Sunday, February 3, 2008

Manuscript Analyzer Online

The Windows version of Manuscript Analyzer has been getting some pretty good comments and use around the Internet, but one undercurrent that I've been encountering is that there are more writers who are Mac users than I had anticipated. To provide a solution for those users who can't use the Windows version, I've created Manuscript Analyzer Online.

This program is written entirely in JavaScript, and so works with Internet Explorer, Safari, Netscape, and FireFox without the need to install any software at all. The online edition contains all the features of the Windows edition, and is only very slightly slower to run.

The big concern that everyone is likely to have with this program, however, is its online nature. Is it stealing their manuscript, or transmitting it across the Internet where passing hackers might take advantage of it? The answer, of course, is no. Otherwise I wouldn't have put it up.

The program itself is about 24kb, and gets downloaded as a web page via your browser (like any other web page). Once it is downloaded, that's all that is transmitted: using JavaScript, the program analyzes the manuscript on your own computer, without any more interaction with my web server. This means that it also will work just as fast for dialup users as it does for users on cable or T1 (after that initial download), and that you don't have to keep an Internet connection open to use it.

Hopefully that alleviates any concerns that anyone has, but if there are other questions please do let me know and I'll be more than happy to address them. Also, I'm still quite interested in ideas for improvements/extensions to the program, so feel free to email me with those.


Nicholas Genovese said...

Your ms analyzer is a great tool. But, how does the program interpret the results? For instance, what does the program consider to be frequent offenders, common, large, etc.

Christopher M. Park said...

Hi Nick,

Thanks for stopping by, and for your comments. The results are mostly interpreted based on dictionaries -- if you scroll down on the online analyzer page, you can see (and add to, if you want) the dictionaries of frequent offenders, common, and phrases.

Large words are simply words that have a character count greater than 5, and adverbs (as is noted on the page) are simply words that in in -ly.

The windows-based program allows you to permanently modify the dictionaries, but the online version you have to modify the dictionary every time. It's pretty simple to cut-and-paste your list of personal frequent offenders if you keep that in a text file on your computer, though.

Good questions!