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Rich Media Projects Log

This is an archive of the "Rich Media Projects Log," which was billed as "a behind-the-scenes look at the work that goes into the Rich Media Projects sponsored by the Center for the Advancement of Teaching at Xavier University of Louisiana." These posts run from 29 May 2002 to 17 June 2005 and were written by Bart Everson. Many of the links no longer work and are presented for the sake of historical accuracy. Posts are presented blog-style, in reverse chronological order.

2005-06-17: Today we are completing usability test for Vive.

2005-06-15: A draft version of the Feminist Criticism has been completed.

2005-06-10: Draft versions of the Framing Effects and Gambler's Fallacy demos are now online.

2005-06-10: An experimental combo search form is now available. This enables searching the Issa archive with Japanese, Romaji or English strings at the same time, with a switch to specify AND or OR.

2005-06-02: Completed draft of anchoring demo.

2005-05-25: Added nine more articles to New Orleans Unmasked.

2005-05-23: The haiku-a-day list has surpassed 300 subscribers!

2005-05-16: Upon controlling for outliers and using absolute values (as I discussed with Elliott last week), it turns out the average response times plot for our Shepard-Metzler demo look a lot more like we thought they would.

2005-05-12: Completed a (very) rough draft of the availiability heuristic demo.

2005-04-29: As of today, I believe I'm finished with Xulanexus work for this school year. For the record, I helped four students with paper enhancements, which took about 6-7 hours. ~ The major technical stumbling blocks I encountered:

  • Wrassling with Microsoft Word. This should be avoided at all costs. But what to do with complex tables that have been built in Word?
  • Character encoding/file format problems.
  • Some students weren't really done, so we had to meet a second time to revise and update their paper.

Next time around, I'm going to request all students send me their work via e-mail (or disc) at least a day in advance, so I can fiddle around and see what issues will come to the fore. I'm also going to insist that the work be done — all done — before they come to me.

2005-04-26: Added the remaining articles to the New Orleans Unmasked database.

2005-04-22: Completed a draft of the representativeness heuristic demo.

2005-04-12: Per recent discussions with David, I've added permalinks to the Issa search results. Here's a sample.

2005-04-11: Completed a first draft of the heuristic demo.

2005-04-07: Completed a first draft of the algorithm demo.

2005-04-06: The BibleDudes Blog is now operational.

2005-03-14: The haiku-a-day list has surpassed 250 subscribers!

2005-03-04: Got a major chunk of coding done for the new Unmasked site. There's still a lot to do. ~ My hand hurts. And my arm.

2005-02-28: Implemented the revisions to the stratigraphical layers movie.

2005-02-25: Lately I've been forgetting to post here. I'll try to do better.

2005-02-25: Finsished a rough draft of the stratigraphical layers movie. Met with Michael to review the work and discuss improvements. Drew up a big long list. Hope to finish this next week.

2005-02-14: Finally finished (mostly) the XU Readings site.

2005-01-24: The new BibleDudes homepage is up!

2005-01-12: Met with Michael. He put an asterisk beside BibleDudes on my to-do list. ~ Drew Simon of Cyrene.

2005-01-12: Met with Mark Gstohl and discussed plans for completing a forgotten aspect of this project: video interviews with clergy about the liturgy of their church.

2005-01-12: Met with Elliott. Discussed his progress in the writing of Module 10.

2005-01-11: Logged and captured rest of video for mask sequence.

2005-01-06: Logged a good portion of the Clay 5 tape. Flying solo.

2005-01-06: Further work on Unmasked prototype. I'm repurposing some of the code from the Theological Perspective of the Reformation site. We'll see how this goes...

2005-01-05: Got started on a database-driven prototype for the New Orleans Unmasked site.

2005-01-05: Fixed a few residual bugs David spotted. Sloppy coding on my part, only revealed under the new version of PHP.

2005-01-04: Met with MaPo and set up a work schedule for this semester.

2004-12-10: Scanned poems by Henry Taylor, added to transcript.

2004-12-10: Formatting some more bios.

2004-12-09: Scanning some texts by Cowser, Southwick and Moore. Couldn't find Moore's poem "Hot Comb."

2004-12-08: Made a graphic for the new home page, and a client-side image map so that the graphic can launch the pop-up profiles. Still missing two of the requisite ten heads because I'm waiting for my tablet.

2004-12-08: I made some changes to the search engine so that when question marks or double-dashes are used as search terms, it still returns the expected results. (One change: I went back to using LIKE instead of REGEXP in the MySQL query.) My initial investigation into a true Japanese search was not encouraging, but certainly not conclusive.

2004-12-07: MaPo and I watched most of clay tape five and logged it. We discussed idea of making the mask segment the first one to be edited.

2004-12-07: Initial formatting of page on form criticism.

2004-12-07: I'm not quite ready to give up on the XU media server, but in speaking with ITC today we agreed to push the deadline back to January 31st. They are little preoccupied with the upcoming Web server migration right now.

2004-12-03: Tested the new clip from home. It doesn't work. In fact, it failed at exactly the same point that the previous, higher bandwidth clip failed.

2004-12-03: Poring over feedback from the streaming server support list. Trying to make sense of it all... ~ Later: I ended up compiling the feedback and my other notes into a message which I sent to Yamlak, Karl and PJ. ~ I've encoded a yet-lower-bandwidth version of the test video and uploaded it to the media server; I'll test it at home tonight.

2004-12-03: Eliminated the bug (previously mentioned) that was causing Romaji searches to fail if no search string was entered.

2004-12-02: Met with Biljana. She dropped off some more materials for scanning and requested an audio file of the Cowser tape.

2004-12-02: Completed first set of profiles (ten in all) except for the images of Eve and Simon of Cyrene, which I'll create when I get the new tablet.

2004-12-02: After unsuccessfully scouring the Web for some solutions to our problems with the QuickTime Streaming Server, I joined the streaming-server-users list at and composed a lengthy message detailing the situation and pleading for insights. ~ I also encoded a progressive download version of the Kamau video and posted it to the CAT web server for testing purposes.

2004-12-01: Working on a prototype for profile pages.

2004-11-30: I'm compiling the results of the recent video testing. So far it looks like six people reported success and nine reported failure. Unfortunately many did not report even the basic information I requested, so I have sent a follow-up e-mail asking these people for more details.

2004-11-30: A little more work getting bios into the new template. Four done. I think that's all there are for now. There are still plenty of creative pieces to convert and a new section of movements to create. I've been debating about whether or not to database this site or not.

2004-11-24: Updated the Kamau video page and sent a message to XNUG asking for people to test the video from off campus.

2004-11-22: My new Mac makes it all the more obvious that I need a new tablet. The old tablet I got five years ago was a very nice Wacom Intuos, but it uses the ADB port, and Macs haven't had ADB ports for years. I got an ADB-to-USB adapter, which worked for OS 9, but Wacom refuses to release a driver for OS X, and my new Mac does not have OS 9 installed by default. True, I could install it, but I really didn't like having to boot into OS 9 just to use the damn tablet. ~ So I have requisitioned a Wacom Graphire3 4x5 USB Tablet.

2004-11-22: Finally got around to finishing the Hebrew alphabet movie. Uploaded and linked to the Bible: Writing page.

2004-11-18: Testing of the media server continues. Karl suggested not using port 80, which apparently solved the problems he was having, but it did not make a difference for me in my off-campus tests.

2004-11-18: Shot video of trimming and making a handle.

2004-11-18: Met with Biljana and developed a to-do list of things I still need from her.

2004-11-18: Corrected an typographical error that pointed people to the wrong verse of the Bible.

2004-11-16: Shot video of MaPo forming shapes on the wheel.

2004-11-16: Adding various content to site, including a number of transcripts. Formatting photos of Cowser's visit.

2004-11-15: David has discovered a bug in the Japanese search:

The Japanese search works fine for romaji keywords, but for some reason it turns up a null result when I search by year, leaving the keyword space blank. If I put in a Japanese word (tsuyu) and select a year (1819), it works fine. But not when the keyword is blank. I'm wondering if this is something you could look at? Since it affects functionality, I'd put it at the top of our list.

2004-11-12: Met with Mark. We reviewed his progress with making a video. Unfortunately, there was no progress to discuss, so it was a short meeting.

2004-11-12: Added some more content to the template, including Marcia Southwick's bio, bibliography, links and transcript.

2004-11-11: Working on an XHTML/CSS template. Vertical centering is hard!

2004-11-10: Met with Michael. We reviewed the new site search feature and the materials which Michael has sent me over the last week. We identified the key thing now is to finish the homepage, including the ten special character pop-ups which will be linked from it.

2004-11-10: Met with David. We reviewed the to-do list. The following items are still outstanding:

  • I will investigate a way to make the center column of the pages extend down all the way to the bottom of the browser, even when the content does not.
  • We noted that a search for double dashes or searches involving question marks do not work properly.
  • I'll explore the possibility of implementing a true Japanese (as opposed to Romaji) search.
  • David has discovered a new quirk: Headings and menu items appear in an enlarged font on the Japanese-encoded pages on the CAT web server when viewed in Internet Explorer. I can't reproduce this in my version of Internet Explorer; it seems to be specific to the infamous Windows XP Service Pack 2.

2004-11-09: MaPo and I watched and logged one video tape — about one hour and twenty minutes worth of footage.

2004-11-08: Added Google site search to BibleDudes home page.

2004-11-05: Shot some follow-up video on removing clay from a mask and slips.

2004-11-05: I've encoded a video at a substantially lower data rate for testing purposes. Hopefully this weekend I'll remember to try it from off campus, since that's where the trouble lies.

2004-11-04: Sorting through the old site files and eight new text documents sent to me by Jim Randels. ~ Upon closer investigation, it seems that four of the "new" documents were already on the site, but the pages were not linked. There seem to be a lot of unlinked pages...

2004-11-04: Shot video of putting clay in a mask. Also, on a whim, we shot a segment on slips.

2004-11-04: Met with Biljana. Today she sent me a bunch of pictures of the Cowser visit, plus the transcript and links for Taylor.

2004-11-03: The haiku-a-day list has hit 200 subscribers!

2004-11-02: Shot video of the making of a plaster mold of a human face. Interesting stuff!

2004-11-01: Completed page of translator's picks with text from David, dynamically generated count of all haiku in archive, and new sort (by season).

2004-10-29: Met with Mark Gstohl. He's having problems capturing video to his laptop — some sort of digital noise or dropout. COuld it be the firewire cable I loaned him last week? Or maybe it's his firewire port? We were unable to check the cable, but Mark will try routing the video through an analog-digital converter to make use of his USB2 port instead.

2004-10-29: I noticed that the photo albums were missing thumbnails for five photographs, so I created them.

2004-10-28: Set the scroll to a fixed width and added a copyright statement.

2004-10-28: Met with Biljana. We finally got Quicktime installed on her laptop and she was able to watch the test video from the web page. Now to try it from off-campus... ~ We decided that if the issues with the streaming server are not resolved by year's end, we will attempt to find an alternate solution. ~ I also digitized the video of Raz, Weigl and Miller.

2004-10-28: Created a translator's picks page. ~ Also, a quick bit of research seems to indicate that the failure of Japanese characters to appear properly in the title bar is a browser limitation, not a problem with our code.

2004-10-28: After a number of attempts, Elliott has sent me the text for Module 9, correctly formatted.

2004-10-27: Met with Mike. We reviewed work on the new homepage and agreed it is moving in the right direction but still needs some work.

  • Site search.
  • E-mail list so visitors can be notified of site updates.
  • The scroll on the home page needs to be a fixed width. Some little icons would be nice too.
  • Michael wants an excalamtion point in the site logo!
  • At some future point we'd like to create a database of characters featured on the site, but for now we'll hand code ten or so. Michael will select them, write up some "baseball card" style inforamtion about them, and I'll create pop-ups. The pop-ups will be linked to their faces on the home page.

2004-10-27: Met with Elliott. The text for Module 9 is all but complete. We decided to go with the water jar demo rather than an alternative which did not seem to illustrate the principle of analogy as well. Elliott will send me the text later today.

2004-10-27: Met with David. Now that the transition to the XHTML/CSS template is complete, we have begun developing a new to-do list:

  • Create a page of "translator's picks" — select haiku that represent the best or most interesting haiku in the archive. David will write an introductory comment; I will write the code.
  • I will investigate a way to make the center column of the pages extend down all the way to the bottom of the browser, even when the content does not.
  • We noted that a search for double dashes or searches involving question marks do not work properly.
  • I'll explore the possibility of implementing a true Japanese (as opposed to Romaji) search.
  • The title bar in Japanese search results displays nonsense characters instead of a proper Japanese title. Not sure if this is a problem with the browser or with our page.

2004-10-26: Working on a new design for the home page.

2004-10-25: We had our first Rich LUnch in a long time. We went around the table and everyone discussed the status of their projects.

2004-10-22: After hours of fooling around with squelch and frequency settings, I finally identified the source of the buzz in the wireless lavalier microphones. ~ It was the mini-to-mini cable. When I swapped it out for a different cable, the buzz went away.

2004-10-20: Met with Elliott. Reviewed his writing for modules nine and ten, which are nearing completion.

2004-10-20: Did some more work on the survey pages; ran afoul of character encoding issues for the Japanese version, so reverted the Japanese pages to original HTML 4.01 template. ~ Met with David. It seems that we have finally gotten everything off the to-do list. The transition to the new XHTML/CSS template is complete! We switched directory names on both webusers and the CAT server. No champagne, but it was still exciting. ~ (As a footnote, I wanted to record that the solution to the aforementioned problem with data from UTF-16 forms not working was solved by adding a accept-charset="UTF-8" attribute to the form element.) ~ We discussed how to flag haiku in the database as part of the "iPod" set that will be shared with iPod users via a third party website. We created a column called ipod which can have two values: "yes" or "no." I wrote a quick script to output all flagged poems in the desired format.

2004-10-20: Created a first draft of a scroll motif for the new home page. ~ Met with Michael. We reviewed the scroll motif and agreed on a number of improvements to be made.

2004-10-19: Videotaped MaPo making intentional mistakes on the wheel and demonstrating how to correct them.

2004-10-19: Moved a few more pages (including the haiku-a-day subscription page) into the XHTML/CSS template.

2004-10-15: Shot about and hour and twenty minutes of footage, mostly of students throwing pots "quickly."

2004-10-15: Hooray — the Holly hack killed the peekaboo bug.

2004-10-14: Updated the Greek Alphabet movie to use the correct audio for the first two letters. Also improved the appearance of the pop-up window.

2004-10-14: Took a first stab at updating the Issa website user survey to use the new XHTML/CSS template; still some bugs to hammer out, but it's mostly done.

2004-10-14: Continued implementing the new template (which uses includes to make updates easier).

2004-10-13: The haiku-a-day list has reached 178 subscribers.

2004-10-13: Met with Mike. We reviewed the new homepage and decided further changes were in order. I also need to add a search feature. We talked about the idea of creating a database of characters and artifacts; I recommended holding off on such work until the current plan has been implemented.

2004-10-13: Met with David. We've knocked three items off our to-do lists, but added two more. ~ The list as it now stands:

  1. Move survey and update to XHTML/CSS template.
  2. Update audio index to XHTML/CSS template. [Update: done.]
  3. Update random haiku to XHTML/CSS template. [Update: done — required splitting the stylesheet so the background image wouldn't show up for the random haiku.]
  4. Figure out why form submissions from UTF-16 pages aren't working.

Actually, there's one more item: David is going to check to see if the Holly hack, which I implemented this morning, actually fixes the disappearing content problem. If it doesn't, then this issue goes back on the list.

2004-10-12: Met with MaPo. I expressed my anxieties concerning the production schedule. MaPo asked me to trust her, and we made a plan to shoot students, one at a time, throwing a pot in one minute's time, this Friday; the idea is to catch as many mistakes on tape as possible. On Tuesday we plan to shoot a segment on mixing clay.

2004-10-12: I think I found the answer to the puzzle of disappearing styles in Japanese pages, noted by David last week. Mozilla is expecting the stylesheet to be in the same encoding as the page itself. We need to explicitly state that this is not the case, using the charset attribute of the link element. ~ So we need to change this: <link rel="Stylesheet" href="issa.css" type="text/css" media="Screen" /> to this: <link rel="Sylesheet" href="issa.css" type="text/css" media="screen" charset="iso-8859-1" />

2004-10-12: Created a rough draft of a new logo for the home page.

2004-10-11: Shot a usability test with a student named Jaime.

2004-10-11: Created an interactive Flash movie for the Greek alphabet with the files Michael sent me last week.

2004-10-08: Met with Mark. He gave his approval of the search feature I added to the site recently. He had not done any work on the video since our last meeting. We discussed the possibility of moving the site on an off-campus webhost. Mark said he'd like to do that, so our plan will be:

  1. Add at least one video to site.
  2. Move to external webhost.
  3. Promote.

Then we'll be done with Phase II.

2004-10-08: Last night, I tried viewing the test video stream from home. QuickTime displayed the first frame of video, and the playhead moved across the progress bar for the proper length of time, but the video did not play, and there was no audio. ~ Biljana is also unable to get the video to play. ~ However, on campus it plays fine for me. ~ I talked to Yamlak today and sent him the test link. He'll look into it.

2004-10-07: Scanned some poetry by E. Ethelbert Miller. Began reconfiguring the site template to use includes. Met with Biljana. She was unable to test the streaming media because the test page used a .png file and she was using a browser that doesn't support that image file foramt, or so it appears. I changed it to a .jpg and she'll try again.

2004-10-06: Met with Mike. We developed a to-do list and agreed to set 1pm Wednesdays as our regular meeting time. For next week, I will work on a new homepage for Bibledudes, and Mike will make a recording of all the letters of the Greek and Hebrew alphabets in individual AIFF sound files.

2004-10-06: Met with Elliott. We discussed the text he's written for the section on problem-solving and decision-making. We also fleshed out ideas for a demo of the representativeness heuristic. For next time Elliott will hammer out the details of this demo.

2004-10-06: Met with David. We developed a to-do list. David will explore the world of Unicode text editors to see if he can find a way to make Japanese pages without resorting to entities or using the old Shift_JIS encoding. I will update the XHTML/CSS version of the audio index, move the survey into the new template, and try to implement the Holly hack.

2004-10-05: Aha! It looks as if the mystery of the diappearing content may be due to the Peekaboo bug. Perhaps it can be fixed with a Holly hack?

2004-10-04: Shot about half an hour of students working on centering, approximately three minutes on each student.

2004-09-30: Met with Biljana. We established Thursdays at 2:45 pm as our regular meeting time this semester. The media server is now accessible off-campus, so Biljana will ask a few people to test a sample video from remote locations.

2004-09-30: David corrected most of the problems in the database, but was unable to locate the last few. ~ There were four character-encoding problems remaining in the comments. These were causing problems when also displaying the original Japanese haiku, becuase the characters were outside the SHIFT_JIS character set. I tracked these problems down and fixed them. They were: encoded entity (sérénité) replaced mysterious dot with "e" (Reste en ce monde) replaced mysterious dot with entity (cliché) replaced curly quotes with straight quotes ~ Note that I have (temporarily?) turned on season colors, Japanese and comments by default for these "singleton" links. This makes validation of a single haiku much easier. ~ I also corrected three comments which were missing quotes for the href attribute of an anchor tag, one comment which had the href quote in the wrong place, three comments which had un-encoded ampersands, and one comment which was missing a semicolon to terminate an entity. ~ I re-validated and got a clean bill of health!

2004-09-29: Updated a bunch of event information for the site. Also added a link to the HIV/AIDS page to the navigation menu.

2004-09-29: Met with Susan. We discussed logistics of setting up usability tests. She will ask students to make an appointment with me. She will also compose a list of a few directed tasks for the tests.

2004-09-29: Met with Elliott, but nothing new to report.

2004-09-29: Met with David. Reviewed updates to the XHTML/CSS template. We discovered that there are still some problematic characters in the Japanese database entries. Also, some comments are not XHTML compliant. David will work to resolve these issues for next week, and see if he can reproduce an outstanding issue with Internet Explorer (the "disappearing content" problem).

2004-09-28: Made a number of changes to the template to correct bugs identified by David. I still can't reproduce his "disappearing first haiku" problem, though. Naturally, it is specific to Internet Explorer.

2004-09-28: Added a search feature using Google's Public Service Search.

2004-09-24: Shot more video of students throwing on the wheel, and another demo by MaPo. Approximately 30 minutes of video. I tried my hand at the wheel too.

2004-09-24: Met with Mark. We agreed that with a little more work, this project's implementation phase could be considered complete. The necessary accomplishments are:

  • search feature
  • web stats
  • post at least one video

2004-09-22: Shot approximately one hour of video, including a demonstration by MaPo on the potter's wheel and student first attempts.

2004-09-22: Met with Elliott, reviewed work on site, brainstormed ideas for algorithm, heuristic and analogy demos.

2004-09-22: Met with David. He has come up with another color scheme for the XHTML/CSS template, still under development. He has also discovered a number of bugs in said template.

2004-09-21: Created pages for "Module 8," including an update of the brain map. I don't have video or audio for the subsections yet.

2004-09-08: Met with Elliott. We decided to keep Wednesdays at 9:30 am as our regular meeting time. For next week, I will work a bit on Module 8, and Elliott will start writing the next module.

2004-09-03: Met with Mark.

2004-09-02: MaPo and I reviewed the test video we shot on Tuesday and critiqued the videography and the narration. We concluded that, at least for some segments, scripting will be necessary. MaPo will write a script for the entire Clay section over the course of the next week. When I get a darft I will work on a storyboard. ~ I concluded that we'll be better off leaving the exposure on automatic. The lav mic appears to be an absolute necessity.

2004-09-01: Met with David to work on a variety of issues connected to the new XHTML/CSS design.

2004-08-31: MaPo and I did a test shoot.

2004-08-27: The haiku-a-day list now has 150 subscribers.

2004-08-27: A little more work on the new layout — fixing what I didn't get to yesterday.

2004-08-26: Met with MaPo to discuss logistics of first shoot, which is scheduled for next Tuesday at 10 AM.

2004-08-26: Fine-tuning new layout, using colors David chose. Colorizing the Issa image to match. Accidentally overwrote the new template; having to recreate it!

2004-08-25: Published final version of design document on website.

2004-08-25: Met with David to review XHTML/CSS redesign.

2004-08-24: Finalized design document details with MaPo.

2004-08-20: Refining XHTML/CSS layout.

2004-08-19: Started developing an XHTML/CSS version of the search results page.

2004-08-18: Met with Mike. Reviewed recent work on the site, discussed possibilities for diversifying the cultural and ethnic profile of the Bible Dudes.

2004-08-18: Created a page about the HIV/AIDS education efforts of KTA.

2004-08-17: Experimenting with WebCalendar.

2004-08-13: Prepared draft design document and e-mailed it to faculty and CAT staff for feedback.

2004-08-11: Met with Debra. She gave me some text and photos for a new HIV/AIDS page for the site. We also discussed the evaluation report and a number of other topics.

2004-08-10: Fixed a problem with the Japanese version of the anthologies. ~ Met with David and discussed plans for improvements to the site, including and/or search options, a true Japanese search, and converting to XHTML/CSS layout.

2004-08-06: Completed draft evaluation report and sent it to Debra for review.

2004-08-05: Did some more work on the evaluation report.

2004-08-05: Created basic navigational interface for stratagraphical layers movie.

2004-08-04: Met with MaPo. We reviewed the flowchart and spent most of our time developing two interface mockups.

2004-08-03: Completed all the necessary copy-and-paste work to get text for the 30 different stratagraphical layers into place.

2004-08-02: Yamlak has rebuilt ther media server and established an account for CAT. I have uploaded a test file and am currently trying to get it to work.

2004-08-02: Met with MaPo. We reviewed some commercial DVD interfaces. In an effort to simplify the structure of this project, we revised the content outline to be "flatter," that is, less hierarchical. MaPo also sketched out some more interface mockup ideas.

2004-07-30: Met with MaPo. We finalized the content outline — I think. We also reviewed the flowchart work I'd done and made some preliminary interface mockups.

2004-07-30: Getting started on evaluation report.

2004-07-28: Created a couple experiential flowcharts for the project.

2004-07-27: Reviewed tape from Saturday's usability test.

2004-07-27: Added captions to the 2002 South Africa Trip Album.

2004-07-26: MaPo and I went over the content outline again. We also looked at rough flowcharts I'd made, and discussed the relative merits of DVD, CD-ROM and Web as delivery platforms.

2004-07-24: A little usability testing: videotaped two students and two parents using the website.

2004-07-23: Second meeting with MaPo. We went over her draft content outline in excruciating detail.

2004-07-23: A little preliminary work on the Flash movie demonstrating stratagraphical layers.

2004-07-22: Completed the series of pages on great archaeological finds!

2004-07-21: First meeting with MaPo.

2004-07-21: Exporting illustrations of archaeological finds from Flash and integrating into Web pages.

2004-07-20: Completed illustrations of archaeological finds.

2004-07-19: Began making illustrations of the archaeological finds in earnest.

2004-07-16: Did preliminary design work on the interactive stratagraphic pop-up, as well as the archaeological finds.

2004-07-15: Spoke with Susan Spillman about her evaluation efforts for Vive. Few surveys have been returned. I recommended videotaping a number of usability tests. We agreed to develop a list of directed tasks for such a test on Monday.

2004-07-15: Created icons and an interactive display for the Fourteen Key Dates in the history of Israel as recorded in the Bible.

2004-07-14: Finished basic layout (with images) for the history and archaeology subsections of "Biblical Studies."

2004-07-13: Converting sketches to cartoons, integrating into Web pages.

2004-07-09: Converting scanned drawings into cartoons.

2004-07-07: Made a number of revisions to the KTA website at Debra Harley's request.

2004-07-02: Formatting the introduction and first two pages of the Biblical Studies section.

2004-07-01: Converting scanned drawings into cartoons.

2004-06-30: The haiku-a-day e-mail list has grown to 132 subscribers.

2004-06-10: I made MP3 audio files from the videos of Thomas, Kamau, Taylor, Moore and Southwick. This included transferring the Thomas video from tape to computer. Then I burned the files to a CD-ROM for Biljana.

2004-06-09: Met with Biljana. She asked me to burn a CD of audio files of the recordings of Kamau, Taylor, Southwick, Moor and Thomas. I shared with her the information, confirmed yesterday, that Yamlak will not be able to configure the firewall to allow global access to the media server until next month, because the university is purchasing a new firewall.

2004-06-08: Corrected a glitch in the search engine that was causing anthologies to fail. I believe this problem was introduced when I fixed the Romaji glitch last week.

2004-06-01: Finished burning stack of CD-ROMs for Susan.

2004-05-31: Scanned images for the first three parts of the section on Biblical Studies.

2004-05-31: David discovered a mysterious glitch in the romaji search which I tracked down and resolved. It seems that the script was constructing a query that used looked for a romaji match for the first term only — and looked for english matches for each subsequent term. Oops. ~ While I was fixing that I also updated the script to query MySQL using REGEXP instead of LIKE. The only difference is that with REGEXP you don't have to use those % wildcards.

2004-05-28: Met with Mike. He gave me all the materials necessary for production of the first three parts of the Biblical Studies section. We discussed these materials in detail.

2004-05-27: I am burning CDs which Susan will send out to more evaluators.

2004-05-27: Did a little work on the game.

2004-05-26: Formatted the Weigl transcript, including poems.

2004-05-25: The haiku-a-day e-mail list has grown to 100 subscribers.

2004-05-25: Scanned poems by Bruce Weigl.

2004-05-24: Revised the Shepard-Metzler demo to use letters instead of shapes.

2004-05-24: The Issa feed is awaiting approval from This means that it has been polled for a while and now meets the requirements to be marked as "syndicated." It will be presented to a reviewer for approval.

2004-05-20: Met with Elliott. We reviewed changes to the Shepard-Metzler demo. We're still not getting the predicted effect, so I am going to try using letters instead of shapes.

2004-05-20: Met with David. We reviewed the implementation of the new XHTML+CSS template for We also discussed plans for creating a new XHTML+CSS template for the Issa site. I will implement it on the search pages first, since those are hosted on the CAT Web server.

2004-05-19: Completed revision of template for Also created a little orange button for linking the Issa RSS feed.

2004-05-18: I revised the Shepard & Metzler demo. It now starts with two practice trials, stores the results in a real database (not just a text file) and the user is able to toggle back and forth between the graph of results and the final explanation. The user also has to click a button to advance from one trial to the next. I delted some shapes that seemed too different from the rest, and I added labels for both axes of the results graph.

2004-05-17: Took a stab at designing a template for and reviewed it with David. We're both pretty happy with it, but there are some problems with Internet Explorer that need to be resolved. ~ Also created a favicon for the Issa site.

2004-05-14: The haiku-a-day e-mail list has grown to 90 subscribers.

2004-05-14: Met with Mark. We reviewed my drawings for the game. He said he wanted the people to be "fatter," but when I pointed out that rampant obesity is a modern American phenomenon, he relented.

2004-05-13: Tweaked the feed to fix a date-related problem. ~ I noticed that the search results page were not displaying Japanese text correctly in Internet Explorer. Upon further investigation, I saw that the page was configured to specify the Macintosh character set when displaying Japanese. This seemed odd to me, since I thought it should be Shift-JIS. I don't recall why we specified Macintosh. So I changed it. The page now appears correctly in Internet Explorer.

2004-05-12: Working on creating some very small bitmapped images of catholics, protestants and anabaptists for the game.

2004-05-12: Constructed an RSS 2.0 feed of the ten most recently translated haiku.

2004-05-11: Met with Biljana. Reviewed work on site and made a few minor revisions. For next time Biljana will continue to work on feedback from attendees. We also discussed plans for allowing visitors to subscribe to an "electronic newsletter." This would work by collecting e-mail addresses with a form; the addresses would be sent to Biljana via e-mail.

2004-05-10: The haiku-a-day e-mail list has grown to 83 subscribers.

2004-05-10: Met with Elliott. We discussed his analysis of the data collected. As I feared, we are not seeing the expected effect. We decided to do three things in order to try to eliminate possible problems.

  1. Users will do two practice trials before the real thing. The practice trials will consist of one match and one no-match.
  2. Shapes which deviate significantly from the general shape profile will be eliminated.
  3. Between trials, users will be required to click a "Next" button. This will ensure that they are actually prepared for the next trial, and it will also return the mouse to a neutral position. This may seem trivial, but we are measuring response times in miliseconds.

2004-05-07: I added two new columns to the haiku table in the site database. They are both timestamp columns. I chose timestamp, even though I don't care much for the idiosyncratic format, because MySQL is designed to automatically set timestamp fields to the present time upon creation of a new record. It will also update the first timestamp column in a table when a record is altered, but the second timestamp is left alone. Thus I've named the first timestamp column "modified" and the second "created." We need record creation dates to implement the syndicated content feed. This seemed like the best way to do it, since David enters data into the database using phpMyAdmin; no need to develop a customized administrative interface for one person.

2004-05-06: Scanned the remaining flyers and formatted them for the Web. Also created a Raz flyer page, a Raz feedback page, and edited Biljana's introductory text and added it to the main index.

2004-05-06: I met with David. We discussed plans to syndicate content from the Issa site with a feed of the ten most recently translated haiku. We talked about revising the Issa site to use XHTML and CSS for layout, instead of the current HTML 4 table-based layout, and possibilities for redesigning as well.

2004-05-05: Scanned a flyer and saved it as a PNG, a GIF and a JPEG. The PNG files seems to give the best balance of quality and filesize, but only if I save it with Fireworks. Photoshop's PNG implementation is all messed up and makes the file 16K bigger than a GIF.

2004-05-05: Met with Mark. We reviewed work on the game. The basic functionality is there; the next step is the "window dressing," making the components look like people instead of little gray balls.

2004-05-04: More game programming.

2004-05-04: I did some more image processing and HTML editing on the prototype. Then I met with Biljana. We reviewed work on the site and drew up a list of things that I still need, including feedback and historical background. Biljana gave me a packet of flyers to scan.

2004-05-03: Met with Elliott. We reviewed the data from the Shepard-Metzler trials. Elliott will crunch the numbers to see if we are getting the expected effect or not. ~ I'd been concerned that since we are not using three-dimensional objects, as Shepard and Metzler did, that we might not get the same effect. However, I found an article which suggests that the effect should still exist even with two-dimensional objects.

2004-04-30: A little more programming on the game.

2004-04-29: The haiku-a-day e-mail list has grown to 70 subscribers.

2004-04-29: More programming on the game. Also met with Mark to review the work so far.

2004-04-28: Making a bunch of improvements, revision, corrections and additions to the Raz test suite. ~ Still waiting on Yamlak to make the media server globally accessible before off-campus testing of video streams can begin.

2004-04-28: A little more work on the game. ~ Game programming is hard!

2004-04-27: I sent an e-mail to Jim Randels and Kalaamu ya Salaam offering to help continue development of the New Orleans Unmasked project.

2004-04-27: A draft version of the Shepard-Metzler demo is on-line. I think it still needs some work. For one thing, it does not seem to yield the results that we expected; that is, I'm not seeing a correlation between response times and increased rotation. Perhaps I've become too familiar with the exercise and the library of shapes to be a normal subject. ~ I've set the demo up to capture data to a text file, so I'll send the URL around and we'll see.

2004-04-26: Did some more development on the Shepard-Metzler demo. ~ Met with Elliott and reviewed progress. He clarified a few things:

  • Only need ten shapes — not 48. In fact, it is better to pare it down to a limited set of shapes that look very similar.
  • Results should be displayed as a table or graph.
  • Rotation differences (for matches) should be evenly distributed.

Work on the demo continues.

2004-04-23: Created shapes and did initial programming for Shepard-Metzler demo.

2004-04-22: Met with Mark Gstohl. We discussed an idea for a "Reformation Quote of the Day" e-mail list, similar to the Haiku-A-Day e-mail list. Mark's primary interest in such a list would seem to be a desire to gauge how many people find the site useful. Mark indicated that implementation of the list should be given the lowest priority.

2004-04-21: Worked with Yamlak to resolve some technical difficulties and confusion. Created a better streaming test page and sent the link out to some people in the Web planning group for testing.

2004-04-20: I designed several prototype pages using the Raz biography, photos and transcript. I also met with Biljana and reviewed the designs.

2004-04-19: The haiku-a-day e-mail list has grown to 60 subscribers.

2004-04-16: I scanned two poems and converted the text of the Raz transcript. There are some weird encoding issues here but nothing critical.

2004-04-16: Added a link to the quizzes from the advanced resources menu. Also added a link from the movement pages.

2004-04-15: Yamlak and I met for a while and tried to puzzle out what's going on with QTSS Publisher. But we could not figure it out! It's HTML-generating feature seems to be all screwed up. Grumble.

2004-04-15: Because I was sorting the whole array of quiz items, the answers were being sorted too, and this was scrambling things badly. I fixed the problem (I think) by sorting only the array of ID numbers. ~ I did some work on a very crude prototype for the game that Mark and I have talked about. ~ Later, I met with Mark and we reviewed work on the quizzes. Mark gave me a list of labels to apply to users based on their quiz scores, which I have since implemented. We also reviewed the game prototype and brainstormed ideas for further development.

2004-04-14: Met with Elliott. He's almost completed the text for the "General Knowledge" section, and will e-mail it to me when it is complete.

2004-04-14: I have updated the quizzes so that:

  1. Quizzes display a maximum of fifteen questions.
  2. Questions are chosen randomly but ordered according to ID number.
  3. Upon submission of the user's answers, said answers are compared to the proper questions in the proper order.

It was this last item that was the most tricky and (obviously) important. I solved the puzzle by putting the ID numbers for all selected questions into a comma separated string and passed that string via a hidden form input field. Upon submission, this string is used to re-query the database to get the right questions. In order to make the randomly-selected questions appear in the same order each time, I sort the array in which they are stored, which orders them by ID number.

2004-04-13: Met with Biljana. I demonstrated the streaming video for her. She has made some progress with transcripts and the like and will send me proofed electronic versions soon. She also left some books from which I will scan excerpts. We identified Raz as the writer which will be "fleshed out" first.

2004-04-12: Updated search results to display the range of years for the translation copyright automatically. That is, since translations date from 2000 to the present year, the page now displays 2000-04, but next year it will display 2000-05.

2004-04-12: I'm learning how to use the QTSS Publisher tool. I've successfully uploaded a test file to the new media server.

2004-04-07: Met with Mark. We reviewed the quiz feature and re-ordered our priority list for future work on the site. The new order is:

  1. Quizzes
  2. Game
  3. Web Stats
  4. Search

Mark also indicated that he would like a maximum of 15 questions displayed for each quiz, in randomized order.

2004-04-07: Met with Elliott and reviewed recent additions to the site.

2004-04-06: The new media server is up and running at last! Yamlak dropped off the software I'll need to load media onto the server. Turns out I need to be running Mac OS 10.3 so I'm upgrading my system now...

2004-04-06: I met with Todd and reviewed progress on all the Rich Media projects.

2004-04-05: I redesigned the Thinker icon to use the "generic human profile" that appears in many of the demos, rather than Rodin's statue.

2004-04-02: Added ten new objects to the method of loci demo. ~ Created an illustration for the imagery index.

2004-04-01: While tabulating more survey results, I noticed a lot of complaints about the program not giving feedback on the correct answer in certain sections. ~ Upon further investigation, I discovered a problem which I'd thought was eradicated. Certain text elements aren't showing up in the Windows version of the program — although these same elements are visible on the the Mac version. Apparently the "ink" for these elements has to be set to "matte" rather than "copy" in order to be visible on both platforms. This strikes me as entirely incorrect, but I corrected the problem and burned a new master.

2004-04-01: Completed scoring and feedback for the quizzes.

2004-03-31: Fixed a number of formatting problems, most of which involved Internet Explorer's inability to correctly interpret Cascading Style Sheets.

2004-03-31: Completed a first draft of the mood-congruence demo. ~ Met with Elliott Hammer. He submitted text for the next section (Imagery) and we discussed plans for shooting video for the eyewitness testimony demos. We also reviewed the changes to the method of loci demo. ~ I've also completed a first draft of the mood-dependent memory demo.n

2004-03-30: Updated the audio index to include the a credit to the poets who did the readings. Also fiddled with the layout, which had used tables for each haiku listing; now it uses CSS and div tags. We're getting close to valid HTML! CSS has come a long way since we launched this site. We're probably due for a revamp.

2004-03-30: Started work on the mood-congruent memory demo.

2004-03-29: I have tallied the results of the last two student surveys. The most notable result, at first glance, is that many students disliked the interactive cladogram.

2004-03-26: Took the next step toward implementing the quiz feature, namely, displaying the questions. (It is not actually a functioning quiz yet, but at least it's something to look at.)

2004-03-26: Added two new features to the Issa site. You can now browse single haiku or view the most recently added translations.

2004-03-25: Met with Mark Schlueter. I gave him the tallied results from our first student survey; I will have the next two rounds of surveys tallied, hopefully by a work-study student. I also gave him the raw pre-test/post-test data. We discussed ideas for the article we plan to write. Mark took the remaining CDs and will mail one with a copy of the design document to McGraw-Hill, since they've expressed an interest in the project.

2004-03-25: Met with Mark Gstohl. We discussed several major new features to be added to the site. In order of priority, they are:

  1. Quizzes
  2. Game
  3. Search
  4. Web Stats

We also noted that I need to add autoformatting to a number of different places around the site.

2004-03-25: Added ten new objects to the method of loci demo.

2004-03-25: Added an auto-incrementing field to the haiku table in the database. This will allow us to sort records by the order they were added, so that we can view the last ten haiku added to the archive, or the first ten, or the 3,059th.

2004-03-24: Added furniture to map of house in method of loci demo.

2004-03-23: The haiku-a-day e-mail list has grown to 51 subscribers.

2004-03-23: Added ten new objects to the method of loci demo.

2004-03-22: Modified the method of loci demo so that the map remains on the screen during the memory test.

2004-03-19: Met with Elliott Hammer. We reviewed the method of loci demo and discussed ways to improve it (add furniture to rooms, maintain map on screen during memory test, add more objects). We also discussed the next demos slated for implementation.

2004-03-19: Created a table for quizzes.

2004-03-18: I updated the style sheet to make most of the text slightly bigger than it was. I also added some padding to the featured picture captions so they don't appear to be "falling off the screen." We'd previously constrained such images to be no more than 250 pixels wide; I added a further constraint that they be at least that tall. And finally, I added a bit of space between categories in lists of people. ~ Met with Mark Gstohl (and his son). We reviewed the changes made and further discussed game and quiz ideas.

2004-03-18: Completed a draft version of the method of loci demo. There are currently 19 objects in the bank, from which ten are retrieved at random for any given trial. Clearly there would need to be a lot more to avoid seeing the same objects on repeated trials. ~ I wonder if the whole demo would be enhanced by asking the user to type in the items they remember on a per room basis — one text box for the living room, one for the kitchen, and so forth.

2004-03-17: I've gotten a good start on the demo for the method of loci. This is the most complex demo yet, I think, and it's requiring me to bone up on my ActionScript.

2004-03-16: Met with Mark Gstohl. I convinced him that it was not redundant to list certain items on both the the home page and the advanced resources page. We discussed student feedback on the site and ideas for a "Cage the Anabaptist" game.

2004-03-16: I got the username and password from the previous KTA webmaster, and after a bit of fiddling, I figured out how to access the old Tripod site. I've replaced the old homepage with a new page directing people to the new site. (I tried to set up an automatic redirect using a meta tag but Tripod adds some JavaScript that breaks this.) I also deleted all the other files on the site, but only after downloading them to my hard drive. Now that I look at them more closely, I think there's probably some good material here that I could use for the new site.

2004-03-16: Designed a number of prototype pages for the Readings site. Reviewed them with Biljana D. Obradovic. We developed a rather lengthy assignment list for her, of things I'll need to complete the site.

2004-03-15: Mark reported that the TPR site was not visible in Internet Explorer. I've just confirmed it; all I get is blank pages in IE 6 for Windows and IE 5.2 for Mac. ~ Further investigation reveal the culprit to be the script tag I added Friday:

<script type="text/javascript" language="JavaScript" charset="iso-8859-1" src="/tpr/glossary.php" />

Take this tag out and the pages are visible. Put it back in and they vanish, in Internet Explorer. ~ Weird. My first thought was that there was something funky in my JavaScript, but that's apparently not the case. IE seems to be choking on the script tag itself. I tried removing all the attributes:

<script />

I also tried changing it to old-school HTML 4 syntax:


Even that is enough to cause the page to disappear. ~ Checked my XHTML syntax. Yes, it's valid. So what on earth is going on? ~ Aha! Apparently IE needs a closing script tag (even though it shouldn't be necessary in XHTML) like this:


So, problem solved, with minimal hair-pulling and gnashing of teeth. ~ Did I mention that I hate Internet Explorer?

2004-03-15: Exported several Quicktime movies of Marcia Southwick with a number of different parameters for test purposes.

2004-03-12: Met with Elliott Hammer. We reviewed the revisions and additions of the last week. We decided that, in the first-letter demo, the "Every Good Boy Does Fine" example should be changed to "ROY G. BIV." We also agreed that when possible, word-memorization demos should tell the user which words they remembered correctly. We discussed plans for the next demo to be implemented, method of loci. ~ After Elliott left, I updated the first-letter and encoding-specificity demos as per our discussion.

2004-03-12: I modified the advanced resources menu to display arbitrary texts from a table in the database. I also added blank entries to the arbitrary table with the proper keywords so that Mark can easily enter texts for this menu. ~ I also realized that I'd never implemented the glossary feature that we planned, even though I created a table for it in the database back in January. So I created a glossary function using JavaScript alert boxes to display the definitions.

2004-03-11: The haiku-a-day e-mail list has grown to 43 subscribers.

2004-03-11: Met with Mark Gstohl. We reviewed recent additions to the site. I will set up a series of arbitrary key words for the advanced resources page so that Mark can add descriptive text for the items there on the advanced resources page. Mark will begin the process of setting up interviews with local clergy so we can videotape them for the liturgical section of the site.

2004-03-11: Met with Biljana Obradovic. We completed our review of the collected electronic media assets. For next week I will work to prepare video and audio clips of the first three authors (Weigl, Miller, Raz) and Biljana will get poems and links to me for these authors. She will also contact them to establish copyright permissions.

2004-03-11: Created a Web page for a story that ran in the Times-Picayune last November. ~ I have officially moved this project to Phase III (Testing) and asked Todd to complete the necessary paperwork for the completion of Phase II.

2004-03-10: I processed the images I scanned yesterday, creating mid-size version and thumbnails, and created an Web album.

2004-03-10: Created a chunking demo. Elliott was going to write new text for this, but the text he already gave me seems to work pretty well.

2004-03-09: Scanned photo album from 2002 trip to South Africa.

2004-03-09: I revised the demo for the ironic effects of thought control to have a bigger scrolling text box. I also tightened up the scripting that detects when the user presses the spacebar, so that the movie responds only to that key, and only during the part of the demo where it should. ~ I also revised the demo for encoding specificity to use a (hopefully) more legible font.

2004-03-08: I revised the demo of the first-letter technique according to the plan I devised with Elliott Hammer last week. But now I wonder if we haven't inverted the principle we were trying to demonstrate.

2004-03-08: Created an advanced resources page. Updated the index of years to allow timerange views via the same kind of pop-up menu interface used for timeline comparisons.

2004-03-05: Met with Elliott Hammer. We reviewed recent work on the site and developed a list of changes to be made:

  • The first-letter technique demo will be revamped. First a six-letter word will be chosen from the word list for use as an acronym. Then six more words will be selected, one starting with each letter, and the user will attempt to memorize this list using the acronym as a mnemonic.
  • The font for the final trial in the encoding specificity demo will be changed to improve legibility.
  • The text box in the demo for the ironic effects of thought control will be enlarged.
  • The chunking demo will use sixteen digits which can be grouped into four easily recognizable years. The user's memory will not be tested. Elliott will write new text for this demo.
  • Elliott clarified that the demo for the method of loci requires literal representation of objects.

2004-03-04: Todd just pointed out to me that the old KTA site is still available via Obviously this could create confusion, so I've contacted Debra Harley about it.

2004-03-04: The haiku-a-day e-mail list has grown to 30 subscribers.

2004-03-04: Met with Mark Gstohl. We agreed that the main features of the site are in place and that all major bugs seem to have been ironed out. Now it is mostly a matter of adding content and improving the usability of the site. To this end, we decided to create a secondhome page for expert users, while maintaining the current home page as a starting point for novice users. ~ I'll create a simple expert page at the next opportunity; Mark will supply introductory text for both home pages.

2004-03-04: Final day of the ITZ evaluation with Mark Schlueter's class. Only 28 students showed up, but at first glance their scores seem to have improved substantially from the pre-test. They all completed anonymous surveys as well. ~ I experimented a bit with creating a disk image of the ITZ project, which would allow people to download and burn their own CD.

2004-03-03: Revisited the survey for Mark Schlueter's class and made copies for tomorrow.

2004-03-03: After a bit of searching I found a source for a better word list, from an English-as-second-language site. It's better because it doesn't have strange variants or archaic, obscure words. I removed words that were too short or too long, and ended up with a list of over 1,500 words that seem pretty good.

2004-03-02: Day two of the ITZ evaluation with Mark Schlueter's class. Today the students were encouraged just to "play around" and explore the program.

2004-03-01: Updated calendar. Added commentary from Debra Harley to South African parcel album.

2004-02-27: Created first-letter technique demo. Made a few scripting improvements to all demos that use word lists.

2004-02-26: Updated layout so that featured images (in events, factors, people and movement pages) are always displayed in extreme upper left corner. Modified script for people pages so that, if there is no description, an excerpt of a work by that person is displayed instead. (See, for example, Philipp Melanchthon.)

2004-02-26: Revised the ironic effects of thought control demo to utilize a scroll bar for reading the extended text. It also now counts the number of spacebar presses the user makes and gives differentiated feedback.

2004-02-25: Re-scripted the encoding specificity demo to pull words from an external file. Actually I wrote a PHP script that pulls an arbitrary number of random, unique words from a large text file; the Flash movie gets the words from the PHP script. This will allow us to have a large bank of words for memory tests. By using an external file, we're able to use the same bank in many different tests, and if we need to make changes to the bank, we don't need to alter the tests themselves. ~ I also updated the serial position effect demo to use the word bank. I should note that this word bank is definitely not the one we will ultimately use; it's just something I pulled off the Web to work with, but it has too many weird words in it. Elliott Hammer is working on a better list.

2004-02-19: Met with Mark Gstohl. We reviewed recent changes and drew up a new list of work to be done on the site, including:

  • Images should always be displayed in extreme upper left corner.
  • Mark had put the texts of some works in the people "description" field. I said this does violence to the careful semantic distinctions which we've constructed, and he agreed to move them to the works table.
  • I will modify the script for the people pages so that if no description is found, an excerpt from an arbitrarily designated work will be displayed, with a link to the full work.
  • To this end, we will need to add a column to the works table allowing such arbitrary designations. (And we did so.)
  • Mark will write a welcome text for the home page.

Mark also requested a software program for generating citations; he will send me a link.

2004-02-19: Conducted first part of evaluation with Mark Schlueter's class. Whew! It was taxing, no pun intended. We ran into one technical glitch: None of the students seated at Windows machines were able to login. They were getting a "security log is full" error which said only administrators could log in. Since it was early (no other staff in yet) and time was short, I had little choice but to give the students my username and password. This worked, and we were able to proceed with the evaluation. We collected pre-test scores from all 34 students in attendance. I was running around with a clipboard like a madman. A good aerobic workout to start the day!

2004-02-17: Thanks to the diligent efforts of Virginia Franklin in ITC, the mail-sending function of PHP scripts on the Center's Web server are working again. This means, among other things, that the haiku-a-day e-mail list should be working again, after a brief interruption in service.

2004-02-17: Scheduled the Teaching Lab for Thursday morning's session with Mark Schlueter's students. Janice is configuring the Macs in the lab to have permission to run the ITZ program from the CD.

2004-02-17: Revised demo of Baddeley's model (working memory).

2004-02-16: Extended visual stimulus sequence at beinning of long-term memory demo.

2004-02-16: Burning of CDs continues, thanks to the work-study efforts of Abril.

2004-02-13: Burned one master CD and began burning copies for upcoming evaluation.

2004-02-13: Adjusted layout of events pages.

2004-02-06: Met with Michael Homan. He brought me up to date on the work he's been doing and plans to do, and promised to have more content for me by Ash Wednesday.

2004-02-06: Made some improvements to the site:

  • Better layout for movement pages. This entailed a bit of CSS experimentation. The current design now uses the float: property for both the column on the right and the image on the left. (I had been using absolute positioning for the column.) The page heading and body text are enclosed in a div tag with left and right margins set to clear the column and image. The table of links is below this and will expand to the left or right (or both) if there's room, which varies depending on the the relative height of the image, the column and the body text.
  • Linked the home page to the page of student work on Mark's personal site.
  • Randomized image display for people and movement pages, also filtering to avoid images wider than 250 pixels.
  • Divided list of popes on popes page into two columns.
  • Created thumbnails of all images, and reconfigured album pages to display thumbnails with link to full-sized images.

2004-02-06: Fixed a problem with the display of feedback in the serial position effect demo. ~ Put new words into encoding specificity demo and changed to a better, bigger font for second trial. Fixed parsing of input: duplicate entries do not produce inflated scores and results are consistent whether the user separates words with carriage returns or spaces.

2004-02-05: Met with Mark Gstohl. We reviewed recent changes to the site, and decided to try a few more changes with the layout of the movements pages. We fixed a problem in the hymns table of the database that was causing the year of authorship to be stored incorrectly. We also compiled a list of improvements to be made to the site:

  • Add a link from the home page to the page of student work on Mark's personal site.
  • Randomize image display for people, movement and other pages that diplay images.
  • Create thumbnails for use in albums.
  • Divide list of popes on popes page into two columns.

2004-02-05: Met with Elliott Hammer. He sent some text for use in various parts of the site. We spent some time searching the Web for word lists that we could use in the various memory tests, but didn't have much luck. We did find some exhaustive lists that contain way too many obscure words (aahing aaliis aarrgh abacas) but perhaps these could be used as raw sources. I sent Elliott a link for reference; he will try to create a refined list of one thousand words. ~ We also reviewed recent work on the site and made a list of needed improvements.

2004-02-05: Met with Biljana Obradovic. We continued our review of accumulated digital media, sorting through images of Lenard Moore and Lorenzo Thomas.

2004-02-05: Made a number of changes to the program in preparation for burning 50 CDs for distribution to students:

  • Brief instructional message on how to use the interactive cladogram.
  • Change of color to highlight term and definition in glossary.
  • Mute button to turn off sound.
  • Improved navigation for image gallery.

2004-02-05: I modularized the various schedules on the site, so that they all use the same code behind the scenes, and I created custom header images for each of them so that they look nice. ~ I also deleted all "html" and "php" filename extensions from internal links. Our webhost is configured so that we don't need them, and this allows greater flexibility: What's HTML today may be PHP tomorrow, or who knows what. Now, if we change the extension of a file, the link still works, because it doesn't use the extension.

2004-02-04: I've moved this weblog from to the Center's own Web server. It was a bit tricky extracting all the posts from the the Blogger format and getting them into this new system, but I think it was worth the trouble. ~ The new system is WordPress and it has a number of features that Blogger lacked (or at least the free version of Blogger that I was using). For example, each entry is tagged by category, so you can use the links to the right in order to just see the log of activity on a single project.

2004-02-04: I'm experimenting with new layouts for the movement pages. These pages have lots of links on them, which we were displaying in table columns. The problem is that sometimes there are a lot more links in one category than another. This is particularly evident with the list of people for the Catholic Reformation. ~ So I'm trying a new approach, putting all the people in a CSS column off to the right. I'm still not satisfied with this layout, but I think it's moving in the right direction.

2004-02-02: Completed encoding specificity demo.

2004-02-02: Added text from David Lanoue to haiku e-mail list page. We're live! Sign up at

2004-01-30: Implemented page for subscribing and unsubscribing from a daily haiku e-mail list.

2004-01-30: Implemented display of content from hymns table, with links from appropriate people and movement pages. Implemented popes page, listing all popes in chronological order by reign.

2004-01-29: Finished enhancement of year pages, enabling display of ranges between two years. Linked to these pages from papal reign field in people pages.

2004-01-29: Burned CD of project that is OS 9 compatible.

2004-01-28: Revised demo of Baddeley's model. Created draft of long-term memory demo. Began work on revision of serial position effect and encoding specificity demos.

2004-01-28: Met with Mark Schlueter, discussed plans for transition from Phase II (implementation) to Phase III (evaluation).

2004-01-28: Created new table for hymns and lookup table to link hymns with people. Began work on enhancing year pages.

2004-01-27: Met with Mark Gstohl and developed a list of six improvements to be made to the site. I fixed a problem with converting asterisks to italic formatting. Also fixed a problem with non-ASCII characters messing up our automatically-generated URLs.

2004-01-27: supplied a PHP tag to turn error reporting on, allowing me to debug the administrative interface. Added more events to database, and created a new event category to facilitate the display of board meeting dates on the board schedule page. Completed Ghana 2003 album, including new features for captions and high-resolution versions. Completed South African Parcel album.

2004-01-26: Tried to work on administrative interface but PHP error reporting seems to be turned off, which make debugging difficult to say the least. Opened a support ticket with on the matter. I also added some events to the database, some explanatory text to the Benin tapestries, and a PDF of the new recruitment form. Processed 15 images from recent trip to Ghana in preparation for creating Web photo album.

2004-01-26: Implemented album views for factors page.

2004-01-22: Transferred video of four authors from Digital 8 and MiniDV to computer. Met with Biljana Obradovic and reviewed scanned photos, some video clips and some digital photos.

2004-01-22: Met with Elliott Hammer. Reviewed demos for Stroop effect, ironic effects of thought control, Baddeley's model, biology of working memory, serial position effect, long-term memory and encoding specificity.

2004-01-21: Scanned, cropped and color-corrected photographs of visiting authors.

2004-01-21: Added support for automatically listing immediate subsections in any given section of the site. Completed draft illustrating Baddeley's model. Revised serial position effect demo. Began work on encoding specificity demo.

2004-01-20: Implemented display of papal category for chronologies and switched 28 records over to this new designation. Implemented display of categorical divisions in index of people. Created a new function to convert asterisks to italics and do other text formatting in a number of places around the site. Got rid of movement headings of factors index (since they're all in the same movement). Implemented display of relevant events on movements pages. Updated "About This Site" page with new and improved text from Mark Gstohl.

2004-01-20: Completed draft of serial position effect demo and brain map for working memory section. Began work on demo of Baddeley's model.

2004-01-16: Began work on serial position effect demo.

2004-01-15: Streamlined Stroop effect demo. Began work on ironic effects of thought control demo.

2004-01-15: Met with Mark Gstohl. We discussed recent changes to the site and developed a list of seven improvements to be made.

2004-01-15: Met with Biljana Obradovic. We sorted through photographs of recent visiting writers and selected the best ones to be scanned. She also gave me a CD-ROM full of image and video files.

2004-01-14: Fixed problem with mail contact form. Divided display of people in a given movement into categories. Implemented display of ancillary data for popes. Improved display of names of people on links pages. Implemented rough display of annotated bibliographies.

2004-01-09: Created lookup tables for linking bibliographic entries to people, events and works. Created copyright notice page and linked it from the bottom of all pages on the site. Created a crude "about this site" page. Installed links to Mark Gstohl's homepage. Created tables for glossary and ancillary information for popes. Added a category column to people table. Created mail contact form.

2004-01-08: Met with Mark Gstohl and discussed list of seven improvements and additions to the site. As a first step toward implementing these, I created a bibliography table in the database.

2004-01-05: Completed Stroop Effect demo. View it here:

2003-12-19: This blog will be on hiatus while I make the trek to Indiana for the holidays.

2003-12-19: Refinements to divided attention demo. Began work on Stroop effect demo.

2003-12-19: Modified display of comparative theologies so that topics are columns rather than rows.

2003-12-18: Wrote the scripts to display comparative theologies.

2003-12-18: Uploading files to new webhost and reconfiguring scripts accordingly. is now live!

2003-12-18: Met with Elliott Hammer; reviewed divided attention demo. Elliott will get list of words to me soon.

2003-12-17: Met with Michael Homan. We initiated a two-year hosting contract with

2003-12-17: Met with Mark Gstohl. Discussed ideas for a Jeapordy-style interactive game; tabled for now. Created new table for theological perspectives of various people or works of the reformation.

2003-12-16: Fine-tuning the new website. Everything seems to be working now. It's at

2003-12-16: Completed divided attention demo.

2003-12-15: Continuing work on divided attention demo.

2003-12-12: Met with Michael Homan. We created a map graphic, completing the "Bible" section. We discussed plans for the next section, "Biblical Studies," including an interactive archeology map of sorts (not sure exactly what to call it).

2003-12-12: Met with Mark Gstohl. Implemented "Women of the Reformation" feature.

2003-12-12: Continuing work on divided attention demo.

2003-12-11: Refined viewer-centered perception demo. Contined work on divided attention demo. Updated change blindness demo with text from Elliott Hammer. Met with Elliott to discuss progress on the site. We decided to go with a time limit of approximately ten seconds for the divided attention demo.

2003-12-10: Synchronizing files on new webhost with files on my Mac.

2003-12-09: Registered

2003-12-09: Implemented aliasing function to display names of reformation movements with greater flexibility. ("Pre- Reformation" now appears as "Reformation Happens" thoughout the site.)

2003-12-08: Uploaded files to new webhost.

2003-12-08: Implemented the scripting necessary to display images for events.

2003-12-06: Implemented the scripting necessary to display factors and to link factors to appropriate movements. Created a lookup table linking events to images.

2003-12-04: Met with Elliott Hammer. We reviewed updates to a few demos and discussed the next section, for which Elliott has completed the text.

2003-12-04: Met with Debra Harley. We discussed her trip to Ghana and transferred photos from the digital camera to her laptop.

2003-12-04: Created a critiques table, and a lookup table linking this to people. Refined the display of events to sort in proper chronological order. Reworked the display of movements across the site to list the "Pre-Reformation" first.

2003-12-03: Updated change blindness demo to iterate through four cycles rather than five. Finished inferotemporal cortex portion of brain map.

2003-12-03: Met with Mark Gstohl. We reviewed recent changes to the site, and he helped refresh my memory about the critiques table, which will be implemented next. Mark also requested a bibliography table but asked that we hold off until January for that. We discussed the need to tweak the style sheet for more legible display of long texts. We made plans for adding the "pre-reformation" as a fifth movement (of sorts). We also agreed to implement a factors table.

2003-12-03: I asked Michelle Falgoust (our Administrative Assistant) to pursue the matter of getting Globat added to the Xavier database of vendors, in anticipation of requistioning webhosting services from them.

2003-12-03: I asked Michelle Falgoust (our Administrative Assistant) to pursue the matter of getting Globat added to the Xavier database of vendors, in anticipation of requistioning webhosting services from them.

2003-12-02: Created a table for detailed explanations of events and a script to display these explanations; installed links to these explanations from the various timeline views (standard, comparative, and yearly). Created a basic home page.

2003-12-01: Pictures and descriptions now appear on the movement pages. Created a table for links and a script to display them.

2003-11-25: Added a form to enable comparison of any given person's timeline to any other person's timeline, or any movement's timeline to any other movement's timeline. Met with Mark Gstohl. We discussed the changes and came up with a list of improvements, which include the addition of database tables for links, critiques and events.

2003-11-24: Oops. Looks like I made a mistake editing the crontab. Instead of sending one e-mail at the given hour of the day, it sent one e-mail every minute of that hour. I've fixed it now, I think.

2003-11-24: Completed integration of scripts: years and comparative timelines.

2003-11-21: Created table in database to store e-mails. Modified script to send haiku messages to e-mail addresses from database. It will also send a report e-mail to me upon completion of job stating how many addresses were successfully messaged. After further testing I set it to mail but once a day so that we arent't drowning in haiku over the weekend.

2003-11-21: Continuing integration of scripts. Completed index mode for movements, integrated timelines (including exhaustive option) and integrated albums (not sure if exhaustive option is appropriate here). Just need to do years and comparative timelines and the integration will be complete.

2003-11-20: Yamlak Tsega helped me with my cron issues and we seem to have resolved them. I modified the script to pull a random haiku from the database and e-mail it to me and David (at off-campus accounts) once an hour, just to see if it works reliably.

2003-11-20: Yamlak Tsega helped me with my cron issues and we seem to have resolved them. I modified the script to pull a random haiku from the database and e-mail it to me and David (at off-campus accounts) once an hour, just to see if it works reliably.

2003-11-20: Conducted part two of usability test which began Tuesday. A cursory glance at the data seems to indicate the program is a screaming success, but with some room for improvement.

2003-11-20: Began integration of scripts. Established a base class and merged five separate stylesheets into one. Reworked scripts for movements and works to use base class.

2003-11-19: Linked photo album to people and movement pages. Met with Mark Gstohl. We agreed that a virtual file system (that is, a site which is dynamically generated in its entirety and which does not have real files for each web page served) would better meet the needs of the project at this time. I will work to implement such a system, and a list of other tasks, while Mark will continue research, writing, and stuffing the database until it bursts.

2003-11-19: Investigation of the nonfunctioning crontab job continues. I've brought Yamlak Tsega in on the case.

2003-11-19: Completed change blindness and viewer-centered demos. Created an "under construction" page for undeveloped sections of the site. Met with Elliott Hammer. We discussed revions that will be necessary to both of the aforementioned demos. Elliott will soon be sending me text for the next section and for the change blindness demo.

2003-11-18: Implemented crude photo album feature.

2003-11-18: Conducted part one of usability test with 22 students. Part two will take place Thursday.

2003-11-18: Completed Benin tapestry album.

2003-11-17: Met with David Lanoue and planned new feature that will send subscribers a random haiku once a day via e-mail. Experimented with crontab on our Web server, but it doesn't seem to be working.

2003-11-17: Formatted images of Benin tapestries for on-line album.

2003-11-17: Added a number of features and improvements.

2003-11-17: Added a number of features and improvements.

2003-11-16: Installed latest version of phpMyAdmin, which will allow for easier management of lookup tables (a concern which came up in our meeting on Friday). Linked works pages with associated people. Linked year pages to associated people and movements. Created movement pages that index associated works and people and link to relevant timelines and links pages. Created a bunch of people pages for the new entries Mark has added to the people table.

2003-11-14: Met with Mark Gstohl. We discussed the workings of the database, and we made plans to improve navigation throughout the site, create photo albums and movement pages. We also discussed the possibility of creating a critiques table and of relating the images table to both the works and timelines tables. We decided not to pursue the locations table for now. For next week, I will implement the above-mentioned ideas, and Mark will concentrate on adding data to the database.

2003-11-14: Burning more CDs for the usability test...

2003-11-14: A little more progress on the change blindness demo...

2003-11-13: Met with Mark Gstohl. We discussed a number of ideas for the site, including a universal timeline comparison page and a database table to store information about images. I emphasized the importance of breadth over depth at this point in the development process. We agreed to meet again in two days. I spent the rest of the day working on the project: I created tables in the database for images and works, as well as lookup tables to relate the people table to both of these, and I wrote scripts to display this content. I even got around to the universal timeline camparsion page!

2003-11-13: Burning CDs for next week's usability test.

2003-11-12: Finished resolving a number of bugs that had crept into the program; burnt a new CD.

2003-11-12: Fiddling with stylesheets so that the site will be accessible in older browsers.

2003-11-11: Fiddling with stylesheets so that the site will be accessible in older browsers.

2003-11-11: Burning cross-platform CD-ROM. Resolving miscellaneous issues and, in the process, creating new ones!

2003-11-07: Created preliminary demo for change blindness. Met with Elliott Hammer and reviewed animations for attention, divided attention, brain map and change blindness. Elliott submitted the text for the section on memory.

2003-11-07: Created navigation and improved formatting for introductory section.

2003-11-06: Roughed out the basic content of the introductory section of the program, using the text that Mark Schlueter sent me months ago. Met with Mark and we reviewed the plan for testing the CD with his students, including the revised version of the survey which he formulated.

2003-11-05: Working on brain map illustration.

2003-11-05: Photographed banners from Benin.

2003-11-04: Completed animation for attention; getting started on the divided attention task.

2003-11-03: Implemented a new feature to display information from the people table in the database.

2003-11-03: Created an ear icon to signify that audio content is available; configured the search results to display this icon as a link when appropriate. Created a simple index of all haiku with audio, which is at

2003-11-03: Created a thumbs-up symbol (for use in a chart) and a timeline depicting the canonization of the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament.

2003-11-01: Implemented almost all of the changes that we identified yesterday!

2003-10-31: Met with Michael Homan and went over the "Bible" section in painstaking detail. We made many desgn decision which I shall implement next week. We also found an electronic KJV bible on-line (a Project Gutenberg e-text) and I modified so that it can be used as a source for the "Biblical Lot" game. (Did you know there are 31,102 bible verses? There are in this version, at least.)

2003-10-31: Met with Elliott Hammer. We reviewed the new animations and discussed the design of the next one I'll be working on. He will brought information for the brain map; we found a Darwin text for the demonstration of ironic effects of thought control. Elliott has taken some pictures for the demo of change blindness but plans to take some more; he is almost finished writing the next section.

2003-10-31: Did research and experimentation to find a standards-compliant method for including audio files in Web pages. Met with David Lanoue and discussed design goals and parameters for incorporating audio elements nto website. David has created some fifty or so audio files from the tapes he made in Japan, each file being one of Issa's haiku read by a Japanese native. I uploaded these files to our Web server, tinkered with the search engine to make it detect the presence of appropriate audio files, and created apage to display haiku with audio.

2003-10-30: Updated the Mac launchers. Ran into a weird problem creating an OS 9 version of the projector: I kept getting a "Problem Writing File" error which seemed to be related to some of the Xtras the movie uses. I seem to have circumvented this by creating the OS 9 projector using Director 8.5 instead of Director MX. ~ I also changed the font used throughout the interface to Arial Rounded MT Bold, which seems to display better than B Vag Rounded Bold, which we had been using. ~ Also implemented a true "quit" function so that the Exit button really works. ~ I burned a new CD (Mac only) and gave it to Mark Schlueter when we met this afternoon. We developed a plan to test the program with students on November 18th and 20th.

2003-10-30: Added more illustrations to the "Bible" section, and resized some existing images which were messing up the layout for users with 800x600 resolution.

2003-10-29: Met with Mark Gstohl. We did some troubleshooting and fixed a number of issues relating to display and formatting of the timelines. I gave Mark some new button graphics to work with and coached him on editing his stylesheet in Dreamweaver. We implemented a new version of the timeline which simply displays all events from the database. I urged Mark to add some data to the new people table.

2003-10-29: Added some more illustrations to the "Bible" section.

2003-10-28: Transferred another hour of footage from tape to computer for Carmen Rogers to edit.

2003-10-28: Created animations for the demos of feature-analysis and recognition-by-components. Tweaked the style sheet to improve contextual navigation.

2003-10-27: Met with Elliott Hammer. We reviewed the animations and discussed the navigation. He will send me information for the brain map and text for the demonstration of ironic effects of thought control. He will also take pictures for the demo of change blindness and start writing the next section.

2003-10-27: Created and deployed a few "under construction" pages for the undeveloped sections so that users don't run into broken links. Added some more images that I'd overlooked on the last update.

2003-10-27: A little miscellaneous fine-tuning here and there.

2003-10-24: Did a bit of graphics work on the image that will be used as a banner for the site. Implemented the comparative timeline feature.

2003-10-24: Created an animation for perception, companion to the one for sensation, and also for template matching.

2003-10-23: Fine-tuned navigation, adding a drill-down and correcting bugs. Created first animation (besides the test animation on the home page), illustrating the concept of sensation.

2003-10-22: Met with mark Gstohl. He requested a comparative timeline view, which I will attempt to prepare for next week.

2003-10-22: I am componentizing the prototype, which will speed development and deployment of new content. This includes modelling the site's structure in XML, as we did in BibleDudes.

2003-10-21: The ubiquitous glossary is now fully functional, although a bit crude in terms of how it presents the definitions (using a system alert box).

2003-10-20: Hacking Lingo for the ubiquitous glossary. Getting closer!

2003-10-20: Extended timeline pages to link to a year-by-year view. Created a people table in database.

2003-10-20: Designed a new geographic-themed look using elements of a map.

2003-10-17: Tutored David Lanoue on how to edit audio in GoldWave, which we downloaded and installed on his machine.

2003-10-17: Met with Elliott Hammer. He has sent the text for the section on Perceptual Processes to me and I did a quick and crude dump of some of that text into a prototype page. There are some navigational issues that I will work on next week; he will take pictures for the demo of change blindness.

2003-10-17: Exporting images from Flash, processing in Fireworks, and integrating into Web pages....

2003-10-16: Further research on how to implement the glossary system. Director's hyperlink function, comined with PRegEx, may do the trick.

2003-10-15: Researching the PRegEx Director Xtra, which I believe may provide the necessary functionality for the ubiquitous glossary system.

2003-10-15: Met with Mark Gstohl. We sketched out plans for extending the timelines to include a year-by-year feature.

2003-10-14: Finished tracing in Flash for "Bible" section.

2003-10-13: Tracing illustrations in Flash...

2003-10-13: The second Rich Media Lunch of the semester featured Susan Spillman's "Vive la Louisiane" and a bottle of Smoking Loon.

2003-10-10: Transferred the audio from three tapes made by David Lanoue on his recent expedition to Japan (from DAT to PC to Mac).

2003-10-10: Met with Elliott Hammer. He has completed a first draft of text for the section on Perceptual Processes. He will refine it, add special instructions (for me) and send it to me electronically. He also borrowed a digital camera to take some pictures for use in the demo of change blindness.

2003-10-09: Met with Mark Gstohl. Demonstrated new file-based system for timelines. He will attempt to work with these in Dreamweaver. We reviewed the specs for a "people" database table, which I will implement soon.

2003-10-09: Completed conversion of glossary to XML format. Refined glossary functions and took a stab at implementing a ubiquitous glossary functionality (click a word anywhere and get the definition).

2003-10-08: Revisited the glossary feature and implemented a columnar layout for the list of terms. It looks better but is not dynamically generated (yet).

2003-10-08: Messed around with printing CD labels — the PDF which I made on Monday consistently prints off-center. When I finally got my Mac set up to print, and tried printing directly from the Illustrator file, I broke the printer. Oops! (Actually it's just a paper jam, but I can't figure out how to fix it.)

2003-10-08: Laid the foundation for a file-based system for displaying different timeline Web pages, with an emphasis on making it easy for Mark Gstohl to create and manipulate timeline pages. Experimented with some DHTML trickery to hide and reveal content within timelines, but this ran afoul of browser differences in handling hidden and revealed table rows.

2003-10-07: Got the audio tapes from David Lanoue and finally figured out a good way to transfer the audio to the computer.

2003-10-07: Completed basic layout for "Bible" section.

2003-10-07: Carmen Rogers took stock and evaluated the video clips she's trimmed up over the last few weeks.

2003-10-06: Working on illustrations and layout for "Bible" section.

2003-10-06: Created PDF of CD label.

2003-10-03: Implemented new photo album (2003 Meet and Greet). Now I need to figure out how to link this into the site...

2003-10-03: Fine-tuned the stylesheet.

2003-10-03: Fine-tuned the stylesheet. Created a test animation for the home page, so the user can readily determine whether or not he or she has the Flash Player. Met with Elliott Hammer. We discussed prototype and draft of text for section on Perceptual Processes which Elliott has partially completed.

2003-10-02: Met with Mark Schlueter, discussed prototype of glossary. For next time: Aim to improve presentation of word list (columnar?) and definitions, and start thinking about how to implement program-wide access to glossary words.

2003-10-02: Designed prototype for Thinker homepage.

2003-10-01: Met with Mark Gstohl. I showed him the prototype and it seemed to meet his needs. We expanded the number of people the timelines table references. We discussed further database tables that might be necessary for representing people, locations, works, images and possibly events. Mark will continue to enter data into the timelines table and further mull over the data we'll need in the people table. I will modularize the timelines display to a form that will be convenient for Mark in the Web authoring process.

2003-09-30: Initial work on implementing glossary feature.

2003-09-30: Carmen Rogers finished trimming the first batch of video clips and has begun the process of winnowing the clips down to the very best examples. We reviewed the design document and discussed the pros and cons or varying from the planned design, but reached no definitive conclusion. I shared the prototype Web page with Carmen, and we didscussed the possibility of a geographical/global graphic theme.

2003-09-29: Delivered 60 CD-ROMs to Susan Spillman. Special thanks to Kerry, our work-study student, for burning all those disks.

2003-09-29: Created very rough prototype to display timeline content.

2003-09-25: Burnt a Windows-only CD for Mark Schlueter to show to his department chair. [Follow-up: must have done something wrong, because Mark reported back to me that it doesn't work.]

2003-09-24: Established new MySQL database for project. Created table for timelines. Created MySQL user account for Mark Gstohl. Met with Mark and showed him how to use Web interface to MySQL. His assignment: populate table with some real data. My assignment: write prototype scripts to draw information from table and display as HTML. We discussed possibility of a table for related images.

2003-09-23: Met with Elliott Hammer. We established a regular time for weekly meetings (Fridays, 1:30) and discussed progress Elliott has made on writing for the second module (which will be the first to be implemented).

2003-09-23: Experimenting with different methods of transferring audio from PCM-M1 (DAT recorder) to computer. Researching hardware and software that may facilitate this.

2003-09-23: Carmen Rogers edited more video clips while I designed a prototype Web page.

2003-09-22: Received text and images for Section One from Michael Homan; seems to be some variance from structure proposed in design document, so I queried him for clarification. He got back to me right quick and I've done a little image editing and coding for the section.

2003-09-22: David Lanoue and I experimented with microphone and DAT recorder.

2003-09-20: Met Jade, Chelsi and Ryan, high school students in the KTA program from Warren Easton, Ben Franklin and McMain. We learned to scan photographs and do a little image editing in Photoshop; then we scanned a pack of photographs of a KTA event from earlier this year. We burned CDs of the photos for the students to work with, and I'll use the images to build a photo album for the website.

2003-09-19: Researched Web implementations of the "random Bible verse" idea. Found the following examples:

2003-09-19: Met with David Lanoue. We discussed a number of topics, including the creation of a daily random haiku e-mail list, the addition of audio elements to the website, syndicated content and a few miscellaneous content improvements. I will attempt to summarize the outcomes of our discussion on some of these topics: Audio: David will take the CAT DAT recorder and microphone to Japan when he attends a conference there later this month, and he will record native Japanese speakers reading selected haiku by Issa for inclusion on the website. To that end we will do some testing with the equipment next week. E-mail List: The idea is that you sign up for the list and get a haiku every day via e-mail, sleected at random from the Issa archive. We want to keep the e-mails extremely short so that people could get them as text messages on phones and other handheld devices, which seem to have a limit of 100 characters. It's a natural idea, so it's no surprise that someone else is already doing something like this. But of course this would be unique in that it would be focused on Kobayashi Issa. We'll need to implement a system for subscribing and confirming subscription and unsubscribing. A crontab job should be able to trigger the daily mailing. We decided there would be no point in archiving the haiku sent to the list, since they'll all be coming from an archive anyhow. Syndication: The random haiku idea also lends itself to syndication, so I will do research on RSS, find out how it's done, and report back to David.

2003-09-18: Met with Michael Homan. We agreed that a regular meeting schedule was not necessary for this project, since we have developed a good production rhythm. He's gotten text for the "About the Bible" section back from Jeff and will send it on to me once Therese draws the illustrations. We also discussed a new feature to be deployed in this section, which will enable the user to view a random Bible verse; I'm puzzling over the best way to do this. Mike's still not happy with the home page, so we agreed to think about it further.

2003-09-18: I gave Carmen Rogers some further iMovie coaching, then turned her loose and let her trim clips on her own. We established Tuesdays at 11 am as the only workable regular timeslot for future meetings.

2003-09-17: Met with Mark Gstohl. We set up a weekly meeting schedule. He showed me some development work he's done in PowerPoint. We discussed possibilities for presentation of slideshows and timelines. The project seems to be looking more like a database-driven website than a CD-ROM. I said I would develop some prototype content-management features for Mark to examine when next we meet.

2003-09-16: The first Rich Media Lunch of the semester was a smashing success! David Lanoue presented his work on the Haiku of Kobayashi Issa website, which illustrated the possibilities of such projects and serves as a good model; he also got some ideas for future development. I plugged this blog as well as MERLOT and took care of some basic administrivia.

2003-09-16: Met with Mark Schlueter. Showed him changes I've made to the interface (mostly the addition of sound) and we planned a regular meeting time for the rest of the semester.

2003-09-16: I have contacted all participating faculty and either me with them, established a regular meeting, or am waiting to hear back. If you are a participating faculty member and I haven't contacted you, please let me know!

2003-09-11: Met with Biljana Obradovich and discussed next steps in implementation process.

2003-09-11: CD-ROM burning continues. I'm thankful that we have a work-study student to do this.

2003-09-10: Minor tweaking.

2003-09-10: Carmen Rogers and I reviewed the design document for the project; the basic spirit and structure seems to remain the same, but I asked her to consider making this a website rather than a CD-ROM. I then gave her a crash course on trimming video clips in iMovie. Since I've already imported most of the her first videotape, she will be ready to trim and sort through clips when she comes in next Tuesday.

2003-09-10: Burned final cross-platform version of Vive 1.0 CD-ROM. Now the mass duplication can begin.

2003-09-09: Updated Rich Media Projects page on CAT website.

2003-09-09: Converted design document from Word to PDF, appended flowchart and mockups, added to CAT website.

2003-09-09: Burning one more attempt at a good master CD for Vive. The last one failed because I mistakenly misnamed the CD itself. Hopefully this will be the final version.

2003-09-09: Attempting to run-down a very annoying bug in Internet Explorer 6 that is causing large portions of text to be completely invisible. It appears to have something to do with the margin property...

2003-09-05: Researching multiple CD burners. They are looking to be prohibitively expensive.

2003-09-04: Working on a ReadMe file for the CD.

2003-09-04: I think I've uncovered the source of the video file problem. It seems that the QuickTime movies in question had "dependencies," which is to say they shared data with other files, and when they couldn't find those files, errors popped up. I'm still not sure exactly why these error showed up only on some systems and not on others, but at least I've figured out how to fix it; I simply need to resave the problematic movies and make them self-contained. I also renamed many of the movies according to a more logical scheme. ~ I also figured out the font problem. It seems that when we first created this movie in Mac OS 9, using Director 8.5, we had no problem embedding a PostScript Type1 font. But now that we're using Director MX (in Mac OS X) it won't let us do that. Seems that it only lets you embed TrueType or the new .dfont format. I was able to solve this problem by a rather circuitous route: I downloaded a shareware program that converts Mac fonts to Windows fonts, converted the font, opened the Director movie on my Windows machine and embedded the font there. ~ I also discovered (and fixed) a bug that caused the interface to display improperly if the user clicks "Quitter" but then changes his or her mind and clicks "Continuer."

2003-09-04: Experimented with including images in the Flash interface prototype.

2003-09-03: Met with Mark Gstohl to review deployment of text in Flash interface prototype. We discussed the question of how photographs would be integrated; no clear answers in sight.

2003-09-03: Hmmm. As I tried to track down the video file problem I mentioned yesterday, I uncovered a font problem that I hadn't anticpated. I seem to be sinking ever deeper in a quagmire of mysterious technical difficulties. Help!

2003-09-02: Troubleshooting cross-platform CD-ROM. Seems some video files are giving an error message on some Macs, but not on Windows. Bizarre, since the whole thing was made on a Mac.

2003-09-02: Created FTP dropbox for sharing digital photos. Experimented with putting text content into Flash interface prototype.

2003-08-27: Working out a meeting schedule for the semester.

2003-08-27: Fine-tuning navigation.

2003-08-27: Experimenting with DivX video format.

2003-08-26: Adding audio to the program.

2003-08-25: Scouring the Web for sound samples.

2003-08-25: Fine-tuning homepage — redesigned graphic, created rollovers for stone tablet headings, etc.

2003-08-21: Consulted with Michael Homan, decided to abandon idea of Flash-driven homepage. Experimenting with plain vanilla HTML homepage.

2003-08-20: Fine tuning cross-platform CD-ROM. A few minor adjustments and improvements were in order.

2003-08-20: Added final image to "Credits" page. Revised logo. Experimented with a Flash-driven homepage.

2003-08-20: Added content to "current sponsors" page.

2003-08-19: Wrote guestbook application. Added links to home page from photo album. Added ubiquitous link menu at the top of every page. (It was already at the bottom of every page).

2003-08-18: Fine-tuning spamproof e-mail form.

2003-08-15: Wrote the basic framework for a spamproof e-mail form. This should be highly reusable, meaning that the same basic code can be deployed in other projects.

2003-08-14: Fine-tuned search engine.

2003-08-14: Drew new characters for "About BibleDudes" section. This section is now almost complete.

2003-08-13: Made improvements to a variety of search features.

2003-08-13: Completed initial formatting for "About BibleDudes" section.

2003-08-12: Met with Debra Harley. We picked a webhost and went over how to sign up. We also reviewed the prototype site and planned for a production workshop with KTA students in September.

2003-08-11: Created cross-platform CD. (Yes, my copy of Director for Windows finally arrived!)

2003-08-08: Researched webhosts.

2003-08-08: Optimized Quicktime movies.

2003-08-04: Created PDF of completed design document; added to website.

2003-08-04: Added more information to prototype site.

2003-08-01: Reviewed Biljana D. Obradovic's final draft of design document; revised flowchart and template.

2003-08-01: Added Japanese anthology pages to website.

2003-07-31: Met with Mike Homan and created the requisite maps for the Apocrypha section.

2003-07-31: Met with Mark Gstohl and reviewed photographs from Europe. He took 1,500! We developed a plan of action for moving forward with the project. His first step will be to review the content outline and revise as necessary, then he will work on getting text and images to me for the section on the Radical Reformation.

2003-07-30: Tracked down an elusive error that was preventing a JavaScript popup window from functioning correctly in Internet Explorer.

2003-07-30: Added more information to prototype site.

2003-07-29: Whew! I can't believe it, but I think I really am finally done with the Apocrypha section, or at least a first version. I finished the imaging and layout and even completed a little on-line poll for the Prayer of Manasseh.

2003-07-28: I spent all day today exporting GIFs from Flash, processing them in Fireworks, and laying out pages. A am almost finished with the Apocrypha section.

2003-07-25: Met with Mark Schlueter to formulate a plan for using the ITZ CD-ROM in his class this fall. This entails a bit more development — a few rough spots need to be smoothed out, and we want to add sound to the program. But we need the Windows version of Director, which I requisitioned some time ago, so that we can make a cross-platform CD-ROM. We will need to burn 25-40 copies of the program by early September.

2003-07-25: Experimented with the idea of using much smaller character images. This would make for faster-loading pages and give us a lot more options for page layout. But, ultimately, we decided the high impact of larger images is worth the trade-off.

2003-07-24: Yesterday I met with Mike Homan; we reviewed the drawings I've recently completed, with particular attention to colors. (I don't always know what colors are historically and culturally appropriate.) Today I'm finishing up the drawings for the Apocrypha section in Flash.

2003-07-24: Adopted a new convention for image filenames which will be more efficient and less confusing. I had to change a bunch of existing file names, which was a pain, but it's better to deal with this now when there are 200 hundred image files than later when there are 2,000! I also exported a lot of images from Flash, processed them in Fireworks, and fine-tuned the layout for a number of pages in the Apocrypha section.

2003-07-22: More drawing, of course. I have completed almost all of the characters for the Apocrypha.

2003-07-22: Met with Elliott Hammer to discuss his design document revisions.

2003-07-22: Met with Debra Harley to discuss implementation of the website.

2003-07-18: Yet more drawing. There's a lot to do! I'm doing all of the drawing in Flash.

2003-07-17: More drawing, drawing, drawing.

2003-07-16: Drawing, drawing, drawing.

2003-07-14: More illustrations.

2003-07-14: Added more content to site.

2003-07-11: We put the finishing touches on the Vive CD, and officially moved the project on to phase II.

2003-07-09: Continuing to iron some bugs out of the site navigation script. Put all the text for the Apocrypha section into the correct files. Slowly adding illustrations.

2003-07-08: Today I'm converting the BibleDudes prototype to a file-based system, and building new pages. Right now I'm working on the introductory Apocrypha page. You can check the progress at

2003-07-07: I added some basic informational texts (sent to me by Ms. Harley over the last two weeks) to the prototype site, which can be viewed at Also added a PDF application form. There are still a number of broken links on the site, so be careful!

2003-07-07: Dr. Spillman and I added the générique (credits) to the program, and with a few lines of Lingo we were able to get them to scroll smoothly.

2003-07-02: I thought it might be interesting to use a Web log to document and record the work being done on the various Rich Media Projects that are currently in progress.

2003-05-28: Created table in database for upcoming events.

2003-05-27: Created PHP search scripts.

2003-05-20: Consultation with David Lanoue regarding moving haiku to a real database (MySQL).

2003-05-19: Interactive cladogram.

2003-05-13: XML site structure, parsing script, new header graphics.

2003-04-30: Image fixes. Began work on Module V (Who am I?).

2003-04-29: Hassling with requisitions and reservations for ED-MEDIA 2003.

2003-04-28: Script cleaning, further work on Module IV (practice quiz).

2003-04-25: Screenshots of Issa, KTA for ED-MEDIA 2003.

2003-04-25: Processed feedback, gave to Biljana Obradovic.

2003-04-24: Processed feedback, began discussion.

2003-04-23: Exported Ghana 2000 video for Web, created video page.

2003-04-22: Added images.

2003-04-21: Revised production schedule.

2003-04-15: Rough presentation (in Flash) for ED-MEDIA 2003.

2003-04-15: Read through design document.

2003-04-14: Module IV: practice quiz.

2003-04-11: Finished read-through of design document.

2003-04-10: Added question-tracking and various other improvements.

2003-04-09: Implemented new organization scheme. Revised flowchart.

2003-04-08: Captured video clips from "France 1" tape.

2003-04-07: More work on interface in Flash 5.

2003-04-04: Made preliminary notes for presentation at ED-MEDIA 2003. Submitted travel request.

2003-04-03: Created more mockups. Read through design document.

2003-04-02: Boosted audio on all video clips.

2003-04-01: New font, revised flowchart, rearranged interface elements, revised schedule.

2003-03-31: Sketches of Jeff, Mike, Methuselah. Revised schedule.

2003-03-31: Built prototype interface in Flash 5.

2002-11-21: Mellon interim report.

2002-11-20: Mellon interim report.

2002-11-19: Consulted with Susan Spillman regarding status of project and things to do.

2002-11-15: Video editing session #2.

2002-11-13: Consulted with Carmen Rogers.

2002-11-12: Production: random haiku enhancement, new Flash search.

2002-11-09: Video editing session #1.

2002-11-07: Group meeting.

2002-11-05: Preparing design documents for TLTR, and delivering them.

2002-11-04: Preparing design documents for TLTR.

2002-10-31: Coding.

2002-10-30: Meeting with Debra Harley.

2002-10-30: Coding.

2002-10-29: Final meeting for design document.

2002-10-29: E-mail to TLTR.

2002-10-29: Coding.

2002-10-28: Meeting with Kathryn Barrett-Gaines.

2002-10-28: Coding.

2002-10-24: Proofing exercises.

2002-10-24: Meeting: evaluation plan.

2002-10-23: New images, coding.

2002-10-21: Non-meeting.

2002-10-17: Production: proofing exercises.

2002-10-17: Ninth meeting with Mark Gstohl: media inventory.

2002-10-17: Eleventh meeting with Michael Homan: Jericho storyboard.

2002-10-17: Coding. Learning about XML.

2002-10-16: Nothin' but the code.

2002-10-15: Tenth meeting with Michael Homan: evaluation plan.

2002-10-15: Coding.

2002-10-14: Trained Katuria Norwood (work-study student) on how to cut and paste exercises. Production: exercises.

2002-10-14: Third meeting with Kathryn Barrett-Gaines.

2002-10-14: Eighth meeting with Mark Gstohl.

2002-10-11: Flowchart.

2002-10-11: Flowchart.

2002-10-10: Seventh meeting with Mark Gstohl.

2002-10-10: Second meeting with Kathryn Barrett-Gaines.

2002-10-10: Ninth meeting with Michael Homan: implementation and evaluation plans.

2002-10-09: Image processing.

2002-10-08: Group meeting: progress check.

2002-10-08: Eighth meeting with Michael Homan: implementation plan.

2002-10-04: Production: exercises.

2002-10-02: Screens, code.

2002-10-01: Seventh meeting with Michael Homan: media inventory.

2002-10-01: Production: exercises.

2002-09-30: Sixth meeting with Mark Gstohl.

2002-09-30: First real meeting with Kathryn Barrett-Gaines.

2002-09-30: Consulted with Susan Spillman regarding format for exercises.

2002-09-27: Photos from CD.

2002-09-24: Sixth meeting with Michael Homan: mockups. More work on flowcharts.

2002-09-24: Scans, photos from CD.

2002-09-23: Working on flowcharts.

2002-09-23: Met with Mark Schlueter. We discussed question banks.

2002-09-23: Fifth meeting with Mark Gstohl.

2002-09-20: Working on flowchart.

2002-09-20: Scannng, screens.

2002-09-20: October 1st RFP.

2002-09-19: Second meeting.

2002-09-19: Screens.

2002-09-19: Progress check with Carmen Rogers.

2002-09-19: Improvements based on Phase III report.

2002-09-19: Fifth meeting with Michael Homan: flowchart.

2002-09-18: Scanning photos.

2002-09-18: Fourth meeting with Mark Gstohl.

2002-09-18: Critiqued executive summary.

2002-09-17: Production: image gallery.

2002-09-17: Fourth meeting with Michael Homan: content outline.

2002-09-17: First real meeting!

2002-09-16: Third meeting with Mark Gstohl.

2002-09-16: Getting started in Director with basic screens.

2002-09-13: Production: picture gallery.

2002-09-13: Prepared portion of interim report to Mellon Foundation regarding Rich Media Projects: process; projects and products; lessons learned; things to come.

2002-09-12: Third meeting with Michael Homan.

2002-09-12: Production.

2002-09-12: Met with Mark Schlueter.

2002-09-11: Second meeting with Mark Gstohl.

2002-09-11: Production: exercises. Kicking it up a notch!

2002-09-10: Toured Xavier archives.

2002-09-10: Second meeting with Michael Homan.

2002-09-10: Production: exercises.

2002-09-09: First meeting with Mark Gstohl.

2002-09-05: Production: generic multiple choice exercise.

2002-09-05: First meeting with Michael Homan.

2002-09-04: Met with Debra Harley and Elizabeth Rhodes. Scheduled implementation plan.

2002-09-03: Futzing with Corel Photo CD.

2002-09-03: First group meeting of semester.

2002-08-30: Consulted with Mark Schlueter regarding Phase II.

2002-08-29: Consulted with Todd and Gayna regarding budget decisions. Set up individual meeting schedule with funded faculty for Fall semester.

2002-08-28: Scheduled group meeting series for Fall semester. Updated Rich Media Projects page on CAT website.

2002-08-27: Consulted with Todd and Gayna regarding design document reviews. Communicated results to participants. Also: Helped MaPo log video; advised her to pursue Rich Media Projects support for her work.

2002-08-26: Consulted with Todd regarding literature/design documents. Formatted design document reviews.

2002-08-21: Exercises.

2002-08-14: SoundEdit, exercises.

2002-08-13: Final Phase III consultation with David Lanoue.

2002-08-12: Read David Lanoue's Phase III report.

2002-08-07: Production. Exercises, at last.

2002-08-06: Met with David Lanoue. Worked on Japanese survey, added menu items to site.

2002-08-05: Japanese survey.

2002-08-02: Preparing design document evaluation form.

2002-08-01: Production.

2002-08-01: Formatting design document.

2002-08-01: Formatting design document.

2002-08-01: Completed personnel action forms for faculty stipends.

2002-07-31: Formatting design document.

2002-07-31: Formatting design document.

2002-07-31: Final group meeting of summer.

2002-07-31: Chasing down an elusive Japanese text-encoding problem. Updating Japanese forms.

2002-07-30: Met with David Lanoue. Worked on pre/post quiz stats.

2002-07-29: Interface mockups, flowchart, design document review.

2002-07-26: Mockups.

2002-07-26: Final Phase I meeting with Mark Schlueter. Revised design document.

2002-07-25: Mockups.

2002-07-24: Production, editing transcripts, general fix-ups.

2002-07-24: Flowchart.

2002-07-23: Met with David Lanoue. We reviewed video footage from usability test.

2002-07-23: CD burning nightmare!

2002-07-18: Production, video capture.

2002-07-18: Drawing nautilus mascot, modifying mockups. Consultation with Mark Schlueter.

2002-07-17: Production, recapturing video.

2002-07-17: Group meeting for all Rich Media faculty.

2002-07-16: Consultation with Mark Schlueter.

2002-07-15: Consultation with Debra Harley.

2002-07-11: Scanning the question mark.

2002-07-11: Consult with Mark Schlueter.

2002-07-10: Research character encoding.

2002-07-10: Created flowchart and interface mockups.

2002-07-08: Met with Mark Schlueter. Note to self: Must get on flowchart and mockups.

2002-07-08: Letter to approved proposals and chairs.

2002-07-05: Still can't figure out character encoding!

2002-07-05: Evaluating evaluations.

2002-07-03: Met with Mark Schlueter.

2002-07-01: Video post-production (actually for oral history conference)

2002-06-28: Development and video capture.

2002-06-26: Spoke to SAC teacher workshop at McDonough #35.

2002-06-26: Met with Debra Harley and Elizabeth Rhodes to discuss design document.

2002-06-26: Created Japanese pages for on-line survey.

2002-06-25: Production.

2002-06-24: Purchased and installed fonts.

2002-06-24: Conducted first two usability tests.

2002-06-22: Assisted production session.

2002-06-21: Met with David Lanoue.

2002-06-21: Development.

2002-06-20: Development.

2002-06-20: Developed methodology for usability test.

2002-06-19: Met with Vera Walker.

2002-06-19: Met with Elizaberth Rhodes and Shane Bruno

2002-06-19: Met with David Lanoue.

2002-06-06: Second meeting with Vera Walker.

2002-06-06: Met with Jim Randels.

2002-06-06: Met with David Lanoue. We discussed on-line survey, results page and quiz tables in database. I set David up with a MySQL account so he can access the "issa" database. I also did a little fine-tuning on the survey.

2002-06-05: Revised design document guidelines on CAT website.

2002-06-05: Initial summer 2002 group meeting.

2002-06-05: Initial meeting with Vera Walker.

2002-06-04: Finished on-line survey.

2002-06-04: Established summer meeting schedule for Rich Media group.

2002-06-03: Refined results page and tweaked on-line survey. Created a table in the database for pre and post quiz information.

2002-05-31: Finished on-line survey and began work on a results page.

2002-05-31: Development.

2002-05-30: More work on on-line survey.

2002-05-30: Development.

2002-05-29: Developing on-line survey.

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