Tag: Data

Data Structure Design

We are in the process of designing the data structures that our Tikkun app will use to support the needs of a variety of users. Users may study by themselves without any need to interact with others, or they may study primarily by themselves and occasionally interact with others, or they may be tutors or students who continually interact with others as part of their studying and teaching. Each of these usage patterns will result in different demands for data in the app.

One particular issue that we have been discussing is how to support easy access to a user’s custom readings, each with its own notes and audio files, along with the straightforward retrieval of all notes and audio files that a user may have created over time for a particular range of verses or parts of a tefillah. For example, a user may have created two different custom readings for the Akedah section of Bereishit, one with audio files and notes for the regular weekly version and one with audio files and notes for the High Holiday version. The user will need to be able to find each of these custom readings easily. A title, created by the user for each custom reading, should work for that purpose. However, the user may also want to just look up the Akedah reading in the app’s library of texts, and quickly access all of the content that may have been created for those verses. We are trying out some ideas for data structures that will make this work efficiently.

Once we have an initial version of our data structures in place, we can start experimenting with different use cases and user interface ideas to refine our approach.

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A User’s View of the Data

We have been discussing how users of our Tikkun app will access various kinds of data found in the app. The app will have a library of texts for reference, plus user-generated content. The user-generated content may be content created by a user of the app, or content shared with a user by another user; this might typically be a tutor and a student sharing recordings of particular verses or tefillot. Users will want straightforward ways to find the relevant materials for their needs.

The library of reference materials will include the Torah, haftarot, megillot, various tefillot, and possibly other study materials (e.g. trop charts). A user may want to find a particular library item from the Torah, hafatarot or megillot by book/chapter/verse, by parashah/aliyah, by holiday, or by a calendar date. In our Android Tanach apps, we already have a user interface that allows selections by book/chapter/verse, by parashah/aliyah, and by holiday. We are missing a calendar-based selection mechanism , so adding one is on our to-do list. We will also need to organize the tefillot and other study materials in a way that makes it easy to find a particular one, taking into account that there may be differences for Ashkenazim, Sephardim, etc.

Users should be able to give a title to each content item they create, so that they can readily find any such item. User-generated content may include a selection of verses from the Torah, hafatarot or megillot, selections from the tefillot or other study materials, one or more audio files, and notes. User-generated content should be flexible in what it contains, to suit varied needs. We are also thinking about best ways to handle storing and retrieving audio files, since these files can consume a fair amount of storage.

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