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Highlights of new features of JTLanguage.

What's New

Version 1.0

This version is based on a complete rewrite of a previous version of JTLanguage from the ground up. Some key changes or goals for this rewrite:

  • Provide a more stream-lined and robust user interface.
  • Make most pages mobile browser-friendly.
  • Provide companion mobile apps for Android, iPhone, and Windows phone.
  • Internally, provide a more scalable and robust data model and controller, using portable model and controller libraries common to both the web and phone applications.

Note that while all the features for creating and using basic lessons are provided and ready to use, not all features of this website have been implemented or completed yet, and more options for lesson study are in the works. But I think you'll find that what is provided is very extensive and robust, and that JTLanguage is a great platform for language study.

Your feedback is welcome. Know of a feature that be useful in your language study? Let me know about it and I can see if I can fit it in. Want to create some lessons? Jump right in!

Feature Update 1.0.11 - 17 July 2018

This release includes the following changes:

New features or revisions:

  • Media items: Added player source and player type options to the media profile, and renamed "Media file name pattern" to "Pattern/URL/YouTube ID". The player source field selects where to get the media content file from: File, Cloud, or YouTube. The player type field selects the type of media player: Full, Small, Tiny, or None. If the YouTube source is selected, the "Pattern/URL/YouTube ID" should be set to the YouTube video ID (the code from the "v=" field in the YouTube URL for the video).
  • Media players, map media, record media: The media players and editors have been updated to support playing YouTube videos.
  • Media player: Added full screen button. Press ESC to exit full screen mode. Sorry, I haven't figured out how to make subtitles work in full screen mode yet, not have I figured out how to do full screen in the mobile apps.
  • Media items: Added "Edit language media" button link and page for managing the language media items and media descriptions of a media content item.
  • Media files: Removed support for .ogg files and their automated conversion, since FireFox now supports .mp3 files.
  • Upload media: Uploading an audio media file for a video media item will cause the audio file to be used in the text-to-audio mapping. Note that audio tracks needed for mapping are also automatically extracted from video files and YouTube videos.
  • Content: Added a new content type "Embedded" for use with media items. This can be used to embed a custom player web page. Set the HTML for the embedded page in the "Pattern/URL/YouTube ID" field of the media item profile.
  • Settings: Added subtitles font size to the settings. Use this to set the size of the subtitles text in the media player.
  • Help: Added new help pages for creating courses, YouTube video lessons, lesson masters, and markup templates.
  • Example course: Added a YouTube video example.

Bug fixes:

  • Edit study lists: Fixed a problem with doing translations while appending new study items to a study list.
  • Media content pages: Fixed some problems with how languages are handled.
  • Markup strings: Fixed some problems when using "Target Languages" and "Host Languages" as the languages.

What's Ahead

  • Need more video documentation for teachers and students.
  • Implement the remaining features I had in the old site, or had at least planned to have. These include a translator, a searchable grammar reference, teacher and user blogs, forums for questions and discussions, a chat mechanism for textual and audio chatting with other JTLanguage users for exchanging language practice, and a place to list references for other web sites and tools. The language dictionary was one of these items, which now has been implemented. The next will probably be the blog and forum mechanisms.
  • Expand the Extract format to support words, filtering unique items, and creating courses and lesson.
  • Create a word congugation mechanism. Incorporate it into the dictionary and study lists. This will will probably be based on an extended language definition mechanism
  • Revised dictionary to be able to search for conjugations and variations.
  • Make a new study tool to practice conjugations and variations.
  • Create a sentence diagramming mechanism. Incorporate it into the study list and dictionary example pages.
  • Add a trigger and branch mechanism for audio/video media.
  • Add speech-recognition to "Choose" mechanism choice selection in the Automated scripting.
  • Revise audio recording and speech-to-text in Flash tool to be automated (no need to click "Record" and "Stop" buttons, though the buttons will still be there), and hopefully improve the turn-around time for speech-to-text process (which sends the audio to the server, which then sends it to a Google translate service).
  • Create language-practice bots, using both text and/or speech recognition. In other words, practice the language with a robot mechanism that understands a limited number and form of questions or responses.
  • Show status indicator for courses, groups, lessons, and content, showing if the item has been seen yet, how many times visited, or if it is marked complete. Track for individual users. Also provide setting and clearing mechanism for this.
  • Add a history mechanism, so you can see what you've done, and easily jump back to previous places.
  • Add a logging and general undo mechanism.

Known bugs not fixed yet:

  • The JTLanguage Survival Phrases, Vocabulary, and Grammar courses have some missing media files, and the automated translations need fixing, to put it mildly.
  • On iPhone, the media player, automated study mechanism, and hands free tool stop playing after putting the phone in stand-by mode.
  • On old Android versions, the browser doesn't support media position reporting, so reference media runs don't work, meaning that playing audio for a study item doesn't stop, but continues to play the whole audio file. The only solution is to not use media item references. You can use the "Extract language media from references" command button in the study list edit page to convert references to individual audio files.
  • On all versions, sometimes the audio for a study item cuts off early.
  • In the mobile versions, there's no way to select audio in the Record and Map Media pages in the audio visualization.

Past Feature Updates

Feature Update 1.0.10 - 25 April 2018

This release includes the following changes:

New features or revisions:

  • Settings: Revised settings page to group language items, and added study list and flash size fields.
  • Tool profiles: Added “(settings)” option to font family and size fields, to get that info from the settings.
  • Study tools: Fixed Flip, Match, and Test to use List font parameters.
  • Text Edit: Added button commands for moving media runs up and down in media run edit pane.

Bug fixes:

  • Edit Media Runs: Fixed multiple problems with editing a media run.
  • Plan: In content list in course or plan page, scroll mechanism wasn’t kicking in.
  • Add to plan: Add study items to plan page shows Master Template, but shouldn’t, for an existing lesson.
  • Add to plan: Adding study items to plan on Android was crashing.
  • Sandbox copy: Fix problem in sandbox copy/cut giving message “Source and sandbox media counts for an item didn't match.“
  • Hands Free: The pause duration should persist without playing first.
  • Example Course: Fixed missing media and translations.

Feature Update 1.0.9 - 12 April 2018

This release includes the following changes:

New features or revisions:

  • Added some introductory videos. (See: JTLanguage Introduction Videos)
  • Added the "Random" button to the Flip tool, to randomize the page.
  • Added a close icon button to the cards in the Flip tool.
  • Added a Delete Media command link for content items.
  • Added a regenerate text-to-speech button to study items in the study list edit page.
  • Made "My Languages" the default speech synthesis language.
  • Added to the Teacher->Text/Strings pages a "Delete Languages" command to delete UI Text and Strings for all languages but English.
  • Mobile: Added Import and Export actions.
  • Mobile: Now keying the "What’s New" page to the version number.

Bug fixes:

  • Plans: Adding lessons to plan where source has “All Languages” didn’t set languages.
  • Plans: Adding groups and lessons to an existing plan with Plan Words and Sentences added duplicate content items.
  • Tree: Tree items are wrong language when UI is not English and the first tree language is not the UI language.
  • Edit Study List: Changing mediaRunKey in study list record when media language is host resets media language to target.
  • Media Player: Simple Greetings Chinese Audio Dialog just says loading… (Related to slow internet. Javascript not fully loaded. Revised Javascript to wait until loaded in many cases.)
  • Study: Test tool with recognition brings up Silverlight dialog on Chrome.
  • Study: Tool Check gives mismatch due to special space character.
  • Generate Media: Generate local transcript map and Study items only in transcript should default to unchecked.
  • Generate Media: Let non-owners generate audio media items.
  • Record/Map Media: Recording doesn’t work if using https. (Code was using http instead of https to send audio.)
  • Record Media: Import media from Map/Record doesn’t accept .mp3 files in Chrome.
  • Map Media: Media export not working.
  • Map Media: Exceptions editing local study items.
  • Map Media: Added “Delete local study items” button link.
  • Media: Lazy alternative media should create audio files from video.
  • Text: Non-vocabulary pages should not have Study buttons.
  • Edit Text: Edit language didn’t show language items if not in profile.
  • Dictionary: Dictionary line pattern import crashed with no text input.
  • Masters: After copy master or markup, select master or markup still showed previous teacher’s masters.
  • Phone: Missing AddStudyItemsToDictionary action in phone app.
  • Study: Test tool with speech didn’t support individual items.
  • Study: Test with Hybrid missing some right-side items.
  • Study: Fill in the blanks and descramble can get bad word boundaries.
  • Media Player: Media List link on media play page takes you to the media player.
  • Map Media: Remapping got exception.
  • Search: Exception on empty search in dictionary in phone.
  • Edit Vocabulary List: In separate languages, each item should have the matching language media.

Feature Update 1.0.6 - 27 February 2018

This release includes the following changes:

New features or revisions:

  • Added a new study tool called "Flip", which displays study items like smaller flash cards all on one page, allowing you to "flip" individual items in random access fashion.
  • Study tools now store their current configuration selection separately, per-tool.

Bug fixes:

  • Text content media references to video media weren’t getting audio files, they were still referencing the video.
  • Fixed bug where oing to the study tool flash page in the Example course defaulted to Arabic.
  • Fixed bug where media upload of video was giving an unsupported format message for .mp4.
  • Fixed the test study tool left side with just audio showing correct answer as wrong.
  • Fixed bug where media player subtitles with traditional chinese didn’t show if the content item had simplified first.
  • Changing owner of course fixed to copy media to the new owner's directory. (This is an administrator featuer.)
  • Fixed bug where going to Login page twice would cause page to be stuck in Login.
  • Fixed problem with trailing punctuation in study tool match display.
  • Audio clip extraction makes media items lose mapping. A local study needed to be created for the media item.

Feature Update 1.0.5 - 15 February 2018

This release includes the following changes:

New features or revisions:

  • Added a new drop-down menu to the main menu, "Resources", for collecting additional language study resource features, like a language dictionary.
  • Added a dictionary mechanism. This is a full-featured searchable language dictionary with support for audio and pictures. However, as its content is cooperatively provided, there is currently limited content. I will install public domain dictionary content as I find it. (If you know of some library content for other languages I can legally and ethically use, please let me know about it.) Currently present are dictionaries for Chinese Mandarin (from a library database called CC-CEDICT from a few years ago), Japanese (EDICT also from a few years ago), and English (reciprocal entries from both CC-CEDICT and EDICT). Teachers can add, edit, import, export, and delete dictionary entries. Teachers can also copy study list items to a dictionary. Students can add dictionary study items to a plan.
  • Revised the comment mechanism in the mobile version to post comments created using the mobile app on the web server. You can only add or edit comments if the mobile device is online. You can view existing comments offline.
  • Fixed the page heading dynamic layout to omit the middle configuration and to switch to the mobile display at a larger size, so the menu won't wrap.
  • Added a "Arabic letters to Romanized" converter for the translator so you can. translate to Romanized Arabic also.
  • Added a study list edit page command labeled "Extract media items from references" to the "Edit Language" form group. This will extract an audio segment from a referenced media item, converting the study item to reference it as an individual file. One reason for this is the media references don't work on older Android browsers, due to a bug in the browser media element.
  • Changed the study list display to only show conjugation and lexical category on the host language items, as it was looking too busy when these items were present.
  • Also added a "Delete media" command to the edit study list "Edit Language" form group, so you can just delete media for selected languages.
  • Added a “Force media update” option to course update, to overwrite existing media, in case it changed.
  • Revised some button images, such as making the media buttons in the flash tool bigger, primarily to give users a bigger target to hit on mobile devices.

Bug fixes:

  • Fixed a number of issues with plans in terms of properly maintaining references to course content.
  • Renaming lessons, groups, and content now also renames the associated media directory internally.
  • Fixed a problem where tool configurations were not being created with the tool profile's languages, when they differ from the current user profile.
  • Fixed the study list "Translate" action, when doing it during some kind of editing, adding, or inserting state, as it was reporting "nothing to translate".
  • Fixed the flash card display mechanism with respect to a write (text input) configuration to display the language items pertaining to the text output language settings, if configuration is set up with a text output on the cards other than the first. It was only using the write languages.
  • Fixed some issues with the automated lesson mechanism. Study items with media runs that were references didn't stop properly. Continuing from a pause was broken, going back to the start.
  • Fixed some bugs and crashing during loggin in, registering, and deleting an account.
  • Fixed the add annotation Translate button command, which didn't actually translate.
  • Adding synthesized audio in vocab edit page was giving result message in red, which usually is use to report errors. I changed it to normal black text.
  • Fixed a bug where exporting from a group sentences page gave an exception, and made it generally work in the formats for which it made sense, like the pattern formats. The other formats are primarily object formats, which should only output or input study items they actually store.
  • Course children edit wasn't showing all the actions and table columns were wrong (bad testing on my part when I changed the format of individual course items).
  • Search courses had multiple selection button groups when the scope options display was enabled.
  • Fixed a problem with the speech-to-text recognition feature, where '+' signs were used as spaces in some cases.
  • Fixed a bug in the mobile app where the tool profile "Random New" flag on mobile didn't get saved.
  • Fixed a crash during a copy/cut of some items to the sandbox.

Feature Update 1.0.4 - 10 November 2017

This release includes the following changes:

  • Fixed a problem with the media player in browsers on mobile devices where the play button was never enabled, and/or the media didn't start automatically. Media files now don't start playing automatically, as the mobile devices generally don't support it.
  • Fixed a problem where the mobile media download wasn't including some media item files in certain cases. This was a server-side issue.
  • Renamed tool profile actions and fixed insert tool profile to insert at the right index.
  • Reworked Tool Configuration page. The field formerly called "Configuration Label" is now called "Configuration Type/Label" to better describe its meaning. Also, now the configuration type/label and key fields are the first fields on the configuration page. With respect to hiding fields that are not relevant, the normal and hybrid configuration fields are now hidden until the corresponding configuration type/label is selected.
  • Fixed an issue where you could set duplicate configuration keys in the add, insert, or edit configuration pages. Also, the key defaulting mechanism was improved to select the lowest key suffix number available.
  • Added a new configuration to the default configurations. It's a second "Write" configuration for practicing writing the target language item. This is useful mainly for languages not using the latin alphabet.
  • Added a number of missing page help help text.
  • Fixed a number of issues with the "OtherTeachersCanEdit" permissions option.
  • Added language text font family and size fields to Home Settings page.
  • Added an "Initializing..." state message to the automated lesson study mechanism to give a hint for the delay when it is generating audio for the text.
  • Fixed crash in Tool Configuration page when there's no active session, possibly due to cookies being cleared.
  • Fixed a bunch of problems with the audio recorder and mapper.
  • Fixed many problems with the automated internationalization technology. Still lacking actual human translations.
  • Fixed media player to have correct default subtitle language, and to not loop when EndOfMedia is set to "Next Lesson" or "Next Content" and there is no next lesson or content.

Feature Update 1.0.3 - 27 October 2017

This release includes the following changes:

  • The course, group, and lesson lists layouts have been stream-lined, now including images associated with these items, or a default image if none are provided. The items are also now click-able, doing the same action as the "Go To" buttons. Add images via the course, group, or lesson's "Lesson Options" page.
  • There is a new package format for importing/exporting courses, groups, and lessons. It's called the "JTLanguage Chunky" format. It is a replacement for the "JTLanguage Package" and "JTLanguage XML" formats, which suffered from a lower size limitation when courses are really huge. I've left in these formats, however, the package format for legacy, and the XNL format because it's useful to have a textual XML format, as the chunky format compresses the underlying XML components. It's called "Chunky" because it stores items individually in variable-length byte-run chunks. This new format is also used in downloading courses to the mobile apps.
  • A number of miscellaneous bugs were fixed..

Feature Update 1.0.0 - 6 October 2017

The Android and iPhone versions of JTLanguage are available! Get them here (or by searching for "JTLanguage" on the Play Store or App Store):

Get it on Google Play          Download on the App Store

Google Play and the Google Play logo are trademarks of Google Inc. App Store and the App Store logo are trademarks of Apple Inc.

I fixed a bug in the media player where the host language was not being displayed in the text in a media item with no host language set.

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