吳實錄

Annals of Wu

漢藏緬語々言研究ㄟ博客
a sinotibetoburman linguistics blog
2014-10-17

Phonemica 4.0 Changelog phonemica - development

In keeping with the theme of "Annals of Wu as Phonemica devblog", I thought I'd outline the changes in the latest rewriting of the site. I spent a week of 14 hour days this past week rewriting the whole system, almost from scractch. Here's what's new.

version 3.9 changes


These are old changes from a few weeks ago that mostly just deal with the transcript and segmenting, but they're part of the larger push to give people more power and offer greater automation.

  • users can now control segmenting of audio better
    • you can drag segments to other timings
    • added ability to add segments by clicking anywhere in the waveform
    • added said waveform to help visualise the recording for segmenting
  • vastly improved automatic scrolling
  • included a second copy of the transcript in plain text further down, by request


  • version 4.0 changes

  • greater control for editing information on your uploaded storytellers
  • can now upload multiple recordings under a single speaker
  • specify if a story is told in a dialect other than the speaker's native dialect
  • upload storyteller photos directly to the site, available immediately
  • upload a wider range of audio formats to the site
  • a Korean version of the UI is now available, though it needs a few more translations. thanks go to Minkyu for helping get that started
  • profile pages are back. show off what you've done on the site.
  • delete stories you've uploaded, like for example if you upload the same one twice. that's happened a couple times too

  • Most importly, as of this latest update:
  • your submitted audio is available on the site immediately.

  • There's no more need to wait for us to hand-process every submission. Up until now, due to limitations with our old hosting company, we simply couldn't automate this in a way that was satisfactory to us.

    Other less visible changes


    First, we've changed hosting companies. The best part about this change is that we're off shared hosting and on a VPS, which means we now have full control of the server that the site is on. This let me upload all the software and write all the code I needed to to allow for the above automation. This flexibility is also giving us even greater opportunities for future improvements already in the works.

    Second, the site has been moved to a server based in Tokyo rather than Singapore. This has already proven to be a great benefit for site speeds for users in China, which is most of our users at this point.

    The database has been completely redone. We've moved a lot of the data off MySQL and onto NoSQL. Without getting too much into it, this allows us to put less strain on the server in peak use periods, and also lets us organise our data a bit better. The old system was a bunch of revisions and amendments and changes built on top of each other going back to 2011. It was clunky and we hated it. It lead to a couple site crashes and slow load speeds.

    We've also done a lot of opimisation. I'm a reasonably capable programmer. I wasn't when we started. There was a lot of bad legacy code that could have been improved on. We didn't do that, opting instead to throw it out and start fresh.

    Changes coming this weekend

  • reassign stories from one speaker to another in case you upload it for the wrong person. it's happened
  • customise your profile by adding a picture and specifying your mother tongue, and whatever else you want people to know


  • Here's the thing. We're trusting you, the user, to take care of your own recordings and the associated data. But then in the past version, we didn't give you enough control of that. You still had to rely on us, usually really just me, to help you out with that. But I don't have that sort of bandwidth in my life. This latest round of changes is meant to kill two birds with one stone. You get more control, and I have some time freed up to work on more improvements rather than going around and fixing earlier slipups.

    We think you'll like the new site. We do. There are still a couple bugs to work out, and some features to implement. But feel free to comment here with feedback/bugs anwyay. Or just comments in general.

    I'll update this post when the "4.1" changes get made in a couple days.

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      About

      A semi-academic linguistics blog about Sinotibetan, previously focused primarily on Wú, a Sinitic language spoken in the Yangtze Delta region. Topics now include historical linguistics, documentation, language rights, sociolinguistics and learning materials, as well as acting as the dev blog for Phonemica from time to time.

      I'm a linguist based in Asia, working on documentation and historical development of Sinotibetan. In addition to academic research, I'm heavily involved in Phonemica, an organisation that promotes crowd-sourced preservation of local languages.

      I'm currently in the field, so getting in touch isn't easy. However you can try to email me at the following address and I'll respond as soon as I'm able:

      yhilan.ko@gmail.com
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