So here's the story. Back in 1995 two guys in Toronto named Rob Stanley and Andrew Chak created the Great Web Canadianizer web page translator. Rob did the code, Andrew did the interface. It became extremely popular. It was also one of the first tunneling/gateways/pseudo-anon web browsing tools, and provided people in other countries a way to read blocked sites - as long as they didn't mind reading text that looked like it was written by a bunch of hosers, eh? ;-)
Around 1997 they sold the code to Molson breweries for use on their website. It wasn't up for long when the NY Times and NandoNet sent Cease-And-Desist letters, claiming (wrongfully) copyright infringement. The NYT particularly took offense the 'framing' of their site and the changing of certain words, such as with the PanAm 800 article where 500 dead people were turned into 500 dead hosers. Molson backed down and removed it from their site.
Rob lives in Singapore now and no longer has the source code or the program. He said it would be fine for me to take a stab at creating another one.
So I did. Only it kind of took on a life of it's own, and I ended up creating a Chretien dialect at the same time.
My co-worker Jeff Stainsby did the Perl code and I did the language translation and interface. So how does it work? When you enter a web site address into The Chretienizer, the program automatically pulls the text from the structure of the web page, translates it, and reassembles the page, all in a matter of seconds. The translation is based on a set of 143 linguistic rules (well okay, regexp's) that look for letter patterns. For example, the letter sequence "pop" is replaced by "poop", so that the word "popular" becomes "poopular".
At the same time as the Cretienizer was under development, I got a fun idea: Create a slashcode-based community called BUZZ.CA - Biting Canadian News and Discussion. Does the world need yet another weblog/news discussion site? Probably not. Then again, there hasn't been a well-publicized weblog strictly for Canadians. Canadian discussions pop up from time to time on sites like Kuro5hin, so maybe it's time we had our own watering hole. There seemed to be a gap that needed to be filled, so I filled it. The Chretienizer has turned out to be an important (read: cheap) promotional tool for Buzz.CA.
What about the Canadian dialect? Never fear, it won't be long before that Bob and Doug McKenzie-based dialect appears! Until then, feel free to play around with the Chretienizer. In fact, why not try browsing kuro5hin with it right now? As it says, "Da bes' stories of da day, chosen by you."