Chromatophore -- Created 2020/07/27 -- Updated 2021/5/14
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:: The Chromatophore Writing System ::
Chromatophore is a color and symbol based writing system I developed after doing research with manta rays and cuttle fish, both of which have chromatophore skin. The first version was not particularly efficient, but since color-based writing systems didn't exist before this, I figured it didn't have to be particularly efficient. Since then, I have made substantial improvements to the framework and it is now highly efficient for communicating textual information at a ratio of about 2:1 when compared to standard text characters, making it about twice as efficient for conveying information. Chromatophore may additionally be useful for testing stuff if/when trying to communicate/signal with species that have chromatophore skin in the future. There were potential problems with people who are color blind or color insensitive in the original version of Chromatophore, but this was fixed by alternating color selection from 50% saturation to 40% and 60%, by other tone and value shifts, and by changing the color ranges being used. Chromatophore works by stringing tabs of content called carriers together (shown below), each of which has a head and body. Carriers are colored based on their content root. The head dictates placement in the overall construction of the text, and has a body inlaid with additional symbols for punctuation and grammatical or cipher-shifting notes. Since I am using this for steganography projects as well, I am going to keep the exact meaning of the symbols and their character mappings private for now. It would be arbitrary to make your own set and map it however, and alternative symbolics or mappings would serve as a form of obfuscation or light ciphering. So this is very flexible and has no predetermined read-direction. It could also be strung together the same way symbolics are in the Snarl project, it doesn't really matter. I am unaware of any other color-based writing system, making this a largely unexplored space. There are lots of possibilities with how the combinations of color, head, body, and potentially a tail, would interact. Because the color roots the rest of the content in the carrier, you could map the colors on to logical operators or cipher shifts to turn each carrier into its own uniquely ciphered strip of text.
Chromatophore Version 2 The following was the first iteration of Chromatophore. Chromatophore Version 1