Develop a system for writing ASL online.
- Easy to learn
- Easy to read
- Flexible precision
- Use only the symbols on a standard keyboard
- Combine characters to increase the number of possible symbols (poor man's diacritics)
- Provide a font to change how the symbols appear
- Choose characters that will still make some sense when the font is unavailable
- Choose symbol meanings that make intuitive sense
- Combine the left to right approach and the pictorial approach
- More guidelines, fewer rules
- Allow authors to arrange the symbols in whatever way will make the most sense
- Allow authors to leave out whatever information is unnecessary (abbreviations)
- Systems designed for ASL have used as few as 22 handshapes or as many as 85. (Universally-targeted writing systems need even more handshapes). The goal is not necessarily to reduce the handshape list to be phonemically accurate, but given the limitations of a standard keyboard, this system will need to use symbols wisely. A good compromise is somewhere between the extremes.
- Some systems leave out palm orientation entirely, since it can often be inferred from the other information, and signs can be recognized without it. Since this system will not have the luxury of full 2-dimensional space, an orientation notation will be helpful.
- ASL uses a number of locations on the head, body, non-dominant arm, and non-dominant hand to convey meaning in signs. Without the luxury of 2-dimensional space, a limited list of approximate locations will be needed.
- Relative Location
- ASL makes full use of the 3-D signing area, so a method for showing location relative to the non-dominant hand, or to reference points in space, will be necessary.
- When a sign involves the hands touching one or more locations, some systems notate the type of contact that is made. Although signs in a detailed 2-D system are recognizable without it, it will be helpful here given the other limitations of this system.
- There are quite of few types of movement, and complex movements are going to be a challenge. The goal will be to be able to represent movements just enough to be recognized by the reader.
- Non-manual features
- In order to represent full sentences, a system for writing non-manual elements is necessary.