Tutorials: Overview

The Alpheios Reading Tools can be used with any text or with texts that have been enhanced with aligned translations and sentence diagrams.

They can also be used in two different modes: one for simply reading a text and one for turning the text into the basis for a language quiz.

Since the Alpheios Reading Tools can be used with texts that have different resources associated with them they will attempt to detect which resources are available and adjust the interface accordingly.

(It will also attempt to detect the language of the text it is displaying so that it can consult the appropriate dictionaries, grammars etc.)

When no special resources are associated with the current text, the only tool bar visible is a small one at the top of the screen with the Alpheios icon on the left.

The Alpheios icon brings up a menu for:

  • Options, such as whether the selection of a word should be by double click or mouseover, the sequence in which dictionaries or grammars should be consulted, etc
  • About, providing the current release number
  • a Send Feedback button
  • and a link to Alpheios site

This small toolbar also has icons that take you directly into independent reference resources such as Inflection tables and Grammars- ones that have no specific relationship to the current text.

Furthermore when no text-specific resources are available, selecting a word brings up a new box with only two icons, one that provides a more complete definition, and one that takes you into the inflection table where that specific inflection appears.

When some text-specific resources are available, as is currently only possible on our own website, a second, much larger
toolbar appears below the Firefox toolbar at the top of the screen. It draws attention to the fact that you are accessing enhanced texts on our site and adds some new icons that are needed to use the additional resources.

When the Alpheios reading tool detects that a translation is available, a translation icon appears on this toolbar that permits the user to open and close the translation pane.

When the Alpheios reading tool detects that a sentence diagram is available, selecting a word will bring up a box that includes a "Diagram" icon that can be used to display the sentence diagram.

In addition to working with two different kinds of texts, texts that have been enhanced by the association of resources with them such as translations or sentence diagrams, and texts that have not, the Alpheios reading tools can also be used in two different modes: Reading Mode and Quiz Mode.

In Reading Mode, as we have seen, selecting a word brings up a box that provides information about the word, while in Quiz Mode selected a word brings up a series of questions about that word.

You can switch back and forth between the modes by clicking on the relevant icons at the upper left of the screen. The Quiz mode icon is a lightbulb. The Reading mode icon shows an open book.

At present, Quiz mode is only available with Alpheios texts that have translations and sentence diagrams associated with them.

What's next?

Customization to the individual user:

You will readily see that we still have a good deal of work to do to make bring even the current functionality up to the level of a beta release, but we hope that the next release will include the ability to further customize the application to the needs and interests of individual users, so that the user can specify what and how he wants to learn and the program can keep track of how well he is doing.

Tools for user participation:

Quite legitimate differences of opinion may arise about the the definitions, the interpretation of inflections, the sentence diagrams and alignment of the translations with the original text, and in future releases we hope to provide opportunities for users to suggest alternatives and discuss them among themselves.

This is only an alpha release, with many features still incompletely or, what is worse, imperfectly implemented. But we hope it gives you enough of an impression of the intended functionality to enable you to comment and help direct our next steps. Thank you for your interest in the Alpheios Project.