/* About Icontexts */

Icontexts are images and, at the same time, they are, potentially, legible texts. The XPM image format allows for pixels to be signified by keyboard characters. Each icontext is 50 pixels square. There are, consequently, 2500 characters in each icontext. Icontexts also contain one hyper link to another icontext, so that ideas of more than 2500 characters can be built out of a sequence of icontexts.
















/* Using the Icontext Software */

Three line guide to using Icontext Software
  1. Draw on the upper left with mouse
  2. Type on the right as in a word processor
  3. Change color/character relationships with color picker
















/* Using the non-Java form interface to create an icontext */

If you have a Java enabled browser, you will be able to use the ASCII art engine that combines text and a mosaic of pixel points. But if not, there are other ways to use this site. One is a more stripped down, form-submission method for creating icontexts. In this case, the ASCII art is composed within text-input fields, and, when sent to the server, the information is turned into an icontext (file) and added to the archive. It is also possible, with almost any browser, to edit the link relationships among the various icontexts. Some visitors will wish to create related texts/icons and these editorial tools are intended to facilitate this sort of organization. Search methods that look for key words are also available. Lastly, an upload utility was formerly provided. People with graphics software and some experience using it could upload GIF files that conform to the icontext specifications.
















/* Browsing existing icontexts */

The archive of icontexts resides on the server. It can be accessed in several different ways:
















/* Technical Problems */

Your help in reporting [Webmaster] any problems is appreciated. A few words about firewalls: Many organizations, and particularly corporations, use firewalls to protect themselves from unknown forces lurking on the Internet. For many years the synchronous communication features of the Icontext applet were often unavailable "behind" these software gates. A strong indicator that this was the case was a message like "Disconnected" appearing in the message field of the Icontext software. From the beginning accommodations were made for users behind firewalls, but in the present version (2016 rewrite), the connectivity has been rearchitected to circumvent this trouble.

Another problem that made Icontext inaccessible for many Internet users for over a decade was its reliance on Java support. The present version (2016 rewrite) eliminates this dependency.

















/* File upload */

The file [upload] interface was intended to allow people to add images to the site, but it was not intended to encourage people to upload any icon that was at hand. In order to be uploaded, images needed to be in a specific format, GIF (Graphics Interchange Format), and they needed to be of a particular size: 50 pixels square.