The inspiration for Context came from personal experience. As a team, we are often faced with writing documents and find it quite challenging, especially when we are on a tight schedule. We spend a considerable amount of time searching for the right words and wondering if the ones we have come up with are the best and most appropriate. For this reason, we asked ourselves “What would improve our writing experience?”. The answer was a lexical help that could be consulted in Confluence and that would offer a wealth of useful information. Since inspired writing is a gift for the few, we thought that most people would love a little help. That’s why we decided to develop Context.
What it does
Context is a tool that helps people make the process of writing smoother and improve their style. Context provides alternative terms with usage examples as well as ‘collocations’, i.e. words that habitually go together forming natural patterns. With Context, it is no longer necessary to leave Confluence looking for language help as the sought-after words are readily available on the page. Context is designed for people who don’t have the time to rack their brains in search of words. It is especially useful to non-native English speakers who wish to improve their lexical accuracy and avoid mistakes.
How we built it
Context is an NLP-based project. We have worked on different datasets in order to collect information on word usage. The technologies that were exploited are Atlassian Connect, Nodejs (backend), and Reactjs (frontend). The plugin is embedded in a macro which can be accessed via the command /context
Challenges we ran into
The biggest challenge we faced concerns real-time access to the user’s content as they are typing it. We came up with several workarounds in order to provide a pleasant user experience in spite of the technical limitations.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We are proud to have come up with a simple but very practical idea that offers concrete help to all those people who struggle with writing and are tired of wasting time jumping from one resource to the next in search of the right words, often failing to find them. We are pleased to present a highly responsive and well-engineered tool that can easily become an indispensable part of the users' writing routine, also owing to its clean design and intuitive feel.
What we learned
From a strictly technical point of view, we learned to build macros for Confluence. More importantly, though, owing to the technical limitations encountered, we learned to stretch our imagination to find solutions. But above all, we learned to apply our skills to a field which is completely new to us.
What's next for Context: writing made easy.
Firstly, we intend to enrich the synonym section by adding more terms. Secondly, we'd love to add a translation functionality. Our idea is to incorporate translations from different languages from and into English so as to help non-native speakers write their documents faster, more accurately and without the nuisance of having to search for equivalents on the web. This would also help English native speakers who write documents in languages other than English. Lastly, we wish to further exploit Artificial Intelligence to improve the Context experience. In particular, we aim to allow users to copy-paste an entire sentence and have Context to the job of identifying the right synonym for a selected word.