source code for SignWriter
4.3 is available right now to any programmer upon request. It is written in
Microsoft Pascal, for MS-DOS. I know no one wants to program with this old
source code, but it could be a springboard to creating better and newer
programs in other computer languages.

Also, we will be officially releasing the source code to SignWriter 5.0
after the program has been tested and used for awhile. Once the source code
seems to be clean and well written, we will then release the sources, with
hopes that other programmers can apply the sources to other needs, such as
the databases or spreadsheets you mention above.

And we will continue to develop better features in SignWriter 5.0
simultaneously, so development will continue no matter what.

So, if there is a programmer on the list who is interested in helping,
please write to me privately and we can talk about it!

All the best -

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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