Saturday, August 4, 2012

FIG is evaluating Gymnastics Software Symbol Fonts

Thursday before the Olympic Games began, I received a message that the WTC is considering using our WAG Symbols font in the new Code of Points. Unfortunately there was too little time to make it in the final document because it had to be sent to the translators only two days later. However since then some members of the WTC are evaluating every symbol from Gymnastics Software that is in the current and the new code.

It might not be obvious to everybody, but symbols change from time to time. Because I have freed all available resources to get the changes finished as fast as possible, I expect by the end of the games all symbols will be up to date with current FIG standards. If I get the permission I will post the excel symbol sheets on my website.

Besides updating the fonts I am also working real hard (although with limited time) on an improved symbol keyboard. When finished, it will first be released as a plug-in for Microsoft Word 2010. What I have done is recreated the symbol sheets on the keyboard: one apparatus, one tab. This will make it much easier to find the element you need. The look will be exactly the same as the official symbol sheets (see picture). Clicking a symbol will insert the symbol into the Word document. Additionally, right-clicking the element will display a list of elements that are one way or the other related to it. For example, right-clicking backward salto tucked will show salto piked, salto stretched, salto stretched with step-out. Also available will be the elements that the original element devaluates to (right-click switch-leap shows split leap), etc...

What I did not expect was the incredible amount of work that is required to paint these symbol sheets in the application. Up until now I have finished vault, balance beam and half of bars and it took me already 30 hours (and over 4000 lines of code). I still must start deciding what elements relate to each-other. I wish I could spend more time on it. Especially now the new code is on its way.

The picture below is the code required to display one row of elements on the symbol sheet:

This picture gives you an idea of what I mean with the new keyboard: