Simple "word-scramble" stack

James Cass cassj at
Sat Feb 19 08:11:37 EST 2005

Wilhelm -

That's a very cool stack!  Just by coincidence the first word that came 
up for me was "garden".  However, when I saw the scrambled letters, I 
saw a true, one-word anagram for "garden", "danger".  Let's not get 
into the psychological reasons for that  ;-P    So, it now seems 
another enhancement would be to check for one word anagrams of the same 
set of scrambled letters.  :-)


On Feb 19, 2005, at 7:46 AM, Wilhelm Sanke wrote:

> While visiting a family with a third-grader I noticed a (written) 
> foreign-language exercise that used scrambled words. As the father of 
> the third-grader had an older Metacard version on his computer, I sat 
> down and produced a computer version of the exercise, which the young 
> child seemed to like very much. I added a standalone splash screen to 
> enable the young user to make changes to the lexicon and add words of 
> her own choice.
> I think such a stack belongs in the category "for revolution novices" 
> like Klaus Major's "memory" stack or my stack "seminar01", which (the 
> latter) - among other examples - contains directions to build a basic 
> vocabulary trainer with gradually increasing complexity.
> I have added the scramble-word stack to my website 
> <> on page "Sample Stacks" and "Tools for 
> Development".
> A screenshot can be seen here 
> <>.
> Direct download from 
> <> (11 KB).
> The stack is an example of a "guided" exercise, where the focus is on 
> "learning" and not on "testing", two pairs of shoes which are very 
> often mixed up. Support - the "guidance" - for the learner is offered 
> in various ways:
> 1. When the learner types into the input field, the typed letters 
> disappear from the scramble field. Only letters contained in the 
> scramble field can be typed into the input field, otherwise a 
> "warning" will appear.
> 2. If the user deletes letters from the input field, they reappear in 
> the scramble field; the learner can move the cursor inside the input 
> field using the arrow keys, then press the backspace key to remove the 
> letter on the left of the cursor.
> 3. You can re-scramble the word to possibly get a better idea what the 
> word could be.
> 4. Pressing "Help" shows the first and last letter of the sought word 
> and displays dashes as placeholders for the remaining letters in 
> between.
> 5. Button "more letters", which appears after first pressing button 
> "Help", adds more - randomly selected - letters to the help field. The 
> last two dashes in a word however remain, the user has to find out 
> them on his/her own.
> "Simple" as it is, the exercise card of the stack needs 25 controls to 
> achieve the described basic functionality and 8 of them contain 
> scripts. The longest script is that of the input field, which controls 
> the features 1. and 2. explained above. This script makes use of the 
> "offset" function, "returninfield" and "rawkey" handlers, and the 
> "selectedchunk" function, the last one to determine the place of the 
> insertion point in the input field. A special problem comes up when 
> you have to deal with special "national" characters, because the 
> "rawkey" values in this case are different from the "numtochar" 
> values; therefore I included some script lines to take care of the 
> German "Umlaute" (ä, ö, ü).
> Enhancements to the stack could added in many directions; in a 
> workshop for Revolution newbies I would - as an example - assign the 
> tasks
> a) to display a translation along with the scrambled word, and
> b) to add the possibility to export the lexicon to an external text 
> file and to import from a choice of external files.
> --Wilhelm Sanke
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