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Cursive Palm Script

Joined up handwriting suitable for computer recognition
  (+5, -4)
(+5, -4)
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Standard handwriting formats were developed as artificial styles taught to be taught to schoolchildren, so that members of the emerging workforce would be able to understand eachother's written communications - D'Nealian, Palmer Method, Zaner-Bloser, etc.

Palm users have to use a modified alphabet designed for ease of computer recognition across different personal handwriting styles. While useful for entering text without a keyboard, this method is not as speedy as it could be: letters must be written one at a time.

Many people are finding that their handwriting has gone to the dogs, since everything they write is typewritten. Moreover, the existing handwriting formats are not well suited to computer recognition.

So, if we want to keep handwriting as a distinct mechanism for communicating our ideas, we need to come up with a cursive (joined up writing) format that will be legigble to both people and computers, across the range of personal styles dictated by our varying body types. However artificial it appears at first sight (as they all do), we can teach it to the children and let it permeate society, to our mutual benefit.

Then we can finally ditch our keyboards, and just scribble away on PDAs and tablets.

(By the way, I hold that a written mechanism is best for the thoughtful communication of ideas, so no "use voice recognition" postings, please.)

DrCurry, Sep 07 2002

TabletPC http://www.microsof...windowsxp/tabletpc/
[bristolz, Sep 07 2002, last modified Oct 21 2004]

Smartquill http://research.mic...news/smartquill.asp
Almost like a real pen but with a docking station [hollajam, Sep 08 2002, last modified Oct 21 2004]

TealScript http://www.tealpoint.com/softscrp.htm
A replacement for Graffiti by Teal Software. [RayfordSteele, Sep 09 2002, last modified Oct 21 2004]


       I hate cursive, myself. It's difficult to read. My family sends me letters and I have to either spend hours puzzling over them trying to figure out what the mostly flat squiggle means, or get my mother to translate. A writing style that changes every letter based on what letters are next to it is a dumb idea.   

       The problem you're going to run into is that you're going to try to write [A sentence this long] into a space [ ] that long. Cursive can't be easily compressed, because it does depend on the whole word, not just the bit you're writing.   

       I can type ten times as fast as I can use a pen, and the keyboard doesn't make my fingers hurt.   

       [Admin: Why was this in the 'Halfbakery: Archive' category?]
StarChaser, Sep 07 2002

       The Tablet PC recognizes cursive and very well. Maybe even better than it does printed handwriting (and it does that well, too.)   

       Having used a Tablet PC for a while now, I stand amazed at just how good its handwriting recognition is and, also, how good the character smoothing makes average handwriting look. They will only get better and better at it.
bristolz, Sep 07 2002

       Russian cursive has to be the worst mish-mash of characters I've seen. It looks nothing little like print block style, and there are a bunch of letters that all look like lowercase u's, except for a tiny little tail here or there to distinguish them. If you happen to get a 'i' and a 'tseh' together, there's no way at all to distinguish it from a 'schah.' There are 5 variants that look like a lowercase 'b.' Imagine this string in English cursive and it almost approximates: wuiubumuwimubiwubuwu. Totally incomprehensible.
RayfordSteele, Sep 07 2002

       Cursive writing recognition has been around for yonks. This is not a new concept. I'd seen IBM systems demonstrated in the 80s that could do this well.   

       No thanks for me on this. I'll take a keyboard any day. My handwriting, even printing, has gotten so bad, it may well be the worst it's ever been. I can barely write a sentence.
waugsqueke, Sep 07 2002

       waugs: that's my point - with our dependency on keyboards, our handwriting has degenerated so far as to be unusable. Yet schools still teach cursive handwriting.
bris: see Rods_Tiger's remarks below, but I will give the Tablet another try. Perhaps your handwriting is the elusive style I am looking for.
DrCurry, Sep 07 2002

       I type because I can type much faster than I can write. It takes me twice as long to write something by hand.
BinaryCookies, Sep 07 2002

       I think video is subordinate to the written word.
bristolz, Sep 08 2002

       Even though there are machines which can recognize human-style script, that in no way implies that a variation of script which is intended for machine legibility would not have significant advantages. Probably the way to do it, though, would be to add some new Graffiti scribbles for common digraphs.   

       Perhaps my biggest complaint about Graffiti, though, is the letter "R". Does anyone know if there's a simplified scribble that will work to encode that? What I'd think would be logical would be a reversed version of the "F" scribble [think of a lowercase "r"], but I don't think any such thing will work.
supercat, Sep 08 2002

       Dr Curry, You might find this character recognition pen a solution. [link] Trainable and with the ability to recognize handwriting even in air--no need to confine yourself anymore--Go free now butterfly!
hollajam, Sep 08 2002

       jutta: supercat evidently understands, if no one else. This is simply a suggestion for modifying the cursive handwriting styles taught in school so that they can be easily recognized by both computers and people (instead of just people). So future wausguekes (and mes) will not find their handwriting degenerating into illegibility. And the Rods_Tigers of the world will not get so frustrated.
UnaBubba: you are confusing the communication of ideas with technical instruction.
hollajam: thank you for the link, but that is merely one more mechanism for handwriting recognition, not a solution to the problem (schools teaching us outdated handwriting styles).
DrCurry, Sep 08 2002

       I must confess I have a lot of sympathy for DrCurry's movement. I grew up in Texas, ages 0-8, where I learnt to write cursive, & one day in 2nd grade found myself being parachuted into British boarding school for a term of 10 years, where I was stimulus-response conditioned to write "properly". English handwriting is more upright and cleaner, making it simpler to write and less fiddly to read than the archaic bramble thicket that is US cursive. Odd, that: you'd think it might be the other way around.   

       Anyway: I agree. I think inertia alone means cursive remains the cornerstone of the American 3Rs.
General Washington, Sep 08 2002

       I love this idea and I don't see why CPS can't coexist with traditional cursive writing. Although I can type fairly fast, there are times that I don't have a keyboard handy (but could easily have had a tablet on my person).   

       I have some experience with Chinese character computer recognition, and once thought about modifying US shorthand for electronic eyes. But, who wants to learn shorthand? Your idea is better.
tharsaile, Sep 09 2002

       I have a Palm, and yes, 'R' sucks. There are some hacks out there that I've used before that seem to clean it up a bit. Look around on the Palm software group websites. I don't exactly remember the name, but they're generally well-organized there so it's easy to find.   

       See link.
RayfordSteele, Sep 09 2002

       bristolz: Having now seen the Tablet PC, I feel even more strongly that we need to do this. You have nice handwriting and if it works so well with the Tablet, perhaps you could teach it to the rest of us?   

       Btw, having seen the Tablet, I would really like to see one with a Palm OS interface (though, of course, with the cursive script noted above).
DrCurry, Nov 11 2002

       If I'm writing for my eyes only, my "r" is basically a capital R without the left-hand vertical. In practice, it looks like a backward S.
bookworm, Nov 12 2002

       People looking for a handwriting-style as clear as print (and faster), faster and clearer than that loopy cursive stuff, and simple enough that we could program a machine to read it (none of those conventional cursive weirdities) should consider Italic handwriting. Italic uses print-like letter-shapes (particularly wherever the printed and cursive shapes of a letter seriously "disagree") and joins some (not all) letters (by skipping all joins except for the very easiest and clearest ones.)
KateGladstone, Mar 12 2004


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