Tools & Application Programs

Class scheduler (Agenda)

This project assisted with the administrative task of assigning instructors to time slots for teaching classes. It allowed the instructor to make a request to the departmental administrator, who then juggled all the requests to create the best possible schedule. It used an SQL database on the server and a browser-based interface (php) for the users to make and edit requests and generate output suitable for the central booking office at the university.

Hot Potatoes

Hot Potatoes is an application program which allows authors to create standard exercises (multiple choice, fill in blanks, matching, cloze, crossword, flashcards).

The program takes the data entered by the author and combines that with template files to create sophisticated xhtml pages. Over 500,000 users have downloaded the software since its first public release in 1998.

For more details, examples and download, go to the Hot Potatoes site.

Image Markup Tool

Many tools exist for marking up text in XML.

However, for a number of our projects, we need to be able to mark up images, describing and annotating them, and storing the resulting data in TEI XML files. For this, relatively few tools exist, and those that do are either rather too complicated for novices not expert at markup or use a proprietary file format.

Our aim is to produce a tool which creates conformant TEI P5 XML files, but which has a simple enough interface that it can be used by people with little or no experience in editing XML code.

Our Image Markup Tool is freeware and open-source. You can also see the IMT development blog.


Quandary is an application program originally written to allow students in an ethics course to create decision trees to make more explicit inconsistencies in their logic.

The author fills in blanks in the program and their data is combined with an html template to create a web page. The user makes a series of decisions, where each decision point presented depends on responses to previous decision points.

Full details on Quandary can be found at the Quandary site.


Transformer loads Unicode text files and performs sequences of transformation operations search-and-replace, or scripting functions) on them. It provides you with an interface to create and test these sequences of transformation operations before running them in batch mode on a set of files.

We wrote Transformer to assist in the rescue of textual data from obsolete file formats such as DOS word-processor files, but it has since proved useful in a wide variety of contexts.

The program is freeware and open-source. You can download it from the Transformer site. You can also take a look at the Transformer development blog.