[Clipart] Fall? a little voice from the southern hemisphere...

Nathan Eady eady at galion.lib.oh.us
Mon Aug 23 13:49:42 PDT 2010

Leonardo Cunha <laobcunha at gmail.com> writes:

> OCAL default language is English, so although I would like to have
> everthing in Portuguese too, it is not something very easy to
> do. But if "autumn" is more commom than "fall", maybe we should have
> opted for "autumn".

Eventually I'd like to see a real l10n system for search, which knows
based on the user's language and locale or whatever (which they could
override with a drop-down box) how to translate what the user types
into which tags to look for, so then we wouldn't need redundant tags.

When a user in Leeds with an en-UK localized browser visits, the l10n
dropdown would default to en-UK, and when they type "lift" in the
search box the l10n engine would look that up in its en-UK database
and decide that anything with the keyword "elevator" should show up in
the results.  

If an American is searching OCAL in an internet cafe in London, and
the l10n is defaulting to en-UK, and he's typing in "boot" and getting
pictures of the backsides of automobiles, all he has to do is pull
down the l10n drop box and select en-US (and maybe re-click the search
button), and now he gets pictures of footwear, with narry a car trunk
in sight.

But that's down the road.  Populating that database for all the
languages would be a lot of work.  Also, the base tagging on the
images would have to be in much better shape, with each keyword used
to mean a specific thing.  To maintain that, we'd need several times
as many active librarians as we currently have.

For now I've been adding the autumn keyword to fall clip-art as I see
them.  Other librarians could help with this, too.  Similarly, if a
clip-art is tagged "autumn" but not "fall", the latter tag should be
added as well, for now.  (Americans beyond about fifth grade recognize
the word "autumn", but we very seldom use it except when waxing
poetic.  The normal word for the season is "fall" here.)

>> I think the call for theme'd clipart is fantastic! Really I do, but
>> I wonder if we could do it in a less North American centric way?

For what it's worth, any fall-themed clip art collected now will still
be available in February, or whenever you blokes down in Oz reckon
it's "autumn".  You can also feel free to contribute spring-themed
clip art, and it'll still be there for us in March.

I don't think there's any way to make the same seasonal clip-art seem
timely in both the northern and southern hemispheres at the same time.

There are also people living in the tropics, who would have no use for
winter-themed clip-art ever.  We still want it in the collection, though.

> So it would be a month package, not a theme package, but it would
> include whatever people upload. 

That would make it a lot less cohesive, and it would no longer really
form a meaningful theme.

> There are hundreds of different events happening every month all
> over the world. I think we should be more specific. Since we have
> always two seasons at the same time in the world, we could make
> summer_and_winter and spring_and_autumn packages. That would apply
> to everyone, not only people from one hemisphere.

Meh.  People don't usually want summer and winter clip-art at the same
time (unless they want all four seasons).  I don't think the fact that
some of us want it six months off from when others want it really
changes the fact that most people generally are looking for one
particular season at any given time, which makes the single-season
collections inherently useful.

>> - Is there a saint day? a public holiday? an election? a news
>> story? A national holiday? A city memorial day? Is the sky cloudy
>> or blue? rain or shine? Hot, Dry, Humid or Snowing? Submit
>> something that represents August in your part of the
>> world... What's different? What's new?

The package would then have no theme at all.

You can of course submit anything at any time, obviously.  People are
always submitting clip-art, and much of it is not coordinated with the
theme.  That's fine.  The theme is not some kind of mandatory limiting
principle on what can be contributed.

Nathan Eady
Galion Public Library

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