Day 1, May 18 — Vidushi

My work today was more or less evenly divided between literature review and familiarizing myself with Swift.


(1) Literature Review

Given the link to Prof Medero’s PhD thesis, I spent most of the morning reading that and compiling my own notes in Evernote, which I will add to our shared project notebook once they are complete. The paper gives an overview of how the “difficulty” of a text has previously been measured, and what kind of factors should be considered when thinking about simplifying text, both of which are especially important to our project. From the reading so far I have realized that (a) there are many more ways of measuring text difficulty than I had imagined, and (b) they have all been tried before! Coming up with something effective and practical for our medium (iOS apps) is going to be challenging, but there are definitely many options. I have finished reading the paper once, but in compiling my notes have been going through a second reading to pick out what I feel is most relevant to our project. I hope to have these notes completed tomorrow.


(2) Xcode and Swift

In order to begin teaching myself Swift, I first looked at Apple’s own overview of Swift, which was not extremely helpful, beyond pointing out that I should download Xcode. I then read through some basic introduction to Swift, such as this one on AppCoda. The basics make me think that, syntactically, Swift is a mix of C++ and Python, which I suppose is to be expected from a modern version of Objective C. I thought it reasonable to try and build an app rather than do introductory exercises, so I have been working my way through this tutorial on BLOC. So far I am confused but enjoying the process, and am 6/11ths of the way through the tutorial. Prof Wu also suggested that we look at Swift tutorials by Ray Wenderlich, which I hope to do tomorrow once I have completed the Swiftris tutorial on BLOC.


Judging by my progress today, I think that I will try to follow a similar pattern tomorrow: divide my time evenly between reading and making notes, and getting a sense of how much I can do with Swift.

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