All content on this site is by and copyright ©1994-2023 Tonio Loewald, unless otherwise specified. Best viewed in Firefox, Safari, or IE8.


Whenever a user completes a questionnaire, his/her responses are recorded in a text file (referred to as a "session file"). This file will be saved in the Test Data folder if the user was testing the questionnaire, or the Data folder if he/she was doing it "for real".

The file name is designed to allow multiple questionnaires run concurrently (e.g. on a web server) without overwriting each others' files, and to include information that may be useful later.

The session file name format is:


Thus, the odds of two sessions overwriting each others' data is very small (yes, the runtime environment does check to see if a file with the same name already exists, but even this may not be enough in a realtime environment, hence the random number component).

Similarly, RiddleMeThis uses text files to minimise the complexity of deploying its forms online (e.g. you don't need to have a database server or know how to set one up -- if your web server supports PHP, you can run RiddleMeThis on it).

The session file is saved in the following format:

The first line of text will be "Columns:" followed by the column titles separated by tabs.

The second line of text will be "Choices:" followed by the text descriptions of the choices the user made.

The third line of text will be "Values:" followed by the values associated with the choices the user made.

The reason for storing both choices and values is robustness. Suppose, for example, that you were using RiddleMeThis to run a class quiz, and you set the values for each question to be 0 for incorrect answers and 1 for correct answers. But after running the quiz you realise that you had scored a question incorrectly! Luckily, because we've recorded both the values (or scores) and the choices made that led to them, you can correct your dataset.

Important Note: the online client currently stores results in a simpler (and less robust) format, in essence including only the columns and values rows and omitting the row headings. So in general give each option in a multiple-choice item a different value for online studies.