[uf-discuss] a very early draft proposal hTagcloud

Chris Messina chris.messina at gmail.com
Tue Sep 19 18:23:49 PDT 2006

On 9/19/06, Tantek Çelik <tantek at cs.stanford.edu> wrote:
> On 9/19/06 5:34 PM, "John Allsopp" <john at westciv.com> wrote:
> > Dmitry,
> >
> >> How to stylize it in this case to look as it usually looks on sites
> >> (with different font sizes, depending on weight)?
> >
> > while David's response is right, you can use the attribute selector,
> > a big reservation I just remembered I had in my proposal with title
> > is that IE6 doesn't do attribute selectors, so tagclouds won't have
> > style in IE6 or older. I think this is a fatal flaw - no one will use
> > a format that is not supported by those browsers. So it's a good point.
> >
> > Hence my not using title. It's not such a big deal for ratings as it
> > is for tagclouds IMO
> This is why I used nested EMs on the Technorati tag cloud markup.
> Only requires CSS1 selectors - works like a charm in IE.
> Even if you can't count how many EMs there are, the CSS selectors can.
> Tantek

That's an odd trick. I mean, I get it, but the whole idea of a
tagcloud is cheap visualization of relative data proportions... and,
furthermore, it's not always about popularity but often about
quantity, like on personal tagclouds:


The problem with only using classes for tagclouds is that you're
actually *removing* semantics by not respecting that the "cloud" is
made up of relatively sized objects.

I would thus suggest an alternative proposal to Tantek's approach. Instead of:


Why not:


I think what you need to define are ways to express relativety -- and
that <strong>, <em>, <big> and <small> can help in indicating those
relationships with styles turned off. So for example, the very
smallest size might always have <em> surrounding the <small> tags...
so that there's a lower limit. You could use <em> or <strong> around
the <big> tags to express the upper limit.

That way relative font sizing could be applied more accurately.

I do like Tantek's stacked tag approach, so this approach would go one
step further of preserving the visual semantics that make tagclouds
useful. Thoughts?


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