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Currently a new implementation of SignStream (version 3) is in
This is an Open Source effort, developed using IBM's
Common Public License.
The new version includes the following features:
Written in Java to support Windows and Mac OS X and later, SignStream
3 is also designed to support Quicktime or the Java Media Framework
for media playback, so as to allow easy porting to Linux and other Java-enabled
Graphical and numeric annotations are supported to allow more intuitive
representation of specific types of information. Design efforts are
focused on supporting graphical palettes of hand shapes, although users
will be able to create their own graphical data to support any type
Data are centralized and data association is made more flexible to allow
for several new or improved areas of functionality:
- Coding schemes—the formal descriptors constraining annotations
within a specific domain or organization—are handled independently
of transcripts. This simplifies standardization of annotations,
while still allowing such schemes to evolve with the work of individual
researchers. Transcribers can choose to build on an existing scheme,
such as the default ASL scheme included with the program, or to develop
their own schemes to suit their own needs.
- Transcripts can be stored in large databases. Searches can be carried
out across a wide set of annotations. The search functionality
is similar to that of the current version; however, searching is
no longer restricted to one database file at a time.
- Transcripts can also be imported/exported using a simple XML format,
making it simpler to share data with other XML-aware applications
or to write custom applications for data analysis.
- In the current version, video and audio files must be directly
referenced by the transcripts, making it difficult to move these
different media or to substitute alternate files (e.g., using different
codecs or time segments). SignStream 3 adds a level of abstraction
called Asset Packaging to address these and other media management
concerns. This abstraction allows for globally unique assets, making
possible distribution of transcripts, including in printed publications,
without including the original video or other source data, while
a simple way for users to obtain the source files separately as needed,
on CD, DVD, or via the Web.
- Hierarchical relationships among fields are supported. For example
a Hand Shape field could have children fields for Selected Fingers,
- Several efforts to simplify data entry will be added, including
single-click drop-down menus for sets of known values, custom entry
widgets for specific data types or scheme fields, and a user-defined
gloss dictionary for entering recurring sets of annotations.
Recent development (2000- )
has been supported by NSF grant IIS-9912573, CNS-04279883, and HCC-0705749.
SignStream version 3
(replaced Jason Boyd as of spring 2004)
Robert G. Lee
Research assistants: Robert G. Lee, Mike Schlang, Joan Nash.
Design and prototyping of the coding scheme module were aided by the
work of George Kierstein.
We are grateful to David Greenfield
for assistance with release of the SignStream version 2.2.*
Development of the SignStream application (1995-2000)*
was supported by NSF
(C. Neidle, PI; D. MacLaughlin, Postdoctoral Fellow; B. Bahan, Consultant;
R.G. Lee, Research Asst.).
Development of capabilities for multiple synchronized video files and
audio files (1999-2000)*
was funded by NSF
(C. Neidle, PI; S. Sclaroff, co-PI; D. MacLaughlin, Consultant).
Development of the SignStream prototype (1994-1995)*
was made possible by NSF
(C. Neidle, PI; J. Kegl, co-PI; B. Bahan, co-Investigator; D. MacLaughlin,
* Programming for versions 1
and 2 of SignStream was carried out by David Greenfield in the Department
of Humanities Resources at
Dartmouth College (Otmar Foelsche, Director).
Previous versions of the Program
SignStream Version 2.0. 2000
System requirements: Mac OS (system 8.0 or later; SignStream requires
QuickTime version 3.0.2 or later).
SignStream Version 1.5. 1999
System requirements: Mac OS (system 7.1 or later; SignStream requires
QuickTime version 2.1 or later).
The following people have been involved in various ways in the design
and development of SignStream over the years:
for SignStream 2)
SignStream logo design by Mr. Bill
(the late Bill Henneman)
Neidle, MacLaughlin, and Lee