We are happy to announce a new contributed module for language learning, called FLAX. FLAX helps automate the production and delivery of practice exercises for learning English. You, the teacher, can create exercises from the textual content of digital libraries. You can also create your own digital library collections, add them to the course as resources, and, optionally, share them within your institution. FLAX comprises two modules that are intended to be installed together: 1. The language learning activity module provides a way of designing and delivering language learning exercises, based on the contents of digital library collections. 2. The digital library resource module allows teachers to create their own digital library collections and add them to their course. See the FLAX module documentation and try it out for more details. (Maintained by Dean Stringer, University of Waikato, New Zealand)
Where can we get the server software? I tried the link to the installer but it is broken.
I performed a clean installation of Moodle 1.9.11 ans install FLAX. When using the defualt server everything went fine, but later I configure my own server and get the Notice: Failed to connect to external FLAX server (of course, I changed the server configuration and wrote my own server name).
I try the server directly from the mozilla navigation bar and didn´t find any problem.
Could you give some advice to fix the server problem???
I installed the module fine, but when I try to link to the server I get:
Query flaxActivityList failed in SelectCollectionResource.js
The Modules-and-plugins page for FLAX is now available at http://moodle.org/mod/data/view.php?d=13&rid=3065 (or search by the name 'FLAX' within the list).
You're welcome to download and try it out.
The server runs on Windows, Mac OS, and Linux. Enjoy!
There are some installation instructions (eg, README.txt) along with the downloaded FLAX server. When you are finished installing the FLAX server, go to the configuration page of the FLAX module of your Moodle site and change the server name and port number to ones used by your FLAX server (see also the README file in the FLAX module package).
I kept the default settings but when I tried add activity or resource I get the following message "Failed to connect to external FLAX server"
the default server is server.moodleflax.org
what is wrong here?
Is your Moodle site behind a firewall/proxy? If so, you need to enter your proxy server username and password to get around it.
Another thing is, what is the version of your Moodle installation? Make sure it's 1.9.xx.
Hope that helps!
Hi! Shaoqun Wu,
Thanks for your wonderful module.
I wonder we can use FLAX for other language teaching such as German, Spanish, Korean, etc.
If we make digital library with Korean, do you expect it will work?
Thanks for trying out the FLAX module.
Ms Shaoqun Wu is on maternity leave. I'll be answering questions in the forum.
To use FLAX for teaching a particular language, you can 1) use texts in the language to build collections; 2) create language activities out of the texts in the collection. FLAX collections can be built using texts of many languages (including the three languages mentioned in your post). But, for FLAX activities to be practiced in languages other than English, a parser of the language is needed to successfully identify certain parts of the text of the language. For example, verbs, nouns, etc..
As to your question, you CAN build collections using texts in Korean. You will then be able to search and browse documents in the collection. To use FLAX language activities in teaching Korean, however, you'll need a Korean parser.
As it for now, you could still go ahead and build a collection using texts in languages other than English. The texts in the collection will be parsed by the English parser (the only available parser in FLAX at the moment). The English parser relies on white space to segment words and full stop to identify sentences. If the language does not possess similar nature, the activities in the collection won't even be doing the basics, let alone identifying word/sentence types of the language.
To better understand this, go to a collection that we built using texts of a New Zealand native Maori language called Te Wharekura. Activities in this collection are created using the English parser, hence they are much simpler and don't have the options like word types, sentence types etc., compared our standard Password collection which is in English. The activities in the collection Te Wharekura are only basically functional because the language also has white space between words and a full stop character at the end of each sentence like English.
It doesn't hurt to build a collection yourself using texts in whatever language you are interested in. Then you'd understand what I've said even better.
Hope that's answered your question.
We have tried this module. It works quite impressively.
There are a couple of questions I would like to ask here:
1. To build a collection, what requirement is necessary ? I have tried to build from the 'Manage my FLAX collection' button in the FLAX Activity, but no luck al all. Yesterday I was able to input some text, but the collection was not built as expected. Today I tried again, it stopped after I typed the description of the collection.
2. I have also tried to install a server locally. It seems that certain packages, such as ant, tomcat6 are required before running 'Greenstone-FLAX1.0-linux'. I am using Ubuntu 9.10, the server program went through the installation processes. The Greenstone was placed at /usr/local/Greenstone3. But tomcat6 and ImagMagik are not install as expected. I tried running 'sudo sh gs3-server.sh' and got errors :
gs3-server.sh: 45: source: not found
gs3-server.sh: 46: popd: not found
gs3-server.sh: 50: search4j: not found
I did try installing in other machines with tomcat6, ant, maven2 preinstalled. The behaviors are totally different.
Could you please provide more details in server installation ?
Thanks for trying out FLAX.
To answer your first question, I need more information in order to figure out what went wrong when you tried to build a collection. I've just tried building a collection myself in the FLAX Sandbox course on our demo site. It works all fine for me. Please elaborate at which step, the actions you took, and how the program reacted to your actions.
As to your second question, I must say that we have only tested the server installation on Ubuntu 8.10 and no higher.
> But tomcat6 and ImagMagik are not install as expected.
Could you please check in /usr/local/Greenstone3/packages directory and see whether this contains a folder called tomcat and a zip file called apache-tomcat-6.0.*.zip? (Where * can be anything.). That'll tell you whether tomcat has been installed or not.
Ant 1.7.1 and tomcat 6 are supposed to be installed for you when you installed the server.
You wrote that you were trying to run:
> sudo sh gs3-server.sh
Did you install FLAX in a special location that it required you to run it with "sudo"? Is there a location that you can install it in that will allow you to run the command directly with:
This is the way we have been testing it on Ubuntu 8.10 here.
Instead of running the gs3-server.sh program, could you try running the following from a terminal (from the top level installation folder, in your case it'd be /usr/local/Greenstone3):
> source gs3-setup.sh (this command sets up environment)
> ant start (this starts the tomcat server)
(the command to stop the server is: ant stop)
This should start tomcat directly and also give you messages as to whether tomcat failed to start and why. If it worked, you would be able to open a browser and go to the http://[host-name-you-specified]:[port-number]/ to see whether tomcat works. (The host-name value might be localhost for instance, and the default port is 8080 unless you specifically changed these settings in build.properties.)
If that works, the next step is to point your browser to http://[host-name-you-specified]:[port-number]/greenstone3/flax and see whether the flax home page works as well.
Hope that helps
1. Creating collection
A new window popped-up when I click at Manage my FLAX collection . The upper right corner showed the login name and there is no collection owned by me. That is normal. I proceeded by clicking at Create a new collection, it switched to let me enter the collection name and collection description. After clicking next, the program allowed me to add new document. I entered a few sentences separated by a blank line. After click ing Save, it brought me back to the add new document window and what I have entered were gone. This was done for scrambled sentences. When I did it for Predicting Words and Phrases, I could not go further than entering the collection name.
2. I found jre, tomcat and ant under /usr/local/Greenstone3/packages. So this means that those 3 packages are installed. I ran 'source gs3-setup.sh', this looks fine. I then ran 'sudo ant start' (I have to use sudo because /usr/local/Greenstone3 is owned by root, this can be changed) I got this results:
Unable to locate tools.jar. Expected to find it in /usr/lib/jvm/java-6-sun-188.8.131.52/lib/tools.jar
[echo] os.name: Linux
[echo] tomcat.port = 8080
[exec] Neither the JAVA_HOME nor the JRE_HOME environment variable is defined
[exec] At least one of these environment variable is needed to run this program
[exec] Result: 1
[echo] greenstone3 (trunk) server running using Apache Tomcat and Java
[echo] Tomcat: /usr/local/Greenstone3/packages/tomcat
[echo] Java : /usr/lib/jvm/java-6-sun-184.108.40.206/jre
[echo] URL : http://localhost:8080/greenstone3/
Total time: 6 seconds
1. Creating collection
A new window popped-up when I click at Manage my FLAX collection . The upper right corner showed the login name and there is no collection owned by me. That is normal. I proceeded by clicking at Create a new collection, it switched to let me enter the collection name and collection description. After clicking next, the program allowed me to add new document. I entered a few sentences separated by a blank line. After click ing Save, it brought me back to the add new document window and what I have entered were gone.
Upon this point, what you are supposed to see is a list of documents, including the one you just added (see the screen shot in the attachment at the top of this post). If it's not the case, can I ask what web browser you're using? If it's not Firefox, can you try again using Firefox?
> For your second question
In a FRESH terminal, after first executing 'source gs3-setup.sh' once again, print out the variable JAVA_HOME:
> echo $JAVA_HOME
It shouldn't be empty, but we suspect it may be in your case. Therefore, if it is empty (if it doesn't say /usr/local/Greenstone3/packages/jre) then set it to your Greenstone3's jre folder:
> export JAVA_HOME=/usr/local/Greenstone3/packages/jre
Now try running ant start as before:
> sudo ant start
IF the above worked, then our suspicion may be right: in your situation, running source gs3-setup.sh wasn't doing everything it was supposed to. It was supposed to be setting JAVA_HOME for you. If you have any experience with bash/sh scripts on Linux, can you debug this for your case by putting print statements in there and working out why it failed to set JAVA_HOME? We are unable to reproduce this problem here and therefore can't debug it for you.
Regarding the collection creating process, I also expect to see as appeared in your screenshot. Could you send an email to me at firstname.lastname@example.org so that I can give you a user name to access our site? You can then try creating collection and see what is going wrong here.
As for server installation, after running 'source gs3-setup.sh', JAVA_HOME is not empty as you mentioned. Its value is '/usr/local/Greenstone3/packages/jre'. But when I ran 'sudo ant start', the same error came up. I suspect that there is something to do with this error in the first line:
>so that I can give you a user name to access our >site? You can then try creating collection and see >what is going wrong here
Are you saying this is all happening on YOUR Moodle site? I thought you were meaning that you couldn't create collections on OUR Moodle demo site at http://moodledemo.waikato.ac.nz/moodle/demo/.
OK, just send me the username/password at email@example.com. I'll take a look at it.
>As for server installation, after running 'source >gs3-setup.sh', JAVA_HOME is not empty as you >mentioned. Its value is >'/usr/local/Greenstone3/packages/jre'. But when I >ran 'sudo ant start', the same error came up
This is because you ran the 'ant start' as root user. Anything that has been sourced before as non-root user doesn't apply any more.
In your situation, you'd have to need a root shell. you can authenticate yourself with 'su', otherwise just run "sudo bash" (or whatever shell you prefer) and enter your password.
Once you've obtained the root shell, you can run the source command and proceed as follows:
without ever needing the sudo prefix.
As you have mentioned that you logged into my server and created 2 new collections. I can confirm that the collections are there. But again, when I tried to create one, I have no luck at all. I suspect that I do not have a proper account in server.moodleflax.org to create the collection... Could you please let me know how can I obtain one?
My moodle (1.9.9) is hosted by a company
What have I done wrong?
Sorry for this vvvvvery late reply!
There was a period of time a while back the external FLAX server was down. And we weren't aware of it until recently. If you try again now it should be fine.
The new version of the module is now released. It's recommended that you uninstall the old version and install the new one.
If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
A new version of the module - MoodleFLAX1,3 - has now been released.
Features include but not limited to:
- Multiple images attachment to document
- Attach audio to document
- Create glosses/translation for words in document
- Enable collocation extraction when building collections
- Collocation cherry basket
- New activity Completing Collocations
- Bug fixes
Thank you for this excellent module and much appreciated update.
I'm in the process of playing the Image Guessing Game with myself and, though the game is working, I have been getting some error messages that I want to share. I'll try to give some context.
Server: CentOS Linux ; Client: WindowsXP ; Flax Server: yours
I'm using Chrome for the Administrator role and IE for a "logged in as" student. During the Guessing Game, in the Guesser's browser, I clicked on "Summary Report" and received this error message:
Uncaught ReferenceError: rp is not defined
I hope this information will be helpful to you. If so, I will continue to test this and other activities and share any problems I encounter here.
FLAX module has been migrated to Moodle 2, with a whole new design and exciting features. A version that's compatible with up to Moodle 2.1 is now available at the FLAX website.
The FLAX module documentation at http://docs.moodle.org/23/en/Flax_module has been updated to reflect the facilities in the new version of FLAX. Information about downloading the module and the FLAX server software is also available at the FLAX module's entry page at http://moodle.org/mod/data/view.php?d=13&rid=3065.