Sign Writing

 Bug Tracker
 Join us

 Hosted by

 Project info
 Mailing lists
 CVS access

Help wanted

There are many ways to help; this page identifies only a few of them. Some of the work requires programming skills, but there is a great deal to be done that doesn't require more than the ability to run programs. Many of them don't require any expertise with SignWriting.

Whichever course you chose, please contact us so we can keep the projects co-ordinated.


To make sure that swApp projects continue to evolve, we need developers for our team. There are lots of new features that could be added, some of them fairly straightforward and simple, but we just don't have enough time to do everything.

If you are familiar with Java or C++ programming under any of the supported platforms and would like to help (or add your favorite features), check out the developer pages––it's a good chance to leave your mark on a great Open Source project.


One of the most important tasks (and one that can always use more helpers) is to write (and edit) the documentation. Currently, there is no formal documentation (just the source code) so what is really needed is someone who is willing to start from scratch.

Quality Control

Another way to help is to test the applications and try to find bugs. Our hope is to provide high-quality applications, but the only way we can do this is if they are continually tested.

In most cases, this requires a commitment to download the pre-release applications, test them, and create bug reports when problems are found.


One of our goals is that the applications run well on older, smaller, slower machines. The only way to ensure this is to run them on older, smaller, slower machines, find out where they don't perform well, and figure out ways to make them faster.

Similar to Quality Control, this requires a commitment to download the pre-release applications, test them, and create bug reports when problems are found.

Some of the performance bottlenecks are in wxWindows (despite its goal of being a lightweight framework, it's grown heavy and bloated in a number of areas), so the fix may be to make wxWindows faster. This would help more than just swApps and make a lot of friends.


(((to be filled in)))

Ports to Other Platforms

Most current development is done using wxGTK on Linux. Our development framework, wxWindows, supports other operating systems, including the Macintosh OS (wxMac) and Windows (wxMSW). If you could help us with a port to another platform, please see the developer pages for details.

Future applications will also be in Java; it's not yet clear what porting effort will be required for those apps.

Additional Hardware

One way to help is to contribute hardware. There are many possibilities.

  • Storage for backups. Although VA Linux, the host for SourceForge, has publicly declared their long-term support, business plans are notorious for sudden changes. This may be excessive paranoia, but we take regular backups of the SourceForge files.

    Currently, we use an iomega ZIP 250 drive. This is a good system, but the disks are not intended for heavy use and wear out after a few hundred passes. Replacement disks are always welcome.

  • A better backup device. In the longer term, the ZIP drive should be replaced by something better. Compressed, the backups fit on two ZIP disks, but the size is steadily growing. A tape drive (or possibly a CD burner?) would be a boon.
  • Disk space for builds. It does not require a lot of space to build the swApps, but for some people, even a little bit is too much. We would like to be able to offer our developers some extra disk space as an incentive.
  • Test systems. Just about the only way to ensure that a program runs on a particular configuration is to run it on that configuration. If you're getting rid of a system that still functions, consider giving it to one of our testers. It needn't be a big or fast system; just something that can be used to verify that our applications work.
If you can help with any of these (or if you have something else that might be of use), please get in touch with us.

These pages are maintained and copyright © 2000-2008 by Greg Noel.
Any suggestions or comments are welcome.
SignWriting® is a registered mark of the Center for Sutton Movement Writing, Inc.
This page regenerated Sat Feb 2 21:39:52 PST 2008