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Highlights of new features of JTLanguage.
Version 1.0 was based on a complete rewrite of a previous version of JTLanguage from the ground up. Some key changes or goals for this rewrite were:
- Provide a more stream-lined and robust user interface.
- Make most pages mobile browser-friendly.
- Provide companion mobile apps.
- 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.
Version 1.1 builds on version 1.0 by adding some cool new features, as well as implementing some features I had in the earlier version, but hadn't reimplemented yet. See a summary of some of the key new features below.
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 1.1.5 - 8 August 2019
Primarily a maintenance release:
- Finally fixed the iPad display, where the app only used a phone-size rectangle in the middle of the screen.
- Revised the layout sizes to better accomodate different screen sizes.
- Fixed some problems and did some polishing on the "Install Course", "Update Course", and "Download Media" mechanisms in the phone app version.
- Fixed various problems with the "Dictionary Download", "Dictionary Media Download", "Delete Dictionary", and "Delete Dictionary Media" mechanisms.
- Modified the "Descramble" configuration of the study tools to show the difference view.
- 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 next will probably be the blog and forum mechanisms.
- 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 word conjugation mechanism for other languages (besides Japanese, which is my first attempt). Incorporate it into the dictionary and study lists. Try to create a generic table-driven way to do it.
- Make a new study tool to practice conjugations and other inflections.
- 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 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 1.1.4 - 3 August 2019
It includes the following changes:
- Added "Parse Best" and "Parse All" options to the dictionary search page. These options will break up a sentence into individual words and display their definitions. "Parse Best" attempts to find the best word boundaries and only display those words. "Parse All" will use all possible word boundaries and display those definitions.
- For Japanese only at present, added support for looking up conjugated verbs and adjectives and displaying what kind of conjugation it is, as well as an attempt at the conjugated meaning.
- Added sentence and word boundary edit options in text study list editor. Use this to fix sentence and word boundary problems.
- Added "Show/Hide word borders" option to Text Study tool. Use this to make word boundaries more obvious for languages that don't use spaces between words.
- A lot of fixes to Japanese word boundary detection, Romanizer, and dictionary support.
- Some fixes for the Chinese Romanizer.
- Fixed mobile installer to include course, group, and lesson icon images, even if the "Include media" option is off.
- Fixed to allow relative "../" path components in the course, group, and lesson icon image files so that these files can be shared.
Feature Update 1.1.3 - 30 March 2019
This is a maintenance release. It includes the following changes:
- Fixed the Romanizer to preserve zero-width spaces so word run parsing will work.
- Flip tool fixed to honor study mode.
- Flip tool fixed to use word layout when the tool source is a vocabulary list.
Feature Update 1.1.2 - 22 March 2019
This release is primarily staging for a language tool mechanism that will support things like verb conjugation and other kinds of inflections. At present this is only implemented internally for Japanese. It is also staging for improvments to the text study tool, and other coming features. Some database format changes were needed, but old versions of the mobile apps should still work with the updated server.
This release includes the following changes:
- Added an internal verb conjugation and adjective inflection mechanism for Japanese.
- Revised the Romanization and transliteration converters to fix a number of problems with the Japanese Kana and Romaji conversions, making use of the inflection mechanism.
- Improved the word detection in Japanese. This will help the text study tool.
- Revised the dictonary mechanism to look up words in sentences. However, it's very slow and still a bit broken, and only works for Japanese. I presently only have dictionaries for Japanese and Chinese.
- Improved the vocabulary download option when installing courses on the mobile apps. This is still really slow, so you probably want to uncheck this option in general when installing courses on mobile devices, unless you really need to use the text study tool offline.
- Fix numerous minor bugs.
Feature Update 1.1.1 - 14 Dec 2018
This release includes the following changes:
- Added "Level" attribute for courses. The Courses page can now filter courses based on a selected level.
- Replaced storage mechanism for course references, which is staging for future changes. Hopefully you won't notice.
- Added new annotation type called "Text", which enables you to display styled text in a study list which is not treated as a study item. If the study item to which the annotation is attached is empty, the study item will not appear as a blank line. The "Value" field is for an optional semi-colon-separated CSS attribute list.
- Added new annotation type called "Ordinal", which lets you prefix study items with raw text, usually a number, which unlike the "Prefix" will not enclose it in parentheses.
- Added a new Format implementing a web crawler, called "Crawler". This is a mechanism for importing courses, groups, lessons, or study lists from a website directly. One of the parameters that will appear when this format is selected for an import is "Web Format Type", for selecting a particular web page format. For this release, the only type provided for general use is called "Generic Text", for pulling text from a web page generically. However, you can specift an XPATH pattern for a specific element you want to import text from, to avoid surrounding cruft you don't want in the study list. (See https://www.w3schools.com/xml/xpath_syntax.asp for information about XPATH's.) Another parameter is for specifying the web address.
- Fixed problem with study item cut mechanism cutting the wrong items.
- Add and Insert Lesson was not adding or inserting the new lesson in the right place in many cases. Yikes!
- Appending items in editing study lists was not scrolling to edit controls.
- Fixed mobile version bug where study list got matched to the wrong study list during course installation.
Feature Update 1.1.0 - 31 Oct 2018
This release includes the following changes:
- Added "Done" button to study tool pages.
- Added Insert Lesson/Group and Insert Multiple Lesson commands.
- Show lesson count in course and group info and front pages.
- Added Filter out duplicates option to Patterned formats.
- Added Captcha to Contact page. I was getting lots of spam. Sorry for the inconvenience, but this will make it less likely that I miss a real message from you.
- Fixed Text study tool to be case insensitive.
- The Hide New option on the Vocabulary List page was broken.
- Vocabulary Phrases were not seen in the Flash tool.
- Multiple definitions in text study word only had the first definition in tool study list item.
- Fixed a crash in text study tool if a language item string was empty.
- Fixed phrase selection to unmark starting word if recently defaulted to grade 1.
- Fixed node navigation to preserve action.
- In Extract format and text study, it now uses a case insensitive match.
- Fixed the no anchors case in the patterned import.
- Fixed some problems in the phone apps related to when there was no network.
Pre-1.1.0 Feature Updates
The following is a summary of key features added since the 1.0 release and before 1.1:
- Added a full-featured dictionary supporting audio and pictures and rich search and editing capabilities. Note, however, that except for a couple of languages where I found public domain dictionary databases, there might not be dictionary content yet.
- New study tools. In addition to the Flash study tool, there are now Flip, Hands Free, Match, Test, and Text study tools. See the introductory help pages or videos for information on these. In particular, the Text study tool is a powerful way to study text by clicking on words or phrase you don't know, and then seeing an editable definition.
- Vocabulary database and vocabulary list pages. You have your own vocabulary list that is the basis of the Text study tool. New pages have been created for viewing and editing the vocabulary lists pertaining to individual study lists (via the Vocabulary List button link on study list pages), or your global vocabulary list (via the Home->Manage Vocabulary menu item).
- Tool study list page. There is now a page for viewing or editing the grading or status of your study items as a list (via the Tool Study List button link on study list pages).
- Automated lesson study. The markup template mechanism is now also the basis for an automated and interactive scripted study mechanism. This can be provided in lesson either explicity via media content items, or implicitly via Lesson Study links added automatically to the lesson in the tree control, if there is no such media item. A default script can be set by the user in the Home->Settings page.
- Scripted audio generation. The markup template mechanism is now also the basis for generating audio files for media items. Manage this via the "Generate media" button links.
- Added support for YouTube and other external video content in media items. Optionally import YouTube video transcripts to a study list via an "Import transcript" button link on the mapping page.
- Added new commands to the study edit page for joining phrases, extracting individual audio files from media references, propagating media, etc.
- Added "Add study list to dictionary" command.
- Added several help pages and introductory videos under the Browse Help page.
- Many other improvements and bug fixes.
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):
Google Play and the Google Play logo are trademarks of Google Inc. App Store and the App Store logo are trademarks of Apple Inc.