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Participants: Ben Allen * Stephanie August * Damon Loren Baker * Theo Ellin Ballew * Ivette Bayo Urban * John Bell * Paisley Benaza * Kathi Berens * David Berry * Sayan Bhattacharyya * Christina Boyles * Gregory Bringman * André Brock * Ron Burkey * Evan Buswell * Sarah Ciston * Eileen Clancy * Tara Conley * Krystal Cooper * Ranjodh Dhaliwal * Anthony Di Franco * Craig Dietrich * Jeremy Douglass * Kevin Driscoll * William Dyson * Brandee Easter * Martin Erwig * Schuyler Esprit * Max Feinstein * Todd Furmanski * Geoffrey Gimse * Erin Glass * Rochelle Gold * Catherine Griffiths * Ben Grosser * Fox Harrell * Sydette Harry * Brendan Howell * Nazua Idris * Jessica Johnson * Waliya Yohanna Joseph * Ted Kafala * Dorothy Kim * Corinna Kirsch * Steve Klabnik * Shelly Knotts * Peter Kudenov * Fidelia Lam * Liz Losh * Thor Magnusson * Jim Malazita * Judy Malloy * Zach Mann * Mark Marino * Lauren McCarthy * Irma McClaurin * Patrick McDonnell * Tara McPherson * Todd Milstein * Nick Montfort * Mark Neal * Safiya Noble * Keith O'Hara * David Ogborn * Allison Parrish * Ali Pearl * Gerol Petruzella * Andrew Pilsch * Samuel Pizelo * Jessica Pressman * Helen Pritchard * Daniel Punday * Kristopher Purzycki * Harvey Quamen * Amit Ray * Margaret Rhee * Lisa Rhody * Scott Richmond * Teddy Roland * Jamal Russell * Anastasia Salter * Mark Sample * Evan Schauer * Ari Schlesinger * Mehdy Sedaghat Payam * Ash Smith * Winnie Soon * Glen Southergill * Mel Stanfill * Samara Hayley Steele * Nikki Stevens * Tonia Sutherland * Miriam Sweeney * Ezra Teboul * Daniel Temkin * Dennis Tenen * Marilyn M. Thomas-Houston * Elizabeth Timbs * Giuseppe Torre * Rebecca Uliasz * Annette Vee * Sneha Veeragoudar * Ashleigh Wade * Kurt James Werner * Jacque Wernimont * Zach Whalen * Roger Whitson * Roger Whitson * Michael Widner * Jody Zellen * Kai Zhang
Coordinated by Mark Marino (USC), Jeremy Douglass (UCSB), Catherine Griffiths (USC), Ali Rachel Pearl (USC), and Teddy Roland (UCSB). Sponsored by the Humanities and Critical Code Studies Lab (USC), and the Digital Arts and Humanities Commons (UCSB).

Code Critique: analysing code from a website

This discussion was created from comments split from: Week 2: Critical and Creative Coding – Calvinball and Coders.

Comments

  • edited January 25

    @markcmarino, @belljo, @evan_schauer @jeremydouglass. Please I need answer and suggestions, How can I analyse a website's code, for example, the natural language points out its hegemony over another another natural language via criticizing algorithm and coding of French website?

  • edited January 25

    Hi Waliya,

    If I understand your question, you are interested in power relations between two natural languages on a website -- French and something else. Is the other language e.g. English, or is it a language like Hausa, or something else?

    Here are some general approaches to questions of language and power on a website, with an eye towards considering the impact or context of web technology and code:

    • Character encoding issues (e.g. unicode): For example, can users type the characters of their chosen language into site interfaces such as comment or search boxes? If they leave comments, are those characters displayed correctly in their comments? If they search fields, does searching by those characters return correctly indexed results?
    • Code: In HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and/or PHP et cetera think about how the code itself is written, e.g. these languages generally use English vocabulary
    • How was the website made: are the code comments written in French, by French-speaking programmers, or in some other way? What language(s) were the software frameworks, content management systems, templates etc. written in -- did the people who worked on the code appear to do it while "thinking in French" or "thinking in English" etc., and how would we know?
    • Translation: Are there different versions of the site? Is one order / organization / set of labels more "natural" to its language than others?
    • Defaults: Which language(s) does the web assume by default should be used first in what situations? Why might one language be prioritized over another?
    • Accessibility: in addition to considering which parts are translated / untranslated and for what groups, consider the greater context of WAI accessibility in relation to disability. Many accessibility systems (e.g. accessible images, interfaces for the visually impaired) are text based -- even if a site is translated or multilingual it may only be accessible to a specific language group.†

    † For example, this working group is currently hosted on Vanilla Forums, which is WCAG AAA and US Section 508 compliant -- at least until participants post images and videos without alt tags. However the setup is monolingual in English.

  • edited January 27

    @jeremydouglass said:

    • Character encoding issues (e.g. unicode): For example, can users type the characters of their chosen language into site interfaces such as comment or search boxes? If they leave comments, are those characters displayed correctly in their comments? If they search fields, does searching by those characters return correctly indexed results?
    • Code: In HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and/or PHP et cetera think about how the code itself is written, e.g. these languages generally use English vocabulary
    • How was the website made: are the code comments written in French, by French-speaking programmers, or in some other way? What language(s) were the software frameworks, content management systems, templates etc. written in -- did the people who worked on the code appear to do it while "thinking in French" or "thinking in English" etc., and how would we know?
    • Translation: Are there different versions of the site? Is one order / organization / set of labels more "natural" to its language than others?
    • Defaults: Which language(s) does the web assume by default should be used first in what situations? Why might one language be prioritized over another?

    You actually understood my questions. I am looking into the command codes themselves and the words mixed to be in other languages. For example, see this code This code below is taken from the French website but only the String "Nom" that is French whereas all the other command language/code is in English vocabulary.
    "
    ""
    Can't we also think of translating all the programming languages' command into other language vocabularies?

  • I want to echo one of Jeremy's suggestions, which is not looking within a page itself but looking at how many versions of a page, in different languages, exist. This is easy to do on Wikipedia for instance but can also be done on university sites: Look for one directory or file name that is "en" and one that is "fr" for instance. Sometimes you will find that one of these is very short or even blank. Or, maybe the "fr" page links to mostly English resources.

    So, sometimes you can tell which language is the language of power from such an analysis. Or, you might be able to tell what different language communities value. You would expect to see a longer entry about Haitian literary figure Maurice Sixto in the English, French, and Haitian Wikipedias than in the German or Japanese Wikipedias, since he is better known in those language communities.

    In reply to your final question, Waliya, there has been work to do this, for instance with Algol 68: "Translations of the standard were made for Russian, German, French and Bulgarian, and then later Japanese and Chinese." See the English Wikipedia entry on Algol 68 or the (much shorter) French entry if you like.

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