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Re: Wordle worthwhile to accessify?

From: Black Widow Web Design <webmistress@blackwidows.co.uk>
Date: Wed, 15 Oct 2008 19:43:38 +0100
Message-ID: <48F639DA.7010701@blackwidows.co.uk>
To: Peter Thiessen <peter.thiessen@primalfusion.com>
CC: "w3c-wai-ig@w3.org" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>

on 15/10/2008 16:31 Peter Thiessen said the following:
> Great points, especially exposing semantics to search engines etc.
> I argued point 5 with Jonathan and this proved hard to convince him of. His
> argument was: Wordle is not about trivial activities such as counting or
> words but all about visually representing words - its all about the visual
> eye candy.

If Wordle was just pure eye candy, it wouldn't be a useful tool for 
anyone. As I understand it, it uses visuals such as colour and font size 
  to convey meta information (e.g the importance or significance) about 
individual words within a piece of text based on their frequency. For 
me, it seems logical to then extend its usefulness by communicating that 
same meta information in a secondary form that doesn't rely on visuals.

Tag clouds use the same approach yet they can be wrangled, via list or 
other semantic markup, to convey a similar depth of information 
non-visually. So why not Wordle as well? It won't harm what has already 
been achieved - just extend it to the next level.

> One response might be that video on the net is all about the eye candy.

It shouldn't be. Video is just another communication tool and captioning 
means that it, too, can communicate information in non-visual environments.

> The
> audio is important but not nearly as important.

That does depend upon whether you happen to use a graphical UA. Not 
everyone does and software certainly has far more of a problem indexing 
and classifying information within images compared to that within text 
or audio formats. It just so happens that, on this list, we're mainly 
concerned with AT software but I think it actually goes far beyond that.

> People still find value in
> adding captions that help describe the visual content. I caught myself on
> this argument though, how the hell would you "caption" a Wordle and get
> those funky text effects meaningfully described?

Right now, I'd be looking at a text alternative where the words were in 
an ordered list. It's one of those situations where better support for 
longdesc would be really useful. But Wordle could also take it's cue 
from video captioning and provide an associated file with each Wordle 
that contains a text version of the word list.

Mel P.
Black Widow Web Design Ltd
Received on Wednesday, 15 October 2008 18:44:21 UTC

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