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Highlights of new features of JTLanguage.
Feature Update 1.1.9 - 17 February 2020
This release features additional polishing on the study tool mechanisms, some staging for internationalization, and for bug fixing. See the details of this and other recent feature changes and bug fixes below and also in the notes for the previous release.
- All of the Flash Tool algorithms and grading button layouts have been revised to some degree. It's too much to detail here, but the changes should be reasonably obvious. See also the descriptions for recent past updates for other recent changes in this area.
- Two new card selection algorithms have been added for the Flash Tool. "Spanki" is a new spaced interval option with an operation vaguely similar to that used by the "Anki" flash card tool. "Manual" is a new spaced interval option where you explicitly select a next review time. It can be useful useful when you are faced with a large study list where too many are due for review.
- The Tool Profile has some new options and changes to some existing options, corresponding to the changes in the card selection algorithm. Toggling the "Show/hide field help" link in the "About Tool Profile View" pane will show you brief explanations for each option.
- In the Tool Study List page, the next review time and stage number (if applicable) are now shown, and the items are sortable on those columns.
- Fixed some problems with the change password and forgot password mechanisms where it was reporting an exception error.
- Fixed a number of issues related to internationalization. Note that currently, you can use other UI languages besides English. However, the translation comes from Google Translate, so they my not be accurate. This is staging for future work on real translations.
- Fixed several other minor problems and cosmetic issues I didn't keep track of.
(The following are not necessarily in the order I will do them.)
- Provide a mechanism for backing up and restoring study item status.
- Provide a mechanism for syncing study item status between mobile devices and the website.
- Implement the word conjugation mechanisms for languages not yet supported. Improve the generic table-driven mechanism to work for (most) all languages. (Japanese is in the works.) Add an import export mechanism so that the tables can be imported and exported.
- Need more video documentation for teachers and students.
- 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 mechanisms 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.
- Enhance the media player to support multiple subtitle languages and and a mechanism like the text study tool to click on words for definitions.
- 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 may also send it to a Google speech service if the server doesn't have the support for that language).
- 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.
- 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 next will probably be the blog and forum mechanisms.
Known bugs not fixed yet:
- The JTLanguage Survival Phrases and Vocabulary courses have some missing media files, and the automated translations need fixing, to put it mildly.
- On all versions, sometimes the audio for a study item cuts off early. It seems to be an HTML thing.
- 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 1.1.8 - 3 February 2020
This release is for bug fixing and polishing, and further staging of the new table-based inflection/conjugation mechanism currently under development. See the details of this and other recent feature changes and bug fixes below and also in the notes for the previous release.
- In the Flash Tool, the Adaptive and Spaced Repetition card selection algorithms have been overhauled for better operation in both large and small study lists. New labels under the grading buttons given an indication of the resulting grade and next review time if you click the corresponding button.
The Tool Profile has some new options and changes to some existing options,
corresponding to the changes in the card selection algorithm.
Toggling the "Show/hide field help" link in the "About Tool Profile View"
pane will show you some on-page explanations too.
- The new "New Limit" and "Review Limit" fields will cause the Flash tool to stop a study session once the limits are both reached, if both are set. The "New Limit" is for the number of new study items that will be shown. The "Review Limit" is for the number of study items shown from previous sessions.
- The new "Limit Expiration" field is for setting the time of day when the counts accumulated for the new and review limits will be reset.
- The "Level" field has been renamed to "Review Level", and the values and their meanings has changed. This option effectively maps to a multiplaction factor to be applied to the next review time calculation for a graded study item. The range has been changed to -5 to 10 (previously 0 - 10), and the logical order has been reversed, meaning that a higher number will result in a review time farther in the future. To help you understand the actual factor, it is shown in parenthesis next to the level numbers. The default level is now 0, meaning an identity factor of 1.0. The previous default level was 5, so you may need to reset this manually to 0 for profiles existing previous to this release.
- The "Interval Table" field meaning has changed for the Adaptive card selection algorithm. It now functions more like that of the Spaced Repetition. Once you give a study item the highest grade, a "stage" index increments, and subsequent gradings may result in a next review time farther in the future. Note that rather that edit this field, you can just change the review level to multiply all the entries. Otherwise you can adjust the review intervals to your liking. How's this for giving you control over how things work! Of course you can really mess things up too. If you do, just delete the profile and start over.
- The new read-only "Factored Interval Table" field shows the interval table after the application of the review level factor, to help you the effect of the review level on the interval table.
- The new "Stage Reset Grade Threshold" and "Stage Increment Grade Threshold" fields control when the stage number of the tool study item status is either reset to 0 or incremented. This stage number is basically an offset into the interval table to be used when calculating the next review time for the study item. If you grade a study item such that the resulting averaged grade (see the "Sample Size" field below) is at or below the "Stage Reset Grade Threshold", the stage will be reset to 0 before calculating the next review time. If the average grade is at or above the "Stage Increment Grade Threshold", the stage will be incremented after calculating the next review time. If the average grade is between both thresholds, the stage will not be changed. The effect of this is that at the next grading of the study item, the stage number will be use as an offset into the interval table, such that if the stage number has been incremented, the next review time will be based on a later interval table entry, which will be farther into the future.
- The new "Sample Size" field indicates the maximum number of grade samples to collect before shifting out the oldest ones. This allows you to create some damping on the grading, which in turn will dampen the next review time calculations, meaning you will need to grade the study items more times to effect a change in the grading review scheduling. This existed internally before, and was adjusted by the review level, but now it is independent. It also defaults to "1" now, meaning there is no running average used by default, such that the average grade is the grade of the corresponding grading button.
- In the Tool Study List page, the next review time is now shown.
- The Automated conjugation/inflection layout was revised for improvements.
- Spanish now has a "Compact" layout table, in addition to the "Full" layout.
- The Text Study Tool now makes use of the de-inflector in providing word definitions.
- Added several features to the inflection table mechanism for coming language support.
- Revised the Sentence/Word mismatch messages to give sentence or word counts for the language items.
- The general operation of the web site and phone apps has been changes to better handle things when you are not logged in (you are a "Guest" in this case), and when you don't have a target language set up. In the later case, it will just show all languages in some cases, or if it really needs a target language, it will either redirect you to the Home->Languages page, or give a helpful message. More details follow.
- If you are not logged in, some menu options will no longer be shown, including the main menu items "Plans" and "Tool".
- While the website still won't let you use the study tools if you are not logged in (it needs some way of labeling your study data), in the phone apps this is now allowed, as presumably you are the only user. However, if you log in, any study status recorded while a "Guest" will pertain to the "Guest" account, and not be used in the new account, and visa-versa.
- Fixed a number of problems that appeared in the text study tool with respect to Spanish word parsing. There are still some problems with respect to some irregular verbs to be addressed in future releases.
- Fixed some problems with audio references in study lists.
- Fixed a number of problems for when languages are not set up, or you are not logged in.
- Fixed several other minor problems I didn't record.
Feature Update 1.1.7 - 18 December 2019
This release features an initial version of a table-based inflection/conjugation mechanism currently under development, plus additions to the study tools mechanisms. See the details of this and other new features and bug fixes below.
Internally, I've developed a table-driven conjugation/inflection mechanism (conjugation applying to verbs and inflection to other parts of speech). My goal is for this to be the basis for a universal conjugation/inflection tool.
I have support for this new table-based mechanism for English and Spanish verbs only, Japanese still uses the code-based conjugator I developed in a previous release, and supports verb conjugation, and adjective and noun inflections. The Japanese currently lacks some host translation matching for conjugations not supported in the host languages. I will try to address this in the next release.
Also internally, to go along with the conjugation/inflection mechanism, I've also developed a table-driven layout mechanism to be used in a new "Inflect" page under the "Resources" menu.
So far, only Spanish has a layout table for the "Full" layout.
Though not implemented yet, a future feature will be to also support uploading and downloading the inflection and layout tables such that a teacher could upload inflection and layout support for languages not yet supported, or fix problems in existing tables.
Internally, here is also a de-inflection mechanism that will automatically be supported when the inflection tables for a language are present.
The Text Tool and Dictionary Search pages make use of it, such that when a conjugated word is parsed, it will show the conjugation information and translation.
Under the "Resources" main menu item, there is a new "Inflect" item and corresponding page for displaying inflections or conjugation of a dictionary item.
A "Search" fieldset provides for looking up a dictionary item, which defaults to the last selected item, of the last item looked up in the Dictionary Search page.
A "Found" fieldset the selected dictionary item in its target languages form, with the selected host sense and synonym meaning to be used. A drop-down field lets you select a different sense/synonym host meaning.
An optional "Conjugation/Inflection Classifier Filter and Layout Selection" fieldset allows you to enable or disable certain classifications of the conjugations.
A button next to the fieldset label allows you to hide the fieldset contents.
If any layout tables have been uploaded, a "Layout type" drop-down field will be displayed at the bottom of the fieldset, which you can use to select among any available layouts.
By default, an "Automated" layout is provided for by using some row and column hints given in the associated inflection table for the language.
The "Full" layout lists all the conjugations with host translations and audio play buttons. At present, only Spanish has this layout table.
A "Compact" layout option is planned for the next release, which will display just the target conjugations in a more compact form.
Also displayed at the bottom of the fieldset are toggle buttons for hiding or showing the audio play buttons, and hiding or showing the target or host language conjugations.
The "Conjugations/Inflections" label marks the beginning of the resulting inflections/conjugations display. Conjugations are typically grouped in some way that makes sense for the language, though some groups may only have one item.
Note that the number of resulting conjugations can be huge, as some conjugation recurse with multiplicative permutations, and there can be contracted forms. Japanese is an example of this, with thousands of permutations. Thus the classification selection mechanism can be useful to show only those you are primarily interested in.
It also runs pretty slow, especially the first time it is used, when the tables are loaded on the fly, and when the number of conjugations is big, such as for Japanese. I have some ideas for performance improvement.
I will add support for other languages, layouts, and part-of-speech types in later releases, as well as work on the performance. I'll also create a video demonstrating this new feature.
In the "Dictionary Search" page, if an item is inflectable/conjugatable, it will have a new "Conjugate/Inflect" action button. This will take you to the above "Inflect" page using the associated sense and synonym of the dictionary entry.
Study tools now have a new drop-down menu field called "View" for selecting alternate pages when in the study tool.
The available options for this field are: "Study", "Select", and "List"
The "Study" option is for displaying the normal study tool page.
The "Select" option displays a list of the current study items, including their status and location, and checkboxes for selecting items. The study tools will then limit themselves to the checked items. The "List" view, described later, will also only display the selected items.
This can be useful if the study list is big and you want to temporarily focus on a subset. (Otherwise, preferably, study lists should be broken up into smaller groups or a hierarchy.)
The usual buttons for selecting all, none, or ranges are provided.
Filtering options can filter the displayed items based on status, and sorting options allow you to sort the list progressively. (Click the column title to sort, click again to reverse the order.) Note that this filtering only applies to the study item list display, and doesn't affect the study tools. The sorting options can, however, affect the order of the items in the study tools, though the current selection algorithm used may override it.
For the new inflections options in the "Source" field described below, if these are selected the "Select" page will also display a "Conjugations/Inflection Classifier Selection" fieldset for selecting the desired conjugations to be used in the study tools and the list view.
Be sure to click "Save" to save the changes on the "Select" view page.
The "List" view option also displays the current study items, including their status and location, and also with the filtering and sorting options, as well as selections from the "Select" page.
It also provides buttons for changing the status of individual or selected items.
The "Source" drop-down menu field in the study tool pages now has two new options: "Study List Inflections" and "Vocabulary List Inflections" These are in addition to the existing "Study List" and "Vocabulary List" options.
The "* Inflections" options cause the study tools to use as source the conjugations of all conjugatable/inflectable items in the study list that are in dictionary form.
Note that this can result in a huge number of resulting study items.
If you first use the "Select" view (select the "Select" view first and then the "Inflections" source), you can limit the study items to be conjugated, and you can also select which conjugations you want to be use via the "Conjugations/Inflection Classifier Selection" field set which is displayed in the select page when one of the the inflections source options is used.
Note that the local dictionary must have definitions corresponding to the source study list items. You can use the "Download dictionary" link on the Dictionary page to download a local dictionary, or you can use the "Dpownload vocabulary dictionary entries and audio" option of the "Download course/group/lesson media" page to get just the used dictionary entries.
This feature requires that you have a study list the with verbs or other inflectable items for which you wish to study the conjugated or inflected forms. Create a new study list with the dictionary form of the items in a plan or private lesson if you don't have the items you want in a study list already. (Note to self: If a study list has items that are already conjugated, I could probably figure out the dictionary form.)
At present, only English, Spanish, and Japanese have conjugation support, and English and Spanish has support only for verbs so far.
This basically implement the wish list item I had for a conjugation study tool.
- Sorry, in the phone app versions, course downloading was broken for several days right before this release due to a poorly tested silent update I made. It should work with this release now.
- Changed Text Study Tool to not end lines in middle of words in character-based languages. Also applies to "Show Words" option in study list pages.
- Fixed the Dictionary Search pages to work correctly when the "Remote" lookup checkbox is checked. Internal caching of local "not found" entries was making it look like no remote entry was found.
- Subtitle font size didn’t seem to be used.
- Upload media from Map Text page crashed.
There are companion apps available for Android and iPhone! These support many of the features offline.
Get them here (or by searching for "JTLanguage" on the Play Store or App Store):
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