Logging Programs

Logging
Keyboard
Mouse
Eyemovements
()
()
Speech
Handwriting
Application identification
Software & Hardware
Operating system
PC Windows
PC Windows
PC Windows
PC Windows
Macintosh
PC Windows
PC Windows
Word processor
Scriptlog text editor
Microsoft Word XP or later versions
Translog editor
All windows programs
TraceIt editor
Eyewrite editor
Tablet
Logging environment
Scriptlog text editor
All windows programs
Translog editor
All windows programs
TraceIt editor
Eyewrite editor
Tablet
Output
Summary process data
General file
Linear file
Key transition file
Pause analysis
Revision Analysis
Process replay

Different programs have been developed to collect online process data of writing activities. In this section we briefly describe the main programs that are actually used in writing research. The matrix gives an overview of the main functionality and components of the programs described. Most of the programs have overlapping functionalities, but all of them have also very specific characteristics making them complementary in their use.

  • Scriptlog
  • University of Lund
    Developers: Asa Wengelin, Victoria Johansson, Roger Johansson
    Programmer: Johan Frid

    Scriptlog is developed at the University of Lund to study writing processes (Andersson & et al., 2006; Wengelin et al., in press - www.scriptlog.net). The program creates a writing environment with a text editor and a frame in which pictures can be shown to elicitate certain writing activities. The set-up of the environment is controlled in a design module. When activated, Scriptlog keeps a record of all events on the keyboard, the exact screen position of these events, and their temporal distribution. The analysis module enables the researcher to derive selected patterns from the data. Some of these are predefined, others can be interactively designed (e.g. the occurrence of a particular wordstring). Scriptlog also allows you to play back a recorded session - or a selection - in real time on the basis of the log file. More recently, the researchers have also made it possible to combine eyetracking data (iView) with keystroke logging data in order to enhance the study of the interplay between writing, monitoring (reading) and revision. Data on the distribution of visual attention during writing help, for instance, determining to what extent pauses are used for monitoring.

    Website: www.scriptlog.net
    Information: Description

  • Inputlog
  • University of Antwerp
    Developers: Luuk Van Waes, Mariëlle Leijten
    Programmers:

    The main difference of Inputlog with other logging programs is that it logs writing data in all Window applications, and that it executes specific analyses of writing materials that were generated in MS Word. This enables researchers to collect data that are produced in a widely used professional editor. Moreover, the program does not only log keystrokes, mouse movements and clicks, but also Windows events (active application and/or identification of URL) and dictated speech input (Dragon naturally Speaking speech technology, Nuance). Logged data can be analyzed from different perspectives, e.g. pausing or revision behavior. A replay module is under development.

    Website: www.inputlog.net
    Information: Description

  • Translog
  • Translog is developed at the Copenhagen Business School mainly to study translation processes (Jakobsen, 2006 - www.translog.dk). It has two interdependent component: a Supervisor component to prepare a logging project and replay it afterwards, and a User component. The latter displays a predefined source text in the top half of the window, and a translation frame in which the target text can be edited.
  • uLog
  • uLog is developed by Noldus (www.noldus.com) as a tool for the automatic recording of user-system interaction. uLog is developed as part of The Observer XT, a program used to observe, describe and code behavior, but a limited version can also be used as a separate program. With uLog you can log all basic computer events such as mouse clicks, scrolling, window events and keystrokes. One of the advantages of the program is that it can be used in a connected computer set-up in a network environment (or, that it is possible to run the program from a USB-memory device).
  • TraceIt/JEdit
  • TraceIt/JEdit is the keystroke logging program with longest history (Severinson Eklundh & Kollberg, 1992 - www.nada.kth.se/iplab/trace-it). It was developed for Macintosh. The researcher at KTH in Stockholm created a program that opened new perspectives in writing research and formed the basis for all other programs. The program used JEdit as a basic text editor and Trace-it as a separate component to analyze revisions on the basis of the so called intermediate MID-format log file. Based on the S-notation (cf. infra), it presents all the revisions made during a computer-based writing session directly on the screen, in a readable and system-independent form. The Trace-it environment also supports various types of interactive analysis and replay of a writing session. The program is not further developed any more, but can still be downloaded.
  • Eyewrite
  • EyeWrite (Simpson & Torrance, 2007; Wengelin et al., 2009) aims to integrate keystroke logging with eye-movement records. The program enables researchers to log information about the location of fixations relative to the text and independently of screen coordinates. EyeWrite comprises a simple editor and an analysis program. The text editor is basic, with all cursor movements made using cursor (arrow) keys, and all deletes by backspacing. Eye movements are recorded using a head-mounted eye-tracker which has sufficient accuracy to permit, at least, identification of the word that the writer is fixating at a particular moment in the writing process. The analysis program interprets the combined keystroke and eye-movement log file and generates text-relative information about the location of the fixation in a general data file for further analysis. In playback mode this program displays the text as it develops on the screen showing both the cursor, and, when fixations are within screen coordinates, also the location of the current fixation.
  • Eye&Pen
  • Eye and Pen is not really a keystroke logging program, because it is designed to record writing processes in handwriting (Alamargot, Chesnet, Dansac, & Ros, 2006 - www.eyeandpen.net; Wengelin et al., 2009). However, we include it here, because of its complementarity and because the philosophy and the aims of Eye&Pen are completely in line with the other tools presented here. The program is developed at the University of Poitiers. Eye&Pen synchronously logs handwriting movements (by means of a digitizing tablet: coordinates and state of the pen) and eye movements (via an optical eye-tracking system). The combination of these two types of input allows the researcher, for instance, to collect data about the synchronization between eye and pen movements during pausing and writing periods. Eye and Pen has two different modes of operation: the acquisition mode (allowing the recording of data and stimuli presentation), and the analysis mode (allowing to display and edit data). A semi-automated coding system enables users to characterize and classify ocular and graphomotor events.