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yaaqov wrote

Oh shit! I’d love to hear people’s thoughts about this, if they have any; I’m in the process of designing something similar, which I hope to release in some capacity soon.

(The primary difference between this system and mine is that while this system maintains a one-to-one correspondence to letters in English, which makes learning easier for people who already are literate in English but preserves all of the numerous issues with English spelling, mine attempts to weave a spelling reform together with using a similar 32 bit system of “dots”.

In other words, this system has each column of dots represent one of the 26 letters. The one I’m working on has each column represent one* sound/phoneme of English)

*well, English is generally analysed as having 40ish phonemes but I’ve managed to boil it down to 31, while avoiding virtually all ambiguity/heteronymy (same spelling, different sound and meaning, like “tear paper” and “tear in my eye”)

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Fossidarity OP wrote

There's some interesting feedback on this in the Hacker News thread.

My main thing is that dots have very little redundancy, if some part is missing it's hard to recognize the form. Also the placement of the dots is important for the meaning of the symbols in the dotsies font.

Do you have a place where I can see your progress, I'd be super interested in that!

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yaaqov wrote (edited )

Totally! I think this is especially an issue when the columns are viewed in isolation, and without a clear baseline, as is the case here. However, I think this issue is generally mitigated in the context of a real sentence: the whole vertical range is typically used, so that being able to interpret the vertical position of the material within a given column becomes much easier.

In terms of redundancy, it's true, there is essentially no room for variation within a column without a different, unintended letter/sound being represented. However, again, I think that the context of writing helps a lot: here, the fact that the columns within a word directly abut each other means that strings that correspond to words nearly appear as gestalt glyphs, almost like logographs/pictographs. Here is an example using the Dotsies system from the website; while moving one dot in an isolated letter may be scarcely detectable, in the context of word, a pretty noticeably different shape is created: Here's a side-by-side comparison of a couple words and their variations.


As for progress on my own system, well all I really have right now is a .ttf font! Which I'd be happy to share, and can do so by later today, along with some explanation about how to use it and the system itself.

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Fossidarity OP wrote (edited )

I really like how the letters merge together to form a symbol, maybe that alone could be a basis to create a font from, maybe with ligatures? I think Gestalt theory could be a good basis for this..

I would love to see the .ttf font! How did you make it? Did you use FontForge?

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yaaqov wrote (edited )

Could you elaborate a little more on this idea for a font?

Okay, I'm happy to hear it!

Well I've been teaching myself to use fontforge in the last few weeks, but what I'll be sending to you was created solely on fonstruct, which is very limited in that you can only draw from a finite set of shapes and set them on a grid, with no bezier curves or anything, but that's just fine for a script made of squares haha.

(I also made a "helping font" just like Dotsies uses—that is, a replacement of the blocks in the columns with the letters (in my case, IPA) that they represent—and that could really use a re-do in something with real drawing capabilities. It's... rough. You'll see.)

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Fossidarity OP wrote

I don't really have it fleshed out in my mind but probably somewhere between Arabic and Chinese? So instead of static symbols like in Chinese or long "words" like in Arabic short symbols but made up of a combination of letter-pairs so it's mapable to the alphabet.

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yaaqov wrote

This sounds neat! I'd love to see anything you come up with, if you feel like posting.

Sorry for the delay wrt my font by the way. Been pretty busy and tired lately, I hope to get something soon!

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