(Late update – release 4.3 was rolled on 6 May 2016)
This is primarily a feature release.
Script Support (templates, editor, and tester!)
There is now a script editor that provides pretty decent syntax highlighting. It does not do syntax checking, so there is still room for improvement, but it’s far better than the plain text editor we had.
To use it, start by creating a “Script” folder under your “Templates” tab. Any file created in Script or its subfolders is treated as an FTL script. When you ‘create template’ in a script folder, the script editor will be used.
When creating or editing a script, you will also see two new buttons: “Select Doc” and “Test”.
Start with “Select Doc”. This opens a dialog to select any file in Feeds or Content to use as input to test your script.
Now punch the “Test” button and your script is run on the selected input document and the output shown in a dialog.
This is great, but there is a “missing link”. The workflow has not yet been updated to use scripts from the templates area, so you still have to copy and paste. The next minor release will finish the workflow so this isn’t required, but until then, we at least have a way to test scripts before using them in workflows.
Workflow “rework” Button
Here’s a common scenario: I send a dozen HITs to MTurk and half of them expire. What should I do? Start with changing the HIT definition to extend the “HIT Lifetime”. There is no need to change the workflow rule on the folder, as it references the “live” copy of the HIT definition. This fixes NEW documents, but there are two cases it does not fix.
First, any document already in the “old” workflow will continue and either complete or not. If it completes, great, if not, it falls into the next case.
Which is documents that expired and MTurk. Work that expires will be left in the folder where the workflow was running. You will see that there is no workflow icon on the document. It will sit there forever. Unless, you punch (gently but firmly) the (new) “Run Workflows” button. This applies the folder rule to ALL documents in the folder.
This is your “rework” option.
Anything that fails to complete – not just MTurk – can be rerun by pressing this button.
Error Tasks for MTurk-T and T2 workflows
Prior to v4.3, errors in MTurk templates died silently. This was a bad idea and not intended. Now, the T, T2, and TW workflows will create an error task if there is a parse problem with any of the templates in those workflows. This error task will always be assigned to the instance OWNER – not your assigned worker – because it is (more or less) only you that can fix the problem.
NOTE: This applies only to newly created workflows – it does not update current workflows or workflow rules – so to get the most benefit of this update, you should recreate your T and T2 workflow rules. Nothing special – just delete and recreate the same rule and you get the new version.