TOOLS project - Things to do
(Comments added by Caoimhín Ó Donnaíle are written in green like this)
Things still to be done
- Add facilities to order the Clilstore index up and down by different fields. Also hide some of less important columns (id, created date, change date) but provide a way for the user to reveal them. Make these choices memorable via the cookie.
- Make it easier and end-user-friendly to add hot potatoes exercises to the page.
- Add the many other Zodynas dictionary language pairs to Multidict. Investigate and add in the dictionary suggestions from the Lithuanian team.
Some now added, but more still to do.
- Closely related languages (such as pt and pt-BR) instead of just appearing in as a faint button below the target language field in Multidict as at present, should if possible be included as an entry at the end of the target language selection. So at the end of the list of dictionaries available for translating to Portugues, there should be a choice "Portugues (Brazil) dictionaries", and vice versa. Similarly when translating to Irish/Scottish/Manx Gaelic, to Danish/Bokmal, etc. We need to think whether this is also appropriate for the source language.
- Instead of having to specify language codes as at present, when creating pages in Clilstore and filtering the index, there should be a dropdown select box using the full language names. When creating a page, the choice should be restricted to those source languages currently recognised by Multidict. When filtering the index, the choice should be restricted to those languages for which exercises currently exist. At the top of the list should perhaps be the last language used by the "user" (as determined by login id or else by IP address).
- We need a button which people can use to report any page they spot on Clilstore which is improper or uses copyright material
- Instead of align-right and larger fonts only being the Clilstore default for Arabic, the languages table should flag where this is appropriate, so that it is also done automatically for languages such as Persian and Hebrew.
- In the facility for adding links, allow the possibility to specify a different language for the linked-to page.
- Perhaps get wordlink to respect the hreflang attribute in links (and perhaps also the lang attribute in webpages??).
- Authors need to be able to paste in a video address (e.g. Youtube url), so users of eg. iPads can just paste in the address and need not go to a PC to find the full embed code. (Several videos from ted.com, for example, only offer the address to be used for email referrals (plus all the social network plugins) and not the required embed code.)
- Make some explicit way of adding pictures to a page, rather than just videos.
- Make a way of adding several media idems to a page - not just one.
- Add a “password hints” system perhaps, or a way of sending a temporary login code by e-mail, for when people forget their password.
- Program round the problems (very minor so far) caused by usernames, etc, containing characters such as underscore _ which are wildcards in SQL
Bigger and more technical things to do
- Rationalise and tidy up the working of Wordlink and Multidict. Try to get rid of the “sid=” parameter. Avoid the problem (seemingly) of contention for a new sid which is (perhaps) preventing Wordlink/Multidict from working on threaded servers.
Add a whole new mechanism to Multidict to handle lemmatisation (and the preparation in general of words for dictionary lookup"). There would be different "lemmatisaion methods", which might involve lookup in a lemmatisation table for the language or simply the use of certain rules. There would be a default lemmatisation method for each dictionary - perhaps “none” if the dictionary already did lemmatisation itself. The current system where a letter 'h' in second place is removed for Irish or Scottish Gaelic words would be removed and only used where appropriate.
- Better backup and duplication of facilities all round, so that there is a backup service available even if the main service is down.
- Store more information fields for each dictionary - e.g. whether it is “narrow” with no wasted space on the left and there good for use in a frame along with Wordlink. Have an information page for each dictionary where these parameters can be seen (and possibly changed), and also showing some statistics on how often the dictionary had been used with Multidict to lookup words.
- More pages of all sorts showing statistical information on how many times words had been looked up for different source and target languages (with perhaps separate statistics for Clilstore?).
- Add (perhaps in a future project?) a facility for student logins, each student having an associated teacher who would get detailed logging and summary information on how their students used Clilstore/Wordlink/Multidict.
- Add methods to detect problems with dictionaries. Add a logfile of timeouts (for those Dictionaries where Multidict pulls in the page - this won’t work where it does a simple redirection) and maybe an alert system if a dictionary is getting frequent timeouts. Add a button for users to report problems with dictionaries.
Requests from Kent, 2012-02-09
I am preparing a sequence of 14 units with exercises for my students (I
have to teach in two weeks time from now) during my testing Clilstore I
prepared the following wish list:
1. Linking to next exercises or other websites has to be possible from the
first step. Many users may not experience that linking becomes possible in
the edit mode. Done
2. When linking I would like an option of opening the page in a new window
(not Tab) this makes it possible for students to search for answers in the
text or listen to the audio/video while answering questions
It should be possible to add this as an option, even though I personally don’t like this behaviour at all (See my diatribe against it.) However, I don’t think it is technical possible for the author to select between new tab and new window. Currently Safari interprets ‘target="_top"’ as new window; all the other main browsers interpret it as new tab. Better to educate the students to use right-click and then choose “open in new tab” or “open in new window”.
3. There should be a frame where the "author" can write comments like
"Video and Text used with permission from Friendly Robotics
4. We need radio buttons to indicate language level of proposed users (not
the language as such). Done
5. We all need to compile a list of target areas that the author can use
to indicate content like: General, Service Trades, Electrical engineering,
healthcare, politics, energy, vacation, on the job, songs, travelling,
transport etc. We may need such categories so we can filter the units.
Requests from Kent, 2012-02-24
Some of my own top priorities at the moment are:
- A field with description of content (we could suggest the authors to make the
description in both English and the target language, but it should be optional)
Done - Summary field
- A tickbox that indicates if the unit is followed by exercises (tasks or Hot Potatoes)
- A tickbox with indication of needed language level for the learners.
- A filter system for the students based on drop-down menus where they select language and level. Done
- A welcome screen where the users (authors and their students) select language
and level and are then presented the list of units with descriptions.
Done (same as previous request?) And the choice is now remembered via a persistent cookie.
- A "Report abuse" link/button at the end of each unit Done
More requests from Kent
Would it be possible to set the title “<title>Wordlink</title>” of a unit to the “TITLE” that a user wrote while authoring the unit? This will have two advantages: The Title can be searched and found by eg Google and the title becomes visible in the Browser top bar.
This is already done for the unwordlinked units (not what Kent is asking for), but to do it for the wordlinked units would unfortunately require a technical rethink, because Wordlink (which is in charge and is handling the title) is dumb and is merely creating frames and getting other programs to fill them. It might be technically possible if I change Wordlink to use iframes instead of frames, something I am thinking of doing anyway.
Requests from Kent, 2012-06-19 - 2012-08-02
I have played around with Clilstore and I think we need to consider if it should not automatically place an "Enter" (i.e. In html a <br>) at the end of each line. There may be unfortunate results coming from this, but let's have some opinions. Done. Added as an option in the new page form.
A facility for authors to write a couple of lines for a brief (and searchable) summary. Done
A facility for authors to easily embed sounds and videos from general purpose stores such as Dropbox which do not provide an embed code, as opposed to the likes of Youtube and Ipadio which do.
I am not so sure about the registration part, but it could be nice to “learn” more about the authors, perhaps even the option of photos. Yes, it would be good to have an author “profile” page. This could have a facility to change passwords (a big defficiency at present), and to upload a photo. Perhaps also a facility for an author to change his/her userid. It would perhaps be good to allow authors to “offer” ownership of a module to another author, and then the profile page would allow an author to accept modules which were on offer.
I think the "Include test units" field should act like a button, for the inexperienced end users it may not appear logical first to tick Include test units and then click “Filter”. Done
Request from Kent, 2013-02-08
I wonder if we can plug-in to Facebook (and Blog, and Linkedin etc.) with a share option in each exercise??
Suggestions and priorities from TOOLS team discussion in Gothenburg, 2012-08
The evaluation form for training workshops should be available as an online form, and the results should be stored online.
We need to use language names, not just codes, in the forms for authoring and filtering Clilstore units.
Native names for languages are fine, but it would be good if the list also included a Latin script translation in alphabetic order, as well as the current local script (Arabic, Greek Cyrillic or whatever) version as at present.
This should continue to be possible to compose and store units with any valid language code. i.e. It should not be restricted to languages for which Multidict currently has dictionaries.
In the form for authoring a new unit, where it currently says "Embed code", this should be changed to a dropdown with "Embed code" as the default, but listing other possibilities: Youtube URL; Flickr URL; TED URL, Ipadio URL, etc. The program would then attempt to make sense of these URLs, extract the relevant information, and turn this into the appropriate embed code.
E-mail address verification should be compulsory before registration is confirmed.
If a user forgets his or her password, it should be possible to request an e-mail containing a link valid for an hour which will allow the password to be reset. (But a password hints facility is not needed.)
There should be a "profile" page for each user. The user's "real name" should be visible to everyone, but the e-mail address should only be visible to Admin (except perhaps if the user themselves asks for it to be made visible).
It would be nice to allow the user to upload a profile picture, and specify a university or college affiliation, and perhaps homepage and Facebook links.
Registered users would have the facility to specify the additional fields to be included when the "Include optional columns" box is ticked. Some of the possible optional fields would be: number of hits; length of text in words (or characters); length of vidio; whether the unit includes exercises.
A red "Report abuse" button is required. This should be at the end of unit, and the user should be required to fill in a form with a capcha, giving details of the problem. This would e-mail Kent and Caoimhín (Skye) directly. Done
It would be nice to possibly add a new bar at the top of the page where the links to "Clilstore", "Unit info", "Email the author" would reside, leaving room for possibly more author-generated link buttons on the existing bar. However, this might move the video and scrolling text area too far down the screen, especially if the user was on a device with a small screen.
The possibility of automatically resizing the video to suit the screen width should be investigated.
It is important to get Google Translate working again with Multidict. (And efforts should continue to improve the repertoire of dictionaries in general.)
Wysiwyg editing of the text should be implemented, if reasonably possible.
A student interface, beginning with Kent's suggested design, should be implemented and discussed and improved as a separate page at first, with the idea of possibly making it the Clilstore "top" page.
There should be a facility for authors to create menu page of Clilstore units on a particular topic or for a particular class. These would be simple, with just a title, summary, author, and list of units which the author would specify by inputing their numbers. The address of the menu would be something like "../menu/42".
The team could also create some fancier webpages showcasing units on particular topics, but these would be produced as separate "one-offs".
Clilstore should have an "About" page and a `"Help" page in the title bar (as Multidict and Wordlink already have). The Help page would have help for students and (a lot more) help for authors. The help for authors would include links to good sites for videos (e.g. Youtube) and especially to good sites for videos with transcripts (e.g. TED).
We decided there was no urgency and possibily no need for keywords and subject classification of units, but this should be kept under review.
We decided that an acknowledgements frame at the bottom might be an unnecessary complication, as acknowledgements could be included if need be in small print at the bottom of the text, but this should be kept under review.
Suggestions from the Brussels 2012-01 workshop which are now implemented
- For the Arabic language, align the text and heading automatically to the right in Clilstore pages, and increase the default font size for the text by a factor of 1.4
- In the Clilstore "Add a page" facility, change the label on the submit button from "Create Page" to "Publish Page" and place it on the top as well as the bottom of the page.
- Correct the bug in the Clilstore "Add a page" facility whereby it was not saving the float/scroll choice".
- Added the Zodynas Lithuanian<>English dictionary to Multidict.
- Added a filter by language facility to the Clilstore index page.
- The language codes "pt" (Portuguese) and "pt-PT" (Portuguese Portuguese) should be merged, but the code "pt-BR" (Brazilian Portuguese) should be retained. This may require some critical examination of the dictionaries table.
Other former ‘to-do’s which are now implemented
- An EU disclaimer at the button of the page: “This project has been funded with
support from the European Commission. This publication [communication] reflects
the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for
any use which may be made of the information contained therein.” And the LLL logo
- A search/filter facility on the Clilstore index, to allow selection by language, CEFRE level, author, date, title.
- On page creation (and possibly also on page editing??) the user should have to tick a box to say that they have the right to use materials they are puting online.
- When a Wordlinked page first appears in a frames context, instead of the right hand frame being empty as at present, it should contain some guidance - At the very least telling the students that they can click on words to look them up in the dictionary.
- The opportunity to create link buttons will be there in the "Add a page" facility, without having to go back and edit the page. Linking to next exercises or other websites has to be possible from the first step, page creation. Many users may not experience that linking becomes possible in the edit mode
- Add a facility to remember (via a cookie) the user’s previous choice of filter options on the Clilstore index, so that these do not have to be continually reselected. Also (Helle’s suggestion) order the index from most recent to oldest rather than the other way round.
- In Clilstore pages, a link to the Clilstore index will be automatically included instead of being one of the user choices. (A button for and index of pages current language alone is another possibility - or should that be the default? A button for pages by that author alone is another possibility. [These ideas have been superceded by the new facility to remember filter choices.]) The number of possible buttons will be increased from the current 3. [Now 4 if the Clilstore index link is included] The "navbar" with the buttons will be included at the top as well as the bottom of the page.
- Create a short urls facility. Perhaps something like http://multidict.net/cs/u7Atl8 to link to a Wordlinked Clilstore page. [Done, but using ordinary unit numbers like http://multidict.net/cs/52]
- Add a facility for “work in progress”/“test pages”/“unfinished pages”, so that students especially can put up work which is not immediately visible to all. We might need to warn users that such work may be subject to deletion (or archiving?) after a certain period. [Done. Although no warning yet.]
- Buy and set up the new webserver and move all programs and databases over to it.
- Move everything over from the www2.smo.uhi.ac.uk domain to the multidict.net domain.