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Thread: Creating Custom items

  1. #1

    Creating Custom items

    Hi all

    Could you please tell me how to create custom items in MediaLab-i would like to make use of drop down lists and radio buttons in my application.

    thanks in advance


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    [update Nov 11, 2006: here is a link to the section on Cutom Items from the v2006 manual: www.empirisoft.com/medialab/help/custom_items.htm]

    Custom items are way easier than they were in v2004. You create a web page using whatever program you like. If it shows up in Internet Explore then it will work fine. You can include any html form techniques you like for as many variables as you like. Just make sure your form uses "method=post"

    List the item as a custom item in your questionnaire, indicating the name of the file in the filename field. MediaLab will present it and will intercept any posted data and save it to your data file so long as the posted variable name exists in your experiment somewhere as an item. If you have multiple variables in a single custom item, then just create extra custom items with the additional variable names needed.

    I've posted a sample here that uses radio buttons. Let me know if you have any trouble with it.

    Note this sample requires v2006.1.34 or later.
    Attached Files Attached Files
    Last edited by jarvis24; 11-11-2006 at 05:57 PM.

  3. #3
    Thank you very much.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Here is a revision that shows you how to do multiple radio button questions on one page. It's essentially the same as just one. The big difference is that you now have more variable names. Normally, you would just have your MediaLab variable name match the HTML form variable name. Since you can't get away with this now, this is what you can do..

    Create additional custom items in your questionnaire with the additional HTML form variable names you want to keep. If you do not include a filename for the items, then MediaLab will know they are just placeholders for additional variables. Check out the attached sample. It lists some extra custom items at the end that have no file names. But because the variable names are used in an HTML form, MediaLab will save the data when it's collected.

    Remember these html forms can be edited easily in any text editor like the Windows notepad.exe editor.
    Attached Files Attached Files

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2006

    Multiple radios display

    I've succeeded running multiple radios and obtaining the data from each of the items. However, for the empty custom items in the questionnaire (the ones that stand there as dummies just to capture data on their variable name), medialab seems to force itself to display an html page (despite the fact I did not name a file!) - which leads to an error screen on the browser (no page available). How do I convince medialab to just use the added custom lines for data saving from the previous html file rather than trying to display additional custom items? Thanks!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    May be a version issue. The feature that gets MediaLab to skip any custom item without a filename came in v2006.1.28. If you have a version that's prior to that, try installing the latest version from the download page.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2006

    Multiple questions per screen!

    I'm trying to do the multiple questions per screen but i'm not able to do that. How do i do that?
    Also, i'm trying to open the Questionnaire file on the zip file posted, and it is empty. Please, i need help with this.
    Thank you.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    barbara--you need to copy the zipped files to a foplder before you can work with them. If you try to open the .que file while it's still in the zip file, it will appear empty.

  9. #9

    HTML data help


    I created several questionnaires using the websites MediaLab recommended. I then tried to run it and even though it shows up fine in the MediaLab application, it will not save any of the data.

    I was reading the "Help" section on "Custom Items" but I still do not understand why it will not save. Is it my variable names?

    Here is a sample...

    <form action="post">
    <select name="visit#">
    <option value="none"></option>
    <option value="1">1</option>
    <option value="2">2</option>
    <option value="3">3</option>
    <option value="4">4</option>
    Last edited by jarvis24; 04-24-2008 at 11:51 AM.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    There are a couple things I see right off but I don't know if they would be the cause of data not being written. First, I would avoid using a character like "#" in your variable name. I would suggest using "visit" rather than "visit#". Also, you use "action = post" but it should be "method = post".

    There is a nice demographics sample in the sharing area that shows the proper syntax for a variety of custom question types. See:

    If you make those changes and the data still are not showing up, make sure the variable name in the MediaLab questionnaire matches--e.g., in this case the ML variable should also be "visits".

  11. #11

    Radios.zip Not Working

    I am having trouble using Custom items with radio buttons. When the data are stored, the entry is var_01=4 instead of 4. The sample in Radios.zip (above) stored "ok" as the responses--the numbers assigned to the buttons (1,2,3) do not get recorded. The response times are recorded but no values for the items. Also, the ml.subs does not work. If I put <ml.wording> directly in the html code, it works fine.

    [edited by moderator]
    Last edited by jarvis24; 02-20-2010 at 04:08 AM.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    It may be a function of the version of MediaLab you are using. Because changes were made to how ML handles custom items during the early releases of v2006, it's recommended that you use the final release of v2006 (available from http://www.empirisoft.com/dowload_old.aspx) or v2008 or later. And also to use the syntax recommended in the final set of samples provided in v2008 (I've attached them here in case it helps).

    See also:
    Attached Files Attached Files

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