About us: What is scriptingRT?

We are currently collecting data with our new software, so far developed under the working title flashDMDX. It’s time to give it a new, more accurate name and to define what it actually became: ScriptingRT.

ScriptingRT is a software framework for creating online reaction time studies – mainly to be used in experimental psychology and cognitive linguistics. ScriptingRT experiments are Flash apps  and run in any Internet browser that has a Flash plugin installed. ScriptingRT experiments are programmed in Adobe Flex.

ScriptingRT is open source and can be developed with free, open source tools. The development of ScriptingRT is supported by FCT – Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia. The concepts used in ScriptingRT were inspired by the free reaction time software DMDX (a Windows application).

Technically, ScriptingRT is set components developed in Adobe Flex. These components make it easy to develop reaction time studies. The experiments are written in a combination of MXML and ActionScript, and then compiled into a Flash application. The ScriptingRT components make it fairly easy to quickly develop a simple reaction time study. Because ScriptingRT is a framework implemented in Flex, experiments can in addition take advantage of ActionScript, a full-featured programming language (similar to JavaScript) in which additional features can be scripted. Hence the name, ScriptingRT. ScriptingRT is designed to implement the reaction time measurement of a psychological study, and to be used in combination with websites that collect additional data using HTML forms (e.g., Qualtrics or SurveyMonkey).

There are no costs involved if you want to develop ScriptingRT experiments. ScriptingRT itself will be made available under an open source license and comes in the form of an Adobe Flex library (a .SWC file). You can write the experiments using any text editor good for programming (e.g., Notepad++), and compile your programs with the free open source Adobe Flex Software Development Kit. Alternatively, you can use the more professional Flash Builder software, which Adobe gives to educational users for free.

We are currently ironing out some bugs and will publish a first beta version in the coming weeks on this website. In the beginning of January, we will hold a workshop in Lisbon to introduce Portuguese researchers from psychology to scriptingRT and online data collection.


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