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#1

User is offline   Andrew Field Icon

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Posted 29 January 2007 - 12:55 AM

Please leave your thoughts and ideas about Practice Paper 1.0 RC in this thread.

I am very keen to produce the finished version but am also keen to ensure that the program works as well as it can. If you have any ideas or suggestions to make final improvements and tweaks please do let me know.
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#2

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Posted 30 January 2007 - 09:11 PM

Andrew

Have made a couple of new exercise using Practice Paper 1.0RC and they seem to work OK, but I have a number of comments:

1. An error message appears in FF2 when I try to run the file from my hard disc (will pm you the file) (test3 file works OK)

2. When I choose 3 random questions I get the first three questions instead of a random selection. (IE7 and FF2) (your test3 file does the same in both FF2 and IE7)

3. When I click on the printer icon, I just get the pop-up message 'Print suggested answer' and no pop-up window to print the answer (IE7 and in FF2. (test3 file works OK in FF2 and IE7)

Extras

4. When you finish the test, would it be possible to hve a final page with all the questions and the student's answers?

5. You were going to consider more than 3 lines at the top of the screen for questions.

Hope these comments are useful.

Douglas
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#3

User is offline   Andrew Field Icon

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Posted 30 January 2007 - 09:18 PM

View PostMr Bell, on Jan 30 2007, 09:11 PM, said:

I have made a couple of new exercise using Practice Paper 1.0RC and they seem to work OK, but I have a number of comments:


Excellent - thanks very much indeed. I'll answer each one in turn.

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1. An error message appears in FF2 when I try to run the file from my hard disc (will pm you the file) (test3 file works OK)


This may be a Flash security issue that prevents files being run locally, but it would be good to have a look. Are you viewing the .swf file directly or are you viewing the webpage that includes the .swf?

Quote

2. When I choose 3 random questions I get the first three questions instead of a random selection. (IE7 and FF2) (your test3 file does the same in both FF2 and IE7)
I'll check this out - it could perhaps be that the random feature isn't quite working correctly.

Quote

3. When I click on the printer icon, I just get the pop-up message 'Print suggested answer' and no pop-up window to print the answer (IE7 and in FF2. (test3 file works OK in FF2 and IE7)


This sounds a little odd - it could again be because you are running the files locally rather than uploading them. If you can send the files to me I'll take a look. This program is much more complex than the others so it will be good to see. If you are getting an error, as with point 1., this will prevent the pop-up window appearing.

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4. When you finish the test, would it be possible to hve a final page with all the questions and the student's answers?
Indeed true - I haven't implemented that at all yet, but will do my best to do so. :blink:

Quote

5. You were going to consider more than 3 lines at the top of the screen for questions.


Yes, the space for this is a real problem as you've no doubt seen - what I have now enabled is the ability to make the text smaller, plus there is a scroll bar so a longer question can be included and scrolled. I'll see if I can improve this.

Thanks for these points, exactly what I need to help push the program towards the finished release.
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#4

User is offline   Andrew Field Icon

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Posted 30 January 2007 - 09:22 PM

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#5

User is offline   Douglas Bell Icon

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Posted 30 January 2007 - 09:26 PM

Andrew

I uploaded the files that I sent you to my test site and points 1 and 3 from my previous post now work.

Printing worked perfectly in FF2 and IE7 without any error messages and no error messages from FF2.

Great work and thanks for a quick reply.

Douglas
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#6

User is offline   Andrew Field Icon

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Posted 30 January 2007 - 09:27 PM

The error message you encountered (which you've helpfully PM-ed to me) is exactly as I thought. It is the Flash security issue. The is, surprisingly, a 'feature' of the most recent Flash players which prevent a Flash file communicating with a webpage when they are run on your system. This is designed to prevent Flash from being used to cause trouble to the local computer. However, it means that it also gets confusing when you are developing Flash based learning materials.

You can read about how to fix it on the Adobe site:

This could have implications if the application is being used on a local network, but that is something for be to consider how it is best handled. It will certainly be a popular support issue with people using the program to generate their exercise and then pressing 'Preview' to be met with the error message above.

However, when you upload the files to the Internet, they do indeed work:
http://www.contentgenerator.net/practicepa...cessing_pp.html

Thus I think issues 1. and 3. are now at least understood, if not dealt with.

Edit: As you've posted at the same time as me :( :blink:
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#7

User is offline   Richard Smart Icon

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Posted 31 January 2007 - 12:40 AM

The program is excellent Andrew and they loved it at the county professional development today. Expect some hits from Howard County MD.

The program works great when I load the html file. When I loaded the .swf file alone into firefox the question appeared as "undefined". It seems as if it did not load any of the data I typed into the generator... did I miss something? I normally load your programs just as .swf to make them fill the screen.

Regards,

Richard
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#8

User is offline   Andrew Field Icon

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Posted 31 January 2007 - 01:02 AM

View PostRichard Smart, on Jan 31 2007, 12:40 AM, said:

The program is excellent Andrew and they loved it at the county professional development today. Expect some hits from Howard County MD.

The program works great when I load the html file. When I loaded the .swf file alone into firefox the question appeared as "undefined". It seems as if it did not load any of the data I typed into the generator... did I miss something? I normally load your programs just as .swf to make them fill the screen.


Excellent that they have gone down well. :blink:

Practice Paper is a different type of exercise to any of the others. It has been such a complex solution to put together that actually uses three files - the practicepaper.js file (which contains a combination of code that displays the .swf, that allows the .html file to communicate with the .swf and the code that produces the pop-up), the .html file (which contains all the question data) and the .swf file (which is the main file). Just to get a glimpse of what is going on view the source of the .html file and you'll begin to understand the complexity of Practice Paper.

Unlike the other programs you cannot actually use the .swf file on its own. This is literally down to the complexity of the code that is required. When I programmed everything to be inside the .swf file Flash kept crashing. Also due to the deficiencies of Flash printing I was forced to look beyond Flash.

I am delighted with this nearly finished solution, but I'm afraid a limitation of Practice Paper is that it requires the other two files to be present. It simply won't work without them. However, unlike the other games and quizzes I think it will actually be quite unlikely you'll use the application on a whole class basis as it is more for individual revision. If you did want to use it via a projector. the normal size should be sufficient for the needs.

So, sorry not to bring great news on that - but the requirement for the additional files is part of what has caused all the development headaches and delays. To process the poorly formed .html that Flash produces and change it so it displays nearly correctly in a JavaScript pop-up was a very challenging task.

Anyway, thanks for the feedback - much appreciated. I'll also need to add in a user-friendly error message to inform people what is going on if their data doesn't load.
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#9

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Posted 31 January 2007 - 09:41 AM

Andrew

Having had further though last night, would it be possible to change the random questions from 3 to 5. There is not much gap between 1 random and 3 random questions.

On the load-up screen, is the number going to disappear or a statement stating the number of questions in the test going to appear?

Apart from those, everything is working well.
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#10

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Posted 31 January 2007 - 02:27 PM

View PostAndrew Field, on Jan 30 2007, 08:02 PM, said:

I am delighted with this nearly finished solution, but I'm afraid a limitation of Practice Paper is that it requires the other two files to be present. It simply won't work without them. However, unlike the other games and quizzes I think it will actually be quite unlikely you'll use the application on a whole class basis as it is more for individual revision. If you did want to use it via a projector. the normal size should be sufficient for the needs.


Thanks Andrew... you are right. I am already salivating over the possibilities of this program. My supervisor was particularly impressed. Is there any way to get the program to e-mail the text when they have finished like you can from http://www.classtools.net . This would allow me to set these assignments as a homework. I know that they could copy them into an e-mail to send me, but a direct link would be easier for my distractible teens to cope with.

Regards,

Richard
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#11

User is offline   Andrew Field Icon

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Posted 31 January 2007 - 04:52 PM

This request is very similar to the one that Mr Bell mentioned. It will be a popular request. At this stage this isn't something I will implement in the finished activity. The reason is actually quite complex though.

Sending e-mails requires server-side activity i.e. a program (or Flash activity) on its own cannot send it. It has to communicate with a server to technically send the e-mail. My applications, at least in their current state, are not server-side applications. This means you can use them in any way you wish - on your intranet, website or just directly from a PC. To enable e-mails to be sent they would have be uploaded to a server and include additional server side scripting. This scripting would have to be customised for each site it is hosted on to ensure that the e-mail address and scripting is correct.

The example you give of Russel Tarr's excellent site is actually entirely different because everything runs online. Those activities are great, but the text and content generated is in no way as extensive as the Practice Paper application produces. The two exercises aren't really comparable. Yet I do appreciate the concept and the reasons why it would be useful.

What I would be happy to look at in the future is additional customisation for individuals - this would have to cost extra, but would enable this functionality that you desire. Technically I could add this functionality in, but I wouldn't want to have it by default as each customer who purchases the program would need a custom setup.
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#12

User is offline   Tim Laver Icon

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Posted 26 February 2007 - 03:08 PM

Just trying out the beta today, but when I click generate only the html & java files are made the swf file does not appear.
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#13

User is offline   Andrew Field Icon

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Posted 26 February 2007 - 03:50 PM

View PostTim Laver, on Feb 26 2007, 03:08 PM, said:

Just trying out the beta today, but when I click generate only the html & java files are made the swf file does not appear.


There will be a new beta this evening, so I'd suggest trying that. It sounds like your above version hasn't quite installed correctly though. Could you install another of the programs to see if you can replicate this issue?
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User is offline   Tim Laver Icon

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Posted 26 February 2007 - 07:46 PM

my edit this afternoon obviously didn't get clicked.. the same happened with half a min too.

It might be to do with our network CC3, but I do have user access to allow installations on the machine.
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#15

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Posted 27 February 2007 - 02:38 AM

View PostAndrew Field, on Feb 26 2007, 03:50 PM, said:

There will be a new beta this evening, so I'd suggest trying that. It sounds like your above version hasn't quite installed correctly though. Could you install another of the programs to see if you can replicate this issue?


Didn't quite manage the finished one I'm afraid - got stuck with the dynamic timings which I have now solved but I still need fix a couple of other minor issues. I will release this tomorrow evening now.
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