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dorayme
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      01-18-2006
In article <(E-Mail Removed)>,
David Segall <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

> "Alan J. Flavell" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>
> >
> >On Tue, 17 Jan 2006, David Segall wrote:
> >
> >> Dylan Parry <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
> >>
> >> >Pondering the eternal question of "Hobnobs or Rich Tea?", David Segall
> >> >finally proclaimed:
> >> >
> >> >> I have the usual flags to denote various languages
> >> >
> >> >Stop right there. http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/flags.html
> >>
> >> Your argument (I assume you agree) is basically "Don't use icons
> >> because they may be misunderstood and/or offend someone".

> >
> >Then you haven't read the article properly.

> Can you suggest a way of reading the article "properly" without
> agreeing with it?
> >


Now lets not be like that... I had a glance at my favourite
human's article and I got the impression his arguments were at
least worth taking seriously. To take up your previous point, one
of his arguments was that flags were easily misunderstood or
mismatched in relation to the language wanted. You can disagree
with this, but you need to think about it. Your summing up of his
article ("Don't use icons because they may be misunderstood
and/or offend someone") does not inspire confidence you have.
This does not mean you are wrong about using flags.

--
dorayme
 
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Neredbojias
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      01-19-2006
With neither quill nor qualm, Dylan Parry quothed:

> Pondering the eternal question of "Hobnobs or Rich Tea?", Neredbojias
> finally proclaimed:
>
> >> Just because a billion flies eat poo doesn't mean that it tastes good!

> >
> > Have you ever tried it?

>
> No. Have you tried my cooking? It doesn't taste good the first time
> round, so what makes you think it would the second?


I expressed nor do now express no opinion one way or t'other. It was
merely an admittedly wasteful human-interest question.

--
Neredbojias
Contrary to popular belief, it is believable.
 
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David Segall
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      01-19-2006
"Jonathan N. Little" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

>David Segall wrote:
>> I have the usual flags to denote various languages in my page heading
>> and I would like to provide the name of the language underneath them
>> when the user has selected one or is hovering above one.

>
><style type="text/css">
> .icon { float: left; background-color: #000; }
> .icon A { text-decoration: none; }
> .icon IMG { border: 0; padding: 2px; }
> .icon SPAN { color: #fc0; padding: .2em; }
> .icon A:link SPAN,
> .icon A:visited SPAN { display: none; }
> .icon A:hover SPAN,
> .icon A:active SPAN { display: block; }
> .icon A:link,
> .icon A:visited { display: inline; }
> .icon A:hover,
> .icon A:active { display: block; }
></style>
>
><div class="icon">
> <a href="english.html">
> <img src="english.jpg" alt="icon">
> <span class="caption">English</span>
> </a>
></div>
><div class="icon">
> <a href="spanish.html">
> <img src="spanish.jpg" alt="icon">
> <span class="caption">Spanish</span>
> </a>
></div>
><div class="icon">
> <a href="french.html">
> <img src="french.jpg" alt="icon">
> <span class="caption">French</span>
> </a>
></div>

Thanks Jonathan. That worked perfectly after I realised I had a class
called "caption".
 
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David Segall
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      01-19-2006
"Alan J. Flavell" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

>My American colleague gets very upset about that, too, muttering dark
>imprecations about delusions of colonial grandeur, Boston Tea Party
>and such. Naturally, he'd use the stars and stripes to denote the
>language. And there's more of them, and they tend to have an even
>narrower view of international relations...

Indeed they do, but all of them instantly recognize the Union Jack as
the icon to choose if they want to be able to read some text. It's a
good example of national sensitivity but not a good reason to drop the
icon. If he is willing to accept the use of "America" as a synonym for
the United States of America, ignoring the other 24 countries, then he
can put up with using the Union Jack as the icon for the English
language.
>
>And English is not the only indigenous national language spoken (and
>written) in the United Kingdom.

That's a good example of misplaced logic. Thousands of Coca-Cola
bottles are used to contain water but in its iconic form it represents
Coca-Cola.
>
>> It is a triumph of misplaced logic and ethnic/national sensitivity
>> over communication.

>
>If it amuses you to think so. Which language does the Indian flag
>represent in your universe, by the way?

That's another good example of misplaced logic. Because the Union Jack
and the French flag are instantly recognised as icons for a particular
language does not mean that all flags must have a meaning as icons for
a language.

An icon acquires a meaning of its own. The swastika has been used as a
symbol for three thousand years but if you choose to put one on your
web site you know how it will be interpreted. The same applies to the
Union Jack and I think that makes it very useful. The fact that it
happens to be the flag of a particular country is irrelevant.
 
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Jose
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Posts: n/a
 
      01-19-2006
>> If it amuses you to think so. Which language does the Indian flag
>> represent in your universe, by the way?

>
> That's another good example of misplaced logic. Because the Union Jack
> and the French flag are instantly recognised as icons for a particular
> language does not mean that all flags must have a meaning as icons for
> a language.


Well, let's come at it a different way. You have a website with the
British, German, and French flags, representing English, German, and
French. You then add pages for three of the languages commonly spoken
in India - Kannada, Punjabi, and Tamil. What flag do you use for each
of them?

Use of icons sets up an expectation, and while it can be met in trivial
cases, the expectation can fail when things get more complex, which is
why the use of icons should be well thought out.

Jose
--
Money: what you need when you run out of brains.
for Email, make the obvious change in the address.
 
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David Segall
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      01-20-2006
Jose <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

>>> If it amuses you to think so. Which language does the Indian flag
>>> represent in your universe, by the way?

>>
>> That's another good example of misplaced logic. Because the Union Jack
>> and the French flag are instantly recognised as icons for a particular
>> language does not mean that all flags must have a meaning as icons for
>> a language.

>
>Well, let's come at it a different way. You have a website with the
>British, German, and French flags, representing English, German, and
>French. You then add pages for three of the languages commonly spoken
>in India - Kannada, Punjabi, and Tamil. What flag do you use for each
>of them?

I don't know which, if any, icons would be recognised as representing
those languages. There is no reason to expect them to be flags. They
might be an iconic map indicating the main area in which the language
is usually spoken. If so, we can expect Indian bloggers protesting
that they speak the language but don't live in the area or vice versa.
My entire point is that, in the context of a web site, instruction
manual or public sign the three European symbols you mention are not
national flags; they are widely recognised icons that represent a
language.
>
>Use of icons sets up an expectation, and while it can be met in trivial
>cases, the expectation can fail when things get more complex, which is
>why the use of icons should be well thought out.

Of course. And when the happy day comes and my web site is translated
into the 5000 or so languages in the world I promise that I will not
force a visitor to choose by clicking an icon.

 
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