Database Preparation

As all of the substantive text related to Grammar Captive newsletters and podcasts is stored in rows and columns of several tables in the Grammar Captive database, the column definitions of these tables must be modified to accommodate natural language full-text search and match operations.  As this modification has now been achieved, I can begin writing the code that receives the user’s search request, matches it against the data contained in the various tables related to his request, and returns it in a user-friendly, readable format.

In the meantime a user interface for a new search engine has been added to the Grammar Captive mainpage.  Look under the heading Search Grammar Captive.  This engine will match the user’s search request with the Seven Gate’s weekly question-answer pairs.

Have a great day!


The Addition of an Onsite Search Engine

What follows is truly exciting for a novice developer with natural political enemies.

Grammar Captive has discovered Matomo (formerly called PIWIK or Kiwi-P spelled backwards).  Matomo is Google Analytics on your desktop.  In other words, the data with which Grammar Captive does its analysis will not become the property of Google, but remain that of Grammar Captive.

What is more, the software that collects and process the data can reside on the user’s  computer, or a third-party host-server of the user’s own choosing.  Alas, Grammar Captive is free from the clutches of “Big Brother”!

Finally, Matomo costs nothing additionally, but the time of installation and set-up. Indeed, rather than reinventing the wheel and creating my own counters for activity on the Grammar Captive site, I will now write script to tell Matomo what it is that I want counted and how I want it analyzed.

This discovery has also resulted in a new task, but one that is fairly easy to implement and will not cause a great amount of additional delay — an onsite search engine.

The reason that I am adding this fourth, pre-production, development task is the important user information that it offers.  Where before users had to select newsletters and podcasts with the alternatives that I provided, they are now free to select Grammar Captive material without constraint.  The ramifications are both grand and immediate, as I will no longer have to second guess what my users want, for they will tell me directly each time they submit a search in the new Grammar Captive newsletters and podcasts search boxes.  Such information is simply too valuable to be without.

If you would like a preview of what is to come, open to the Grammar Captive mainpage and click in the navigation bar under the subheading Search Grammar Captive.


Completed Upgrades

The following upgrades have been completed:

All communication with the Grammar Captive database is now achieved through a single PHP class.  This means that the database settings of all documents that communicate with the database can be changed by changing only one document.  As this document is only visible to the webmaster, the entire site is now more flexible and secure as a result.

There are now 6 different ways to sign up for the Seven Gates newsletter including four on the Grammar Captive main page and two on the Grammar Captive Podcast host page.  All of these avenues for subscription now use the same, secure, backend mechanism for communication with the Grammar Captive database — namely, MySQL prepared statements.

The offer of a free webinar is now independent of the Grammar Captive webinar series.  The free webinar will become a regularly scheduled webinar available to new and potential Grammar Captive users to ask questions and become acquainted with Grammar Captive’s host.  Sign-up for the webinar is now accessible via the Grammar Captive main page under the heading Introduction in the main page navigation bar.

In order to remove the bubbling effect when doing a search in the Concept and Form and Use podcast archives, the hover mechanism was changed to a click mechanism.  The effect is slightly less dynamic, but much more stable.

The final two plus one remaining development projects are:

  1. the completion of the PHP class for counting user activity in regard to newsletter, podcast, and page hits,
  2. modification of the database to account for different language versions of the Seven Gates newsletter, and
  3. tweeking the PHP mass mailer to handle mass mail.  Up until now it has only managed one email or newsletter at a time.

Surely there will be other important changes down the line, but not until after podcast production has been set into motion — say, in two to three weeks?

By the way, the Grammar Captive website ( has now received just under 410,000 successful page requests since its inception in March 2017 for an average daily request rate of more than 1,750 requests.  This is astounding in light of the fact that not a single podcast has yet to be published.

Where there is a need that I can satisfy, there is hope.







Upgrade and Innovation

While in the process of propagating Grammar Captive’s new PHP class for establishing a new, and importantly uniform connection mechanism to the Grammar Captive database across all points of entry on the Grammar Captive website, other incongruities were found.  In particular the manner in which users could sign up for the Seven Gates weekly newsletter.

It was not a simple matter of copy and past, and much was learned in the process; nevertheless, you can now sign up for the Seven Gates newsletter, even if you do not make it to the Seventh Gate of the Grammar Captive splash panel.

Just click on the word Subscribe under the heading Info/Newsletter in the navigation bar on the Grammar Captive main page, fill out the form, and submit your information.  Then, watch what happens, for you will likely be impressed.

You might like to read a newsletter or two in the new Seven Gates archive before you sign up.  And, if your work week has ended as well as mine, I wish you a great weekend, as well.


Newsletter Body Formatting

Still another minor upgrade as I move forward with the development of  hit counters for both the Grammar Captive podcasts and newsletters.  In effect, I have discovered how to add formatting to the body of the text and other selected fields.

Go to the Grammar Captive main page, look in the navigation bar under Newsletter and click on the word Archive.  Then select Click and Read in the discoverable section under Newsletter No. 8.  Look at the formatting of the body of the letter and compare this result with the letter body of any other newsletter currently available in the archive.

WOW!  What a difference.



Grammar Captive’s First Newsletter Delivery

You can now sign up for a Grammar Captive account and receive your first free copy of Seven Gates, Grammar Captive’s weekly newsletter in your email box.   Now, what is cool!

After having received the newsletter you have three choices available to you in the newsletter.  If you

  1. subscribed and now change your mind, you can unsubscribe.
  2. did not subscribe, but like what you find, you can subscribe.
  3. subscribed when you opened your account, and you like what you find, simply do nothing and receive the next and every future edition free of charge thereafter.

What to do?

  1. Open to Grammar Captive’s main page and follow the second splash panel to Gate 7.
  2. Proceed to the last panel of the gate and sign up where it says Free Gifts.
  3. Just do as you are instructed thereafter.