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Highlights of new features of JTLanguage.
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 1.0.5 - 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.
- 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.
- Create some video documentation. (This time for sure.) I'll start with something demonstrating the basic lesson browsing and study features for students. Other videos for teachers will follow.
- Add a "Flip" study tool. This will display the study items from a study list, with the configuration specifying which language is displayed. Clicking on a study item will "flip" or toggle it back and forth between the host and target languages. This will implement a more random-access form of studying items.
- 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.
- 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.
- Create a word congugation mechanism. Incorporate it into the dictionary and study lists, and perhaps make a conjugation tool.
- Create a sentence diagramming mechanism. Incorporate it into the study list pages. This and the conjugation mechanism will probably be based on an extended language definition mechanism.
- 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.
Past Feature Updates
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):
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.