Greeker, version 0.2 alpha
Greeking is a term from design that means "using dummy text to represent actual text in a layout." It's called such because the traditional way to "greek" a page is to use nonsense Greek (or Latin) language phrases instead of the real text.
In his 17 May 1998 AlertBox column, Jakob Nielsen mentions the usability benefits of "greeking" a web design to see if the layout is still usable even without the words.
Testing your design by greeking the text may be a worthwhile way of seeing if the layout and graphics stand on their own, and can contribute to increased understanding by limited textual comprehension users.
Using the Greeker Script
This is a script that will take your web page's URI as the input and return a version with the text scrambled. It will not scramble anything within <>s (angle brackets), so your HTML tags SHOULD be safe.
Rather than inserting phrases in Greek, Latin, or some other language, the Greeker uses an old standby on the web for low grade encoding -- rot13. Rot13 is a method by which all letters are "rotated" 13 positions. A becomes N, b becomes o, Z becomes M, and s becomes f. (Why 13? If you take the same text and rot13 it AGAIN, it returns to the original state. rot13(hello) = uryyb; rot13(uryyb) = hello.)
To use the Greeker, just enter a web site address in the text box and submit the form.
If you find a problem, please report it by sending email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Remember that this is still an alpha version and is under development!
- It doesn't properly greek ALT text.
- Since it looks for BODY and HEAD tags, it can't process pages that have those left off, such as Julius Yang's.
- FIXED: It didn't properly deal with <head> tags that had attributes set, such as on the W3C site.
- FIXED: It also doesn't seem to like Yahoo's homepage very much -- gives up halfway through the greeking. (Maybe it's a Yang thing.) Actually, it seems that it gives up parsing once it encounters an unescaped & -- that is, they used just a raw & instead of & on the page. This should be an easy although inelegant fix.
- FIXED: Character entities such as <, , and € are rot13'd when they should be passed through unchanged.