2.0.1 New Features

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mikelove

皇帝
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#1
Thought I'd start a new topic to ask this specific question: which ONE, MINOR new feature would you most like to see in 2.0.1?

Please post only one feature - we've already got everyone's feature suggestions collected from the other threads, so this isn't about gathering ideas, it's about deciding which of those ideas are the most urgent / important. And by "minor" I mean something that involves maybe a maximum of one new checkbox / button or a couple of new popup list options. And no need to post bug fixes, we've already got those pretty well prioritized.

The one larger thing which we're planning for 2.0.1 is a "User Dictionary Manager" screen, taking the place of the increasingly-murky MakePlecoDict 2.0 - this would provide you with a way to create new user dictionaries, edit their names / default icon colors / etc, and import / export entries into them directly (sans flashcards) from text files, along with a Lock/Unlock button and the ability to generate a line index for faster browsing through long dictionaries (not sure if anyone's built one big enough for this to matter yet, but if you get to 10,000+ entries or so it starts to get extremely slow to scroll through the entry list). So basically it lets you everything you could do in MakePD 1.0, but with the advantages/disadvantages of being built right into the software instead of being in a separate utility. (most of the code for this was already written for various 2.0 betas, but we took it out since we didn't want to add a big new thing to test so late in the game)
 
#2
Does the XHTML support for the reader you mentioned elsewhere count as Minor Feature? I can't remember if you said that was coming in 2.0.1 or 2.1.0... It wouldn't actually need any new buttons, would it? Just a new entry in the pop-up list to select reader documents.

That dictionary manager will be nice to have, though :D.
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
#3
That would be a Major Feature, unfortunately - actually with that one specifically we're waiting to see how Windows Mobile 6.5 turns out, supposedly it has a much-upgraded version of Pocket IE (which unlike Opera Mobile can be embedded in an application) so if that has the necessary APIs for document reading we might just use it instead of rolling our own XHTML viewer.
 
#4
Fair enough :), though I don't see that being a lot of use to people who are running 2003/5/6/6.1 and can't/won't upgrade to WM 6.5. Having just purchased a WM device, I'm not exactly eager to purchase another one when 6.5 comes out :).
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
#5
I'd imagine there'll be a system upgrade available, at least for the Treo Pro (can't think Palm would discontinue/replace it so soon, so they'll need to provide a way to update it to 6.5). But fair point, and of course it wouldn't help Palm people either - at the same time, writing an XHTML renderer is really really hard, even with just a small subset of features, and memory / performance issues are going to make it harder still given that the second we do release it everybody's immediately going to want to be opening up their 10 MB copies of 红楼梦, so it's not something we can implement very soon. (perhaps we could come up with some sort of interim solution, though, like a simple way to embed bookmarks / chapter headings at least)
 
#6
True enough, but we're assuming Palm will still be around when 6.5 comes out :D. If Nova flops really badly, or isn't even out by then, then they might not be. Anyway, that's seriously off-topic.

Also, HLM clocks in at around 2MB as a text file. Even heavily marked up, i don't see it being much more than double (or triple) that. But that's still not going to be at all fun to get working at a reasonable speed without throwing all sorts of interesting out-of-memory errors. And your current code-point-based method of reading the file would no longer work as you'd need to read to the end of the current tag (e.g. reading '<a h' wouldn't be a lot of use. You'd need to read until you hit the '>'), but that still wouldn't work as you can no longer be sure how many code-points are being displayed, as opposed to being converted to hidden formatting marks... Yeah, that would be pretty horrible.
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
#7
Well we could always run through it with a stream parser, convert it to an intermediate format on the handheld, keep that cached somewhere (maybe the same directory as the original document), but by not documenting or facilitating sharing of documents in that intermediate format we'd force people to save / share the original XHTML files (thus reducing the odds of future compatibility issues). That would be pretty much what I was describing in my earlier post, reusing most of the code from the desktop converter utility with a few minor modifications and a slightly simpler file format.
 
#8
It may be a major addition but to me it would be a Major help...

Fix the Compounds screen so that we can see the pinyin and definition too. At present we can barely see the Chinese words. Could use text wrapping, or scrolling.
Thanks for the great product.
 
#9
It's probably too major for a 2.0.1... but the feature I'd like to see most is annotations (that are viewable from within a flashcards session).

I'd perhaps see it envisaged as a "yellow sticky-note" sorta icon on the toolbar in the dictionary module; and the icon would change somehow to indicate whether annotations are entered for the current dictionary entry. Tap the icon to enter/edit the annotation.

During a flashcards session, after revealing, I'd see a the "yellow sticky-note" icon somewhere on the screen if there was an annotation for that entry. I'd tap it to see the annotation. (I don't see a need for editing capability within the flashcards session.)
 
#11
Well, I'd like to be able to add new entries (grouping especially) to the TOP of the list not the bottom. This really works much better for longer lists of categories, since the newer one is bound to be used more (chapter by chapter vocab lists, for example), and it means much less scrolling.

Currently, I have:
//Classes/Z/Z11,Z10,Z09,etc and //Classes/T/T08,T07,etc.

So, I have flashcards at the 3rd level right now.

You might also want to add another level. But, for now, I handle that by adding a letter 'a','b',etc on the end of lists, for primary list, secondary, extra, etc.
 
#12
Thanks for all the hard work on Pleco 2. I love having audio and the reader is great too. I'm still learning to use the flashcards properly.

Regarding new features: this may be possible already, but if it is I can't figure it out;
1. using a soft or hard button (not auto play) to play the audio in flashcards prior to the answer being revealed. ( when only the 汉字 is visible )
2. revealing the answer, tone then meaning separately, one after the other using a hard button ( first press tone, second press meaning ).
 
#14
Here Are A Couple Of Features I'd Find Useful Inside A Flashcard Session:

1) Dictionary Selection Button.
This Would Allow The User To View Alternative Definitions For A Flashcard.

2) Ability To Toggle Audio On/Off
(Or Volume Control)
 
#15
mikelove said:
Thought I'd start a new topic to ask this specific question: which ONE, MINOR new feature would you most like to see in 2.0.1?
Be able to press on speaker when only characters are shown in flashcard headword and hearing audio for that (those) character(s). That way we can distinguish cards that have different pinyin or different tones for the same character(s) and answer the flash card correctly rather than have a 50% chance of getting it right even if we know the characters well.
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
#16
johnowenschina - we're thinking about adding a "Popup" button along with the "Goto" one on the Compounds screen, actually which would give you a popup definition of the current entry (and let you use the Prev/Next Entry buttons to scroll between them), so that would provide most of this functionality (along with letting you see the definitions even in a flashcard / reader session).

sych / sfrrr - a rudimentary flashcard annotation feature is at least a possibility; we're planning a full-fledged annotation system (not only for cards but dictionaries etc as well) in 2.1 and it would be nice to get some early feedback / suggestions on it by adding a very simple version in 2.0.1. (as sych describes, with an extra button you can pop up to view and edit notes)

jinji - interesting - would this be used to add missing words you see in the document?

stephanhodges - are you referring to cards or categories? Categories you can already add that way if you just highlight the category at the top of the list before adding a new one, cards it'd be tougher though if you sort the Manage Cards results by created date descending that would put the newest cards (though not the most recently added to the category) on top.

stoney - so the audio would only be played on the button press and not as soon as the card comes up? You can already map the audio play to a button, actually (from the Flashcards section of Preferences), though that won't stop it from playing audio as soon as the card comes up. You can reveal parts of cards separately if you map hardware buttons to the "screen left" / center / right commands and enabled the reveal-separately option in the Modes section of Advanced Settings.

The Duelist - good ideas, though might be difficult to squeeze into the current flashcard interface without reconfiguring a bit - I guess the audio could be toggle-able through a popup menu, though.

renovator - bit different from how you described this in the e-mail; so this would just be a way to play audio for highlighted characters?
 
#17
My "new" feature would be to color the "audio" button so that people know what they're going to get. As well this will prevent new users from thinking the audio is 'broken' when nothing plays or when multi-syllable audio plays.

Gray if no sound will play
Blue if recorded audio will play
Yellow if mult-syllable audio will play

(Colors are just a suggestion, any color differentiation will do).
 
#18
mikelove said:
johnowenschina - we're thinking about adding a "Popup" button along with the "Goto" one on the Compounds screen, actually which would give you a popup definition of the current entry (and let you use the Prev/Next Entry buttons to scroll between them), so that would provide most of this functionality (along with letting you see the definitions even in a flashcard / reader session).

Fantastic, Thanks Mike! Looking forward to it.

Any prospect of a PDF help file? or CHM help file?
 
#19
There are several scenarios:

Adding a new category (card deck). For this, it seems to add it directly below whatever is selected. I believe that is what you are referring to?

Importing a new category/deck. This puts it at the end (assuming the import file already specifies group and category names, which mine do. Otherwise, it puts it at the very end of all categories.

Group by button also puts categories at the bottom of the group, not the top.

Once you have over 40 or 50 of these individual categories, no matter how many groups, you start to appreciate that putting them at the top of their group lists really saves a lot of time when opening all the selection scroll windows.
 
#20
I have a small suggestion that should be pretty simple to implement. I find that the current "answer quality" studying method slows me down considerably when studying, because I have to first reveal the answer and choose Correct or Incorrect, before it lets me choose the answer quality. Ideally, I think it should give me all 6 levels immediately, like most flash card programs. All of these should also be mappable to hardware buttons, of course.

Why is the system the way it is now? Because of screen estate?
 
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