Test Textkit's Latest Site Feature - Vocabulary Tool

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Jeff Tirey
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Test Textkit's Latest Site Feature - Vocabulary Tool

Post by Jeff Tirey » Wed Jun 02, 2004 11:17 am

Hi everyone, I could use your help testing a new site feature.

The vocabulary tool is a script which builds and emails to you custom vocabulary lists. Specifically, you can select which vocabulary list you would like to receive, how many words per list and how often to receive them.

This script is the first step in a large project where interactive vocabulary quizzes will be generated that test your vocabulary.

I would most appreciate anyone's help. All you need to do is enroll in a list and you'll start receiving vocabulary by email. Just let me know if you notice something not working.

Here's the link to enroll. You'll need to be a Textkit Newsletter subscriber to do so. Once you enroll, sign-up for a vocabulary courese to begin receiving mailings.

http://www.textkit.com/vocabulary/enroll.php

thanks!
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Post by mariek » Wed Jun 02, 2004 3:46 pm


Thanks for putting this together. I'm looking forward to receiving my quotidian email of Latin vocab.

Here's a little thought. Would it be possible to include links (on the vocab course page) to the C&D and N&H book download page? And of course, vice versa, by mentioning and linking to th Vocab Tool enrollment page from the C&D and N&H download page?

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Post by Jeff Tirey » Wed Jun 02, 2004 4:21 pm

that's a very nice idea! I'll do that in the final version.

There are a few bells and whistles still not developed. I need for the page to say how many words are in the list, preview the list, and say how many learners have subscribed to it in the past.

I set the chron job to run at 11:00 PM eastern time (GMT -5:00) . The script runs once a day.

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Post by PeterD » Wed Jun 02, 2004 4:39 pm

Hi Jeff,

Sounds wonderful. When, roughly, will the Greek courses become available?
Fanatical ranting is not just fine because it's eloquent. What if I ranted for the extermination of a people in an eloquent manner, would that make it fine? Rather, ranting, be it fanatical or otherwise, is fine if what is said is true and just. ---PeterD, in reply to IreneY and Annis

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Post by Jeff Tirey » Wed Jun 02, 2004 4:44 pm

the script is already written for both Greek and Latin.

But I'm delaying on Greek because I still have to figure out exactly how to handle the Greek font within plain text emails - anyone?

My only thought is that Greek mailings will need to be HTML so that the mailing can go out with font tags in SPIonic.


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Post by Geoff » Wed Jun 02, 2004 4:58 pm

This is so great. THANK YOU!!!!

I can't imagine the pain of trying to get a consistent system for emailing Greek font. I get some email lists that use transliteration schemes and I can't stand looking at it. It makes me feel like I'm translating into Greek then back to english (very akward). HTML should be good. I like unicode things, but email programs don't seem to be as hip as word processors on unicode.

You could try bitmaps. I've seen it done on websites.

Geoff

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Post by Jeff Tirey » Wed Jun 02, 2004 5:16 pm

you're welcome! the script should be neato because it allows you to adjust the frequency of mailings. I even threw in a feature where someone subscribed to the list can put a vacation hold on their mailings and it'll resume the list right where he or she left of. The whole idea here is create something that is hopefully very flexible and will promote the consistent study of Greek and Latin.

I'll most likely go the HTML route. I thought about unicode, but 12% of visitors are using win98 which doesn't support unicode fully.

The real trouble with the Greek will be that it'll need to be keyed into the database already encoded for SPIonic and down the road should we want to make a font change I'll have to figure out how to convert that. It can be done I'm sure, but it wouldn't be pretty.


BTW... i REALLY need people to test this out. What I'm looking for is how well the script peforms with many subscribers and the server resources it uses. So even if you're interested in Greek, please consider subscribing. Once you receive all the words on the list, it'll stop mailings. Just set your preferences to 20 words and a mailing everyday and you'll complete an entire list in just a few days.


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Post by Kopio » Wed Jun 02, 2004 5:22 pm

I for one don't mind seeing Greek transliterated. I've spent enough time looking at Greek code, it has become quite natural to me. The trick is to pick a transliteration scheme and stick with it. We recently changed our transliteration scheme with the software I work on, and it DID take a bit of work to change all of the x-->c, c-->x.....what a pain! Keep us posted on when a Greek version is available.

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Post by Jeff Tirey » Wed Jun 02, 2004 5:40 pm

Hi Matthew,

Will do - it's right around the corner. I plan to make the first list Homeric Greek vocabulary from Pharr. If someone would like to do White, please let me know.

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Post by Geoff » Wed Jun 02, 2004 6:04 pm

I'd like a koine vocabulary mailout, but any of the others are good if there's not enough interest. Etymology will be helpful and when I get Homeric or Attic I'll probably go look up the Koine forms anyways.

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Post by Emma_85 » Wed Jun 02, 2004 6:07 pm

I think I'd prefer jpgs to html, but I see how that would probably be much more work. I hope there will be a warning about this (that html mails will be used) because right now I've put a ban on all html mail, which I'd somehow have to deactivate again :wink: .
phpbb

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Post by Geoff » Wed Jun 02, 2004 6:10 pm

Which Latin vocab would you recomend for a complete Latin Newbie?

I have Wheelock and have looked at d'ooge, but I haven't started serious study.

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Post by Jeff Tirey » Wed Jun 02, 2004 6:15 pm

Emma_85 wrote:I think I'd prefer jpgs to html, but I see how that would probably be much more work. I hope there will be a warning about this (that html mails will be used) because right now I've put a ban on all html mail, which I'd somehow have to deactivate again :wink: .
HTML messages can get annoying.

But if any images were used, HTML code would still be needed to pull the image from our server to your email client. So text HTML with encoded font is still the best choice. I don't know yet if a plain text message can be sent where portions of the text are in two different fonts.

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Post by Emma_85 » Wed Jun 02, 2004 6:21 pm

But if any images were used, HTML code would still be needed to pull the image from our server to your email client.
Ahh... ok, I didn't realise that. In that case I suppose it will have to be html...
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Post by Barrius » Wed Jun 02, 2004 7:25 pm

Geoff wrote:Which Latin vocab would you recomend for a complete Latin Newbie?

I have Wheelock and have looked at d'ooge, but I haven't started serious study.
The bigots among us :lol: would advise you to go with D'Ooges book (if you're dense like me, add in Collar & Daniell for some more practice).

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Post by Kopio » Thu Jun 03, 2004 6:22 am

Is it possible to simply convert them to pdf? I would think that would shrink them quite nicely, and that way you don't have to worry about fonts, etc.

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Post by Jeff Tirey » Thu Jun 03, 2004 1:50 pm

Did you get your mailing? I checked the database and it looks like about 15 mailings went out.

I have noticed a few things I will fix so I'll say them now.

The very first mailing it's say that your record set begins with word '0'. I need to get that changed to say 1.

There is too one place where it will say something in plural when perhaps you are receiving only 1 word.

Finally, when you finish the list (i don't think anyone has gotten that far) you will simply stop getting mailings. I need to say something to indicate that this is your final mailing.

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Post by Barrius » Thu Jun 03, 2004 2:05 pm

jeff wrote:Did you get your mailing? I checked the database and it looks like about 15 mailings went out.
I got mine! A description of what list we are receiving would be appreciated.

Is it possible for someone to subscribe to multiple lists at the same time???

It looks excellent and all links work.

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Post by eris » Thu Jun 03, 2004 3:25 pm

Barrius wrote: Is it possible for someone to subscribe to multiple lists at the same time???
I hope so! I just enrolled in all 3...I can't wait to get the lists!!

Thanks for your hard work, Jeff!! :P :P :P

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Post by Jeff Tirey » Thu Jun 03, 2004 3:29 pm

Barrius wrote:
jeff wrote:Did you get your mailing? I checked the database and it looks like about 15 mailings went out.
I got mine! A description of what list we are receiving would be appreciated.

Is it possible for someone to subscribe to multiple lists at the same time???

It looks excellent and all links work.
I'll write another query to relate the vocabulary with it's list details so that the subject of the email can have the list title. Good point.

There's actually nothing to stop someone from subscribing to the same list multiple times. I need to put something in place to prevent that. But I'll make it so that anyone can subscribe to as many different vocabulary lists as he or she pleases.

thakns for trying it out.
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Post by mariek » Thu Jun 03, 2004 3:40 pm


I received my mailing. It looks good. The thing that struck me is how it doesn't mention noun, verb, etc. It's something I've come to expect with vocabulary, even though it's usually obvious what it is from the definition.

Is it just going to send out all vocab alphabetically? I thought it would be a mixture of words each time. I received A thru H, and it looks like the next list will continue from H...

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Post by Jeff Tirey » Thu Jun 03, 2004 3:50 pm

each list is different and it's up the List Editor how things are formatted.

The list mails the words out not alphabetically but by the word ID. So words entered into the list first will be mailed out first.

So for the Collar and Daniell list, you'll get the list starting with the first lesson. I format mine exactly how it appears in the book. But other list editors are permitted to format things differently.
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Post by MDS » Thu Jun 03, 2004 9:28 pm

Is it just going to send out all vocab alphabetically? I thought it would be a mixture of words each time. I received A thru H, and it looks like the next list will continue from H...
:oops: Ya...I tried to do them alphabetically to help avoid including the same word twice (which I think sill happened a couple times...). However, because I add to the list when time permits in chunks of 10-15 mins you'll notice the alphabetical pattern may start over in subsequent mailings.
I received my mailing. It looks good. The thing that struck me is how it doesn't mention noun, verb, etc. It's something I've come to expect with vocabulary, even though it's usually obvious what it is from the definition.
Hmm...interesting point. Its been my experience that any verb is listed with its four principal parts whereas nouns are done by nominative and genitive forms respectfully. I cannot think of any nouns or verbs on my own list at the moment...

If this is something you'd like added in please let us know though!

Broadly speaking we're all very excited about the possibilities of this vocabularly project and look forward to hearing about where improvement could be made.

Thanks to everyone receiving the mailings for testing it out![/quote]

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Post by Episcopus » Thu Jun 03, 2004 9:44 pm

Even for regular verbs it's best to put at least the ending of the infinitive in there because with 'impedio' for example that I received for some one learning the word as new it could be 3rd conjugation of the -io type when it's really a fourth conjugation...

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Post by PeterD » Thu Jun 03, 2004 9:55 pm

:cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry:

Oh where, oh where can my Greek vocab. be?
Jeff is keeping it away from me.
It's up to Jeff, so I got to be good,
So I can see my Greek vocab. someday, too.

:cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry:
Fanatical ranting is not just fine because it's eloquent. What if I ranted for the extermination of a people in an eloquent manner, would that make it fine? Rather, ranting, be it fanatical or otherwise, is fine if what is said is true and just. ---PeterD, in reply to IreneY and Annis

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Post by Geoff » Sat Jun 05, 2004 9:04 pm

I've Received 3 now, Very Nice. THanks, works fine near as I can tell.

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Post by PeterD » Sun Jun 06, 2004 2:07 am

Geoff wrote:I've Received 3 now, Very Nice. THanks, works fine near as I can tell.
I am still waiting for my Greek vocabulary. :cry:
Fanatical ranting is not just fine because it's eloquent. What if I ranted for the extermination of a people in an eloquent manner, would that make it fine? Rather, ranting, be it fanatical or otherwise, is fine if what is said is true and just. ---PeterD, in reply to IreneY and Annis

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Post by Geoff » Sun Jun 06, 2004 2:49 am

I got the third of Latin. I'm pretty excited about the Greek Vocab :o

No Pressure! Jeff

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Post by PeterD » Sun Jun 06, 2004 3:48 am

Geoff wrote:No Pressure! Jeff
I am inordinately understanding as long as I get my Greek vocab. in the end.

Truly, take your time, Jeff.

By the way, where is Jeff? Haven't heard from him for a spell. You don't think he absconded with the Greek vocab., do you?

Oh my! :shock:
Fanatical ranting is not just fine because it's eloquent. What if I ranted for the extermination of a people in an eloquent manner, would that make it fine? Rather, ranting, be it fanatical or otherwise, is fine if what is said is true and just. ---PeterD, in reply to IreneY and Annis

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Post by Geoff » Sun Jun 06, 2004 7:17 pm

A P B ! :shock:

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Vocabulary mailings

Post by wm33 » Mon Jun 07, 2004 9:27 am

Have just received my first vocab mailing. Thanks very much for this great service.

I first thought that additional information e.g. which case a preposition is used with would be useful but on reflection making me check this for myself and add it to the list will help me remember it better!

Thanks again,

wm33

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Post by Jeff Tirey » Mon Jun 07, 2004 3:11 pm

if you got a mailing today with a funny record count saying '5' - sorry. I was developing the script and made an error. Fixed now.

The mailing script will now accurately count where you are in the vocabulary list, accurately count total words in the list, inform you of your final mailing, and say list name in subject and message body.

For Greek Learners... coming soon. I'll have to write an HTML loop of the script which is a bit more work.

thanks,
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Post by Amy » Tue Jun 08, 2004 3:26 am

I really like the mailings! (received second just now)
Aliquando...

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Post by bingley » Tue Jun 08, 2004 6:48 am

The total number of words on the list I've subscribed to seems to be fluctuating. In the last 3 emails it was 115, 130, 101.

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Post by Jeff Tirey » Tue Jun 08, 2004 11:08 am

bingley wrote:The total number of words on the list I've subscribed to seems to be fluctuating. In the last 3 emails it was 115, 130, 101.
Hi Bingley,

Yeah, that was one issue I fixed. Total words can increase because an editor can be adding words to the list, but it should not decrease any more. The decrease was due to a tweak in the select statement where I removed unnaproved words from the count.

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Vocab Script Update

Post by Jeff Tirey » Tue Jun 08, 2004 11:46 am

Hi everyone, here's a quick update on the progress and development of the script. Also, that Collar and Daniell beginners vocab list is about half done with just under 500 words. When completed, it should be a very nice vocabulary course.

I'm working on the quiz features right now. It's a bit complex so it's going slower. But when done it'll be quite cool.

It works like this:
First, you may elect to enable quiz mode. If you do so, then quizzes will be prepared and you'll be expected to take them.

When your mailing list is sent out, a quiz record is also created. It stores what words are to be in the quiz and when it should be taken.

Then you'll get a separate e-mail announcing it's time for your quiz and there's a link in the email to take the quiz online. You'll have 72 hours to take the quiz or your course will be cancelled.

When you take the quiz the script will store both correct and incorrect answers. At anytime in future mailings you can view your list of incorrectly answered words.

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just enrolled

Post by mingshey » Tue Jun 08, 2004 12:44 pm

Hi, I've just enrolled for the vocab list. Expecting :)
Though I don't think I could share my time for Latin I think I should help Jeff the little bit I can afford, working as a (lazy) beta-tester.

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Post by Geoff » Tue Jun 08, 2004 7:09 pm

Ooooooo, I like the Quiz Idea, very nice.

Will we be rewarded and punished? Maybe if we fail you could send us a virus that destroys our computers. Perhaps you could post our results online so others could laugh and point. You could privately send our results to Episcopus and he could craft some nifty avatars in our honor. Some of us autodidacts actually thrive on that kind of motivation.

Ok, maybe the punitive action is a good idea. Either way, the Quiz idea is GREAT!!! This should be really good for Greek, since it will be a link to a webpage rather than trying to display Greek in an email.

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Post by PeterD » Tue Jun 08, 2004 8:14 pm

Geoff wrote:Ok, maybe the punitive action is a good idea.
Hmmm...it appears, my dear texkit members, that Geoff has unwittingly revealed his dark and evil persona -- that of a sadomasochistic fiend!

I can only shake convulsively just imagining what kind of punishment he has in store for our unsuspecting textkit neophytes: restraints? the rack? whips? the tickler!? Ohhhh, may the gods have mercy on his diabolic, wretched soul.



Sorry, Geoff, just kidding, of course. :) The little boy in me couldn't resist.

Take care.

PeterD
Fanatical ranting is not just fine because it's eloquent. What if I ranted for the extermination of a people in an eloquent manner, would that make it fine? Rather, ranting, be it fanatical or otherwise, is fine if what is said is true and just. ---PeterD, in reply to IreneY and Annis

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Post by Geoff » Tue Jun 08, 2004 8:51 pm

:oops: That should have said, "Ok, maybe the punitive action isn't a good idea."

Anyhow I really do thrive on the challenge. Its hard to study without accountability.

Good Sport :P

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