How to Contribute to the Collection
To contribute to the string figure collection you should subscribe to the String Figure Contributors e-group where you can recieve help preparing descriptions and illustrations. You can also help oversee the work of others by offering corrections and suggestions. Ideally you should do as much of the work as you can, but if you can't supply a SFN (String Figure Notation) description, or illustrations, you can submit a prose description and ask for help with the SFN description or the illustration. When your figure is complete and has been checked, it will be added to the collection.
We all learn best by doing, so pick a figure, try describing it in SFN, see how it goes, post your effort, discuss problems, and suggest improvements. If five people pitched in and described one figure a month, we could publish 60 additional figures online in just one year for everyone to view.
If you are considering submitting a figure, here's a brief description of what's involved—it's not as hard as you might otherwise imagine. If you want to describe your figure in shorthand notation, great—remember your first attempt doesn't have to be perfect, you'll have help, otherwise ask and I'll provide one for you. Next, come up with a step by step prose description. Again, if not perfect, you'll get helpful suggestions.
The hard part, the one you may think you couldn't possibly do, is come up with an illustration. It's not that hard (indeed, if the figure is in Jayne's book I can just scan it for you). Here are some ideas to make it doable if not ridiculously easy. First, look for a similar figure in the collection, at least one with the hands in the right position. Right click on it to save it to your hard drive. Using one of many graphic editors, erase the figure and draw in the strings for your figure (I won't go into details here, but it's not that hard. Ask me if you want more details.) Sometimes (see The Wink) I have just held my hand up to the screen and traced around it. When reduced and cleaned up, the result is acceptable. I have tried taking digital photos, but they are of poor quality. However, you can lighten up the photo, then trace everything in black. When saved as a black and white graphic, everything is stripped out except your tracing. When reduced down, it will look pretty good. You have to try making some illustrations to see that it is something you can do. If you can take good digital photos, that will work (pictures are slower to load, so line drawings are preferred, but a few photos here and there won't matter.)
Join now even if you don't plan to participate. Preview new figures before they appear in the collection.
Subscribe by email to: String Figure Contributors
Or visit the web site: String Figure Contributors at Yahoo Groups
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