Week Beginning 17th January 2022

I divided my time mostly between three projects this week:  Speech Star, Speak For Yersel and a Burns mini-project for Kirsteen McCue.  For Speech Star I set up the project’s website, based on our mockup number 9 (which still needs work) and completed an initial version of the speech database.   As with the Dynamic Dialects accent chart (https://www.dynamicdialects.ac.uk/accent-chart/) , there are limiting options and any combination of these can be selected.  The page refreshes after each selection is made and the contents of the other drop-down lists vary depending on the option that is selected.  As requested, there are 6 limiting options (accent, sex, age range, sound, articulation and position).

I created two ‘views’ of the data that are available in different tabs on the page.  The first is ‘By Accent’ which lists all data by region.  Within each region there is a table for each speaker with columns for the word that’s spoken and its corresponding sound, articulation and position.  Users can press on a column heading to order the table by that column.  Pressing again reverses the order.  Note that this only affects the current table and not those of other speakers.  Users can also press on the button in the ‘Word’ column to open a popup containing the video, which automatically plays.  Pressing any part of the browser window outside of the popup closes the popup and stops the video, as does pressing on the ‘X’ icon in the top-right of the popup.

The ‘By Prompt’ tab presents exactly the same data, but arranged by the word that’s spoken rather than by accent.  This allows you to quickly access the videos for all speakers if you’re interested in hearing a particular sound.  Note that the limit options apply equally to both tabs and are ‘remembered’ if you switch from one tab to the other.

The main reason I created the two-tab layout is to give users the bi-directional access to video clips that the Dynamic Dialects Accent Chart offers without ending up with a table that is far too long for most screens, especially mobile screens.  One thing I haven’t included yet is the option to view multiple video clips side by side.  I remember this was discussed as a possibility some time ago but I need to discuss this further with the rest of the team to understand how they would like it to function.  Below is a screenshot of the database, but note that the interface is still just a mockup and all elements such as the logo, fonts and colours will likely change before the site launches:

For the Speak For Yersel project I also created an initial project website using our latest mockup template and I migrated both sample activities over to the new site.  At the moment the ‘Home’ and ‘About’ pages just have some sample blocks of text I’ve taken from SCOSYA.  The ‘Activities’ page provides links to the ‘grammar’ and ‘click’ exercises which mostly work in the same way as in the old mockups with a couple of differences that took some time to implement.

Firstly, the ‘grammar’ exercise now features actual interactive maps throughout the various stages.  These are the sample maps I created previously that feature large numbers of randomly positioned markers and local authority boundaries.  I also added a ‘fullscreen’ option to the bottom-right of each map (the same as SCOSYA) to give people the option of viewing a larger version of the map.  Here’s an example of how the grammar exercise now looks:

I also updated the ‘click’ exercise so that is uses the new page design.  Behind the scenes I also amalgamated the individual JavaScript and CSS files I’d been using for the different exercise mockups into single files that share functions and elements.  Here’s an example of how the ‘click’ exercise looks now:

The Burns mini-project for Kirsteen involved manuscript scores for around 100 pieces of music in PDF format and metadata about these pieces as a spreadsheet.  I needed to make a webpage featuring a tabular interface with links to the PDFs.  This involved writing a script to rename the PDFs as they had filenames containing characters that are problematic for web servers, such as colons, apostrophes and ampersands.  I then wrote another script to process the Excel spreadsheet in order to generate the required HTML table.  I uploaded the PDFs to WordPress and created a page for the table.  I also needed to add in a little bit of JavaScript to handle the reordering of the table columns.  I have given the URL for the page to Kirsteen for feedback before we make the feature live.

Also this week I gave some further advice to the students who are migrating the IJOSTS journal. Fixed an issue with some data in the Old English Thesaurus for Jane Roberts and responded to an enquiry about the English Language Twitter account.