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DEX Online


DEX Online is a Romanian language dictionary. We have 1.6M unique monthly visitors and 12M monthly page views. Help us write new features and our users will love you!

Romanian literature crawler

We are in dire need of a tool to crawl Romanian literature, articles and other texts. This is the groundwork for several major features:

  • Find words that DEX online doesn't know, but which occur frequently on the Internet. Write a script to crop usage examples for these words and pass them on to a team of linguists so that they can write definitions for them.
  • Show usage examples along with our definitions. An optional extra step would be to allow power users to upvote or downvote some of these examples.
  • Compute statistics on diacritics. For example, compute that, in the context ''abcdSefgh'', S has 90% probability and Ș has 10% probability. This can be used to insert diacritics in a text.

Required knowledge:

  • basic PHP.
  • basic MySQL.
  • willingness to learn basic Idiorm, a simple ORM library.

Skill level: Beginner.

Approximate search using trigrams

Currently, DEX online does a moderate (read "crappy") job at approximate searches. The comparison function strips the common prefix and suffix and whatever is left must be 1 character long. See for an example.

A better approach uses trigrams: find the word(s) that have the most trigrams (groups of three letters) in common with the search term.

Required knowledge:

  • basic PHP.
  • basic algorithms.
  • basic MySQL.
  • willingness to learn basic Idiorm, a simple ORM library.

Skill level: Beginner.

HTML5 games (no Flash)

We need lots of little games to help people develop their language skills. Ideas:

  • Hangman.
  • Boggle.
  • Word search.
  • Anagrams (find as many as you can in 3 minutes).

These can be self-contained or they can interface with the DEX online database (via Ajax, for example).

Required knowledge:

  • HTML.
  • CSS.
  • basic MySQL.
  • A knack for UI design helps, but we can provide the UI design if needed.

Skill level: Intermediate.

Contest infrastructure

We are planning to start running contests to build up customer loyalty. We need the infrastructure to host contests, begin/end rounds, judge the answers (when they are not unique) and publish the results.

An example of a contest topic is finding the meanings behind our word-of-the-day word and image (they are all chosen for a reason).

We need different scoring methods:

  • All correct answers get one point.
  • The first X people to answer a question get one point each, others get none.
  • The first 3 persons to answer get 10, 5 and 3 points respectively.
  • Contests can have one or several rounds.

Required knowledge:

  • intermediate PHP.
  • intermediate MySQL.
  • willingness to learn the DEX online code base in depth.

Skill level: Intermediate.


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