Dotsies -

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Dave Crossland's picture
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Joined: 14 Feb 2007 - 1:47pm
Dotsies -
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http://dotsies.org/

"Dotsies is a font that uses dots instead of letters"

"The latin alphabet (abc...) was created thousands of years ago, and is optimized for writing, not reading. About time for an update, no? Dotsies is optimized for reading. The letters in each word smoosh together, so words look like shapes! Follow me on twitter for periodic tips on learning it (it's not that hard) or to tell me what you think."

Nick Curtis's picture
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Joined: 21 Apr 2005 - 8:16am
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Well, if I didn't have to pack for a trip, I would check this out; however, I felt it necessary to inform you that at least a few other people have tried this same basic approach out. So, don't get cocky. Been there, done that.

OTOH, you may have come up with an approach that will surprise me. I wish I had time to be pleasantly surprised at this moment, but I don't. Maybe later.

Craig Eliason's picture
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Joined: 19 Mar 2004 - 1:44pm
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Teaching yourself braille seems like a more sensible move in that direction if you want to go that way.

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
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Honorable in intent, but any system that requires formal instruction cannot succeed. Unless you have a king, and those have sadly become few and far between. Maybe one fine day...

This is why my own alphabet reform effort (initiated in 1998) tries to push readability (which indeed cannot be fully achieved by sticking to handwriting) while requiring zero conscious effort on the part of the reader.

BTW, somebody please inform him that the Latin alphabet isn't nearly that old.

hhp

Alexis Luengas Zimmer's picture
Joined: 23 Feb 2011 - 1:30pm
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Braille had exactly the same concept (whereas his motive was far away from Dotsies), but with six dots (bits). This also means that Braille has twice as much possible character definitions as Dotsies (including the space). As the Braille system spread around the world, the character set size restriction turned relevant. Unavoidably, new added letters had to be plotted in the same picture; e.g ß has the same coding as è. Back at the 21-century, Dotsies can't represent upper-case letters, not even numerals, which is an enormous constraint. But then, Dotsies is (just) an experimental typeface.

Another issue is that I don't seem to be able to discover a systematic idea in the character assignment. Why should be a,b,c,d,e the one-point-characters? Wouldn't it make more sense to assign those glyphs to the vocals (first I thought this was the reason for using five "dot-cells")? Or better, assign the simplest characters to the letters with most frequency (etaoin shrdlu).

What I really like and have not seen before, is that in Dotsies' characters "merge" to form a word. There are no spaces between letters. Every word is a long ligature itself: a pictogram.

Good legible? I'm not sure... There are no extenders, which are (speculatively) essential to form distinguishable boumas, and thus for a good legibility, if I may recall the ALL-CAPS problematic.

Jan Schmoeger's picture
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Joined: 12 Dec 2008 - 5:39am
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... -.- .- .-..

Reynir Heiðberg Stefánsson's picture
Joined: 19 Nov 2010 - 11:15am
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... --- --.. --..--   - --- - .- .-..   --.- .-.. ..-.   .... . .-. .

Frode Bo Helland's picture
Joined: 26 Feb 2007 - 1:03pm
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My mom, for her master thesis, created a very basic alphabet consisting of dots and lines on different heights/pitch. It was used to transcribe the vocal utterings of a child without the physical capability of speech.

Riccardo Sartori's picture
Joined: 13 Jul 2009 - 4:20am
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That sounds interesting, Frode. Any sample you could share?

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
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Yes, cool stuff.

hhp

John Savard's picture
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Joined: 23 Nov 2009 - 8:42pm
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I don't see this as a beneficial proposal. Letters are made to be read by people; machines can read bar codes or punched paper tape.

But the Latin alphabet is more than 2,000 years old, although a few present-day letters of the English alphabet were missing, so they did get that part right.