The SignPuddle Standard for SignWriting Text

The information below is for an old version of the document
Document Type Expired Internet-Draft (individual)
Last updated 2014-05-13 (latest revision 2013-11-09)
Replaced by draft-slevinski-formal-signwriting
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Intended RFC status Informational
Expired & archived
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IESG IESG state Expired
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This Internet-Draft is no longer active. A copy of the expired Internet-Draft can be found at


For concreteness, because the universal character set is not yet universal, and because an international standard for the internet community should be documented and stable, this I-D has been released with the intention of producing an RFC to document the character use and naming conventions of the SignWriting community on the Internet. The SignWriting Script is an international standard for writing sign languages by hand or with computers. From education to research, from entertainment to religion, SignWriting has proven useful because people are using it to write signed languages. The SignWriting Script has two major families: Block Printing for the reader and Handwriting for the writer. The SignWriting Text encoding model defines the structures of SignWriting Block Printing. The plain-text mathematical names are explained with tokens and regular expressions patterns. The visual image is supported with SVG and PNG generated by a SignWriting Icon Server. The TrueType Font is experimental and not fully functional. Formal SignWriting strings define a lite ASCII markup to name each sign logogram. The text is defined with regular expressions. The included query language defines several productive searching possibilities. The transformation from query language to regular expression is defined. For Unicode, the current use of the Private Use Area font characters is documented. The state of the TrueType Font is explained. A character proposal for plane 1 is included that is isomorphic with the characters that are currently used by the community. Three appendices discuss additional topics to the standard. The first discusses the Modern SignWriting theory and example document, stable since January 12, 2012. The second discusses the symbol encoding of the International SignWriting Alphabet 2010. The third discusses the SignPuddle Standards: licences, infrastructure, and compatibility. This memo concretely defines a conceptual character encoding map for the Internet community. It is published for reference, examination, implementation, and evaluation. Distribution of this memo is unlimited.


Stephen Slevinski (

(Note: The e-mail addresses provided for the authors of this Internet-Draft may no longer be valid.)