Setting up a new project

Starting Fieldworks for the First Time.

Fieldworks defines a project as one vernacular language that is the object of analysis although the program allows more than one project to be open at any time.

To start Language Explorer, double-click the Language Explorer icon on the desktop or click on the start menu and type "flex".

Fieldworks no longer has example projects by default.  To download a few example databases go to http://fieldworks.sil.org/download/ and click on the release you are using.  Scroll to the "Sample Databases" and download the ones of your choosing.

At somepoint you may see Field Usage Report System dialog box. Click either the Create Email Message button or the I'm unable to send this information link, as appropriate.

In Language Explorer, you can create and open multiple FieldWorks projects. From this point on, the last FieldWorks project you close will be the one that appears the next time you start the FieldWorks Language Explorer program.

How to Set Up a New Fieldworks Project

To open a language project, on the File menu, click Create New Fieldworks project. The New Fieldworks Project dialogue box will open.

  1. Name the project after the vernacular language you are researching.
  2. Choose a Vernacular language writing system from the list or Define New… dialogue box. Analysis Language: One or more languages used in the gloss, definitions and notes for the vernacular language. The primary analysis language is the one in which you best express yourself.
  3. Choose an Analysis language writing system from the list or Define New… dialogue box.Writing system: One or more systems of fonts such as IPA, an official, traditional or other orthography.

If you need to set up a new FieldWorks project and also define a new vernacular writing system, we recommend that you give the project and the writing system the name of the vernacular language. Below is an example of how to create a new project.

In the following example, the name of the vernacular language is Swati.

  1. On the File menu, click New Fieldworks Project.
  2. The New FieldWorks Project dialog box appears.
  3. In the Name the project box, type Swati.
  4. Under Vernacular language writing system, verify that Swati is not already in the list.
  5. Under Vernacular language writing system, click Define New.Select Languages for New Writing System dialogue box appears. If the name of the project matches any languages in the Ethnologue, all the matches appear in the list.
  6. Select the correct language and country in the list (for example, Swati and Mozambique).
  7. Click OK.. The Writing System Properties dialogue box appears. Change the properties as needed for your language. See the Help files.
  8. Click OK. The New FieldWorks Project dialog box appears again. Under Vernacular language writing system, Swati appears in the list.
  9. Click OK.

After FieldWorks creates the new project, the Choose a List of Anthropology Codes dialog box appears.  The set of anthropology codes you choose here will be available to you as you enter data into your lexical database.  In this way you can tag your data by cultural category. The list you choose now cannot be changed after the project is created so please review the options below before making your choice. After selecting your choice, click OK. Your new project is now ready for data entry.

Enhanced Outline of Cultural Materials (OCM): This choice takes advantage of all the resources in the Outline of Cultural Materials. In addition, you will have available SIL's FRAME categories that group the OCM under eleven higher-level divisions, and you will be able to use expanded categories on music, musical instruments, religion, and several other topics that are commonly elaborated.

Standard OCM anthropology categories: If you are already quite familiar with the OCM and do not envision expanding the codes, or plan on expanding them with your own additions, then you may want to use the Standard OCM anthropology categories.

Create my own set of anthropology categories: Select this option if you intend to enter your own anthropology category list, and do not ever plan to use the OCM in this project. We do not recommend personal development of anthropology categories unless you have considerable experience in that area.


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