My experiences of what TAPoR can do, and what it can’t

TAPoR, although filled with gadgets and gizmos, is unfortunately, not very user friendly. Trying to work with the different tools, just to get used to the system and the layout of the program, was quite an adventure. With all the tools available, it is very intimidating trying to find data. That, mixed with the fact that this system is extremely temperamental, and that only certain tools work with the format, makes for a very difficult investigation. Through multiple attempts, and almost just as many failures, I learned that the only tools that will not come up with some sort of “error” message, are tools that end with (html). As well as that, I cannot seem to use my saved texts in the tools, and I have to resort to using a url. This is fine, except for the fact that some words that are not included in Hamlet are included when using these tools. For example, when using the tool TAPoRware List Words(html), words that Shakespeare definitely did not use, such as “email” and “cite” ,were included in the results. Another issue with this specific tool is that only the first five most common words used were shown what their distribution was. This is really quite pointless, considering the first two words are the names of the speakers, and the others are common words that don’t give us very much insight into the text. It would be a lot more useful to show the distribution of all of the commonly used words so that you can compare when they are used.
Besides the fact that this program has many issues and an arsenal of error messages, it is really not that exciting. After using different TAPoR tools for a long length of time, I find myself having to go to the bottom of the tools, and use the word cloud from Voyeur just to add some color to my life. As well as aesthetically pleasing, the word cloud tells me all of the information the List Words does, minus the dispersion of the first five words. Why can’t an actual TAPoR program be like this? Instead of listing words in monochrome colors and boring fonts, they should maybe try to focus on making the program a bit more fun to use. After they fix the program so that an error message doesn’t pop up every second attempt, of source. That should be their main priority.
Although the system has its flaws, and it lacks excitement, there is one thing I do really like about TAPoR. I think it was a really good idea of the creators to exlcude all of the stop words in their tools. The TAPoR tools do this automatically, and it does make it easier to find themes and connections without all of the words that we really don’t need to look at. With the Voyeur Cloud, words like “and” and “the” show up as the most used words, which we really don’t care about. You can change the format of this tool around so that it does exclude all of the stop words, but without help finding it, I would have never known that option was available.Hopefully, next week will be more about the text, and less about the program.

3 thoughts on “My experiences of what TAPoR can do, and what it can’t

  1. After I watched the tutorial video and went to the in-class tutorial on TAPoR, I was just as confused about the program as I was at the beginning. I have a new-found respect for anybody using TAPoR, and for taking the time to explore the program. I found that exploring a tool as a group is quite helpful in terms of collaborating ideas and figuring out problems. I like the visuals in all of the tools and TAPoR is no exception. I find word clouds especially helpful when visualizing word frequencies and they are relatively easy to create. I would like to know more about the Stop Word function, and appreciate you mentioning it in your blog. What does it mean to “stop words” and how does this affect your results?
    Great work!
    –Madelyn

  2. TAPoR was the one program that terrified me, and I know and the use the internet pretty intensely, so I would like to applaud you, and your group for working so hard to provide us with the information about the tool and how it helps you to analyze Hamlet.

    I’d like some more clarification on what exactly a “stop word” is. Is it simply a determiner?

    Also, does importing the text from a URL generate the words “email” or “cite” to come up under TAPoR List Word.html? Does this happen if you import the text from different cites or does that cause other issues (formatting or encoding)?

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