Monk; the bad and the beautiful.

My initial reaction of the text analysis program “Monk” was that I figured compared to the others, it seemed to have a fairly modern feel and look to it. I instantly had high hopes that it would be the most up to date program we had examined out of the five. Unfortunately, my optimistic approach didn’t last as long as I would have liked. I desperetely spent the entire TDFL session trying to log in to the website but had no such luck. Thus began the hell we now call, Monk.
Besides discussing the troubles and frustrations we had all individually encountered, our group did manage to sort out most of the kinks of the program. That being said, there were a lot of glitches discovered in the program as well as an overall sense of confusion. It seems as though the designers/creators of Monk decided it was necessary to make a maze of disaster to get to the final outcome of what you were looking for. To put it simply, nothing comes easy in regards to Monk.
Getting back to the introductory problem, Monk has its fair set of problems when it comes to logging in, in general. If you try to log on to Monk while in internet explorer, it won’t work. Simple as that. A fellow group member suggested I try using google chrome or firefox and only then did it complete the login process. My big question here… why?! I can’t even begin to understand why Monk chooses not to run while in the most basic internet option. Frustrating doesn’t even begin to describe how I was feeling.
Not only does Monk choose to be difficult when it comes to log in in, there is also no save option anywhere on the site although it claims that there is one. This means you have to basically start from scratch every time you want to begin your research on specific lemmas or anything else you have done for that matter.
There are also numerous annoying glitches such as it telling me that I haven’t clicked a workset to work on but I so clearly have. You just have to wrestle with it for a bit before it finally decides to accept the fact that you truly indeed have chosen the workset.

It became very clear that Monk is mostly designated for comparisons. While it allows you to create a workset (a document including texts that you want to analyze), this really only comes in use when you are comparing two texts. If you are looking to examine one piece, for example Act 3 Scene 4, it allows you to click the workset you have previously uploaded and saved, but after choosing it makes you do it all over again. It truly makes no sense, and is a continuing hassle to constantly have to re-choose what you are looking to analyze. The worst part is that it makes you think you won’t have to, but you do! They could at least acknowledge the present problems rather than act as if they don’t exist.
Despite the havoc we encountered while trying to sort things out with Monk, we did manage to get some good ideas rolling for what we want to specifically look at and what we can achieve and discover through the program. Despite the general hatred we feel for Monk, I still feel positive that we will be able to make it work…somehow.

One thought on “Monk; the bad and the beautiful.

  1. Hi Hannah:
    It looks like the MONK team is wrestling with a lot of issues; it’s important to focus on what you can do together, not just on what doesn’t work. But I feel your pain! You can’t save your worksets? You forgot to categorize your post.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *