TextQuest - Software

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History

Like many other programs also TextQuest has a history. The first designs were made in 1981 and programmed at the computer centre of the Westfälische-Wilhelms-University in Münster/Westfalia. The programming language was PL/1, the computer was an IBM 3032 mainframe running MVS. The program was named INTEXT as an acronym for Inhaltsanalyse von Texten (content analyses of texts). 1986 the first seminar on computer aided content analysis at the institute for communication took place. 1987 INTEXT was presented at the SoftStat conference in Heidelberg/Germany, and many visitors were demanding a version for the PC.

A year later INTEXT/PC was finished, and in the following years over 100 licenses were sold world wide. It was necessary for the PC-version to change the programming language and to port the complete source code from PL/1 to C to be able to keep the algorithms and data structures. INTEXT was permanently developed, and until 1998 the version number was 4.1. The MS-DOS age ended a few years before, and the demand for an INTEXT for Windows arose. Unfortunately a program with that name already exists, and so a new name had to be found. TextQuest was the chosen name, a trademark was registered at the German and European Patent and trade mark office. 

Again it was necessary to change the programming language, one reason was that TextQuest should not only run under MS-Windows, but also under other graphical user interfaces. The portability of the code was gained by using C++ and WxWidgets. In 1999 the first version was released, and the program is under active development. 2002 the readability module was completly rewritten, instead of 8 formulas for 2 languages 68 formulas for 7 languages were implemented.

In 2005 the whole menu system was newly programmed, and a result menu was added. Also sorting functions for word lists, word combinations, word permutations, and KWICs were implemented.

Version 3.0 has two new modules: the category manager that allows the interactive construction of a category system based on a vocabulary or the file of not coded text units - this allows the coding of responses of open ended questions. The multiple comparison module can compare more than two vocabularies.

Version 4.0 is available for MS-windows and also for Apple Macintosh running Mac OS-X 10.4 or better.