14 April 2010

Tagxedo: Silverlight Based Interactive Wordle Creator

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Tagxedo is a Interactive Wordle (Word Puzzle) Creator made in Silverlight that is quite similar to Tagul, with the difference that Tagul is Flash based and that the intention is to create automatic link tag clouds that are also a interactive worldle.

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In this case is all about the artistic side of wordles at this point. To have a visual representation of something made of words that relate directly or in context to what it is being visualized. Tagxedo is quite a advanced little tool that is still evolving and given the developer seems to be very aware of the development environment of Silverlight. Once Silverlight 4 gets released it is very likely he starts updating it and making it a lot better.

Right now you can submit a url for a automatic wordle that will represent the homepage or a entry in a site or you can craft it by hand and write down the exact words you want to use. Once you do that you give it the desired shape, size, color, etc, etc you want. Once you finish you can save a PNG snapshot of the wordle and also save it for the public gallery of Tagxedo if you want share your full interactive wordle publicly.

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A very nice wordle creator. I think the very best one i have seen. But i hope that once Silverlight 4 is out, the developer can add the following missing features:

  • 1.-Printing
  • 2.-Export to Embed  (would be great to have a blog widget of your wordle)
  • 3.-Linking    (So it can also be a proper Tag Cloud)
  • 4.-Backgrounds
  • 5.-Frames

These 5 features are essential if this tool wants to be offered as a freemium tool as the developer hints.

But right now even as it is, Tagxedo results in a great little tool that everyone can use because of its amusement value. Later on, it could truly become into a compelling web service utility depending how it evolves. Tagxedo works in Windows, Mac and Linux (if using Moonlight 3 preview)

Linkage

Tagxedo            <— Homepage

Tagxedo App

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4 comments :

Hardy Leung said...

AvatarX,

I'm Hardy Leung, creator of Tagxedo. Thanks for your detailed review of Tagxedo, and your input is greatly appreciated. Tagxedo is very young (barely a week old) and the interest so far has been amazing. It's still changing quite a lot and indeed there will be much improvement over time.

Let me comment on the "missing features".

1. Printing. Indeed this will happen very soon as Silverlight 4 RTM (which supports printing) has arrived. I do have to work it out so that the main application remains in SL3 (with SL4 folks getting the printing feature) so that Linux users are not left behind.

2. Export to Embed. This feature is coming soon. In fact, it is an existing but hidden feature. If you go to http://www.tagxedo.com and move your cursor to the last picture (the MLK picture), you'll find that it is an embedded tag cloud app. As you hover your mouse over the words, they start dancing, and ...

3. Linking. And when you click the word, it brings you to an external link. Right now (2) and (3) are not available because I need to figure out a few issues (should fonts be embedded or referenced, licensing issue, etc).

4. Background. A new version, to be released in the next two days, will have much better theme selection and editing capabilities. You can't change the background of a theme separately, but that's not a bad idea. Let me think.

5. Frame. I think you mean Photoshop or GIMP style framing of the word cloud? Sure it sounds like a good idea, and let me think about it. But how come it wasn't expected of other Tag cloud engines? :D

Let me point out a few things that was not mentioned in the article but I feel shows the strength of Tagxedo:

(1) Go check out the updated gallery (http://www.tagxedo.com/gallery.html). Amazing word arts!

(2) better image shape support: shapes from image with controls to optimize the images.

(3) better word shape support: you can now choose any font to create the words that shape the word cloud (that's a mouthful).

(4) The history mode (unique to Tagxedo) is really helpful. You can respin all day long without losing anything, and only pick out the best after you are done.

Is my comment longer than your article? Possibly :D So I'll stop here. Enjoy!

-- Hardy Leung (ksleung@tagxedo.com)

Avatar X said...

@Hardy

Thanks a lot for the detailed reply as it is very enlighting of the direction you are going to go with Tagxedo.

Now i will complement your answers from my side.

1.- I thought that would be the case and i did stated it.
2.- Saw it, i got Pubuntu for Windows and had seen it work all right with Moonlight 2, will check it with the new preview of Moonlight 3.
3.-Oh ok, makes sense since it seemed like a "odd" omission.
4.-Great
5.-Frames as in like photo frame effects or word art frame effects. that kind of thing. Would add a nice touch to the wordles.

On the features:

(1): Did mentioned it but didn't liked, will update and link to it too.
(2): Noted but did not add emphasis on that. my bad.
(3): See (2)
(4): See (2)

I will update the post and add some bits to it. Will keep in touch via Twitter to stay on the loop.

Thanks for Stopping by.

Anonymous said...

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