Feature request (various things)

#1
In order of perceived usefulness:

- Reader: The reader wraps long lines so they fit on the screen. It would be helpful if 'real-new' lines were distinguished from 'pseudo-new' lines that are a result of the wrapping. There are many ways to achieve this: indentation, vertical separation, line numbers, displaying new-line symbol. To achieve this at present, I convert my text files to double space.

- Reader: Text search function.

- Flashcards: Option to 'lock' specific card categories, like can be done with user dictionaries. This is to prevent accidental deletion. I use categories to display HSK level tags on the dictionary entry screen, but somehow manage to remove them from the HSK categories.

- Ability to further refine dictionary search results by part of speech (nouns, verbs, conjunctions, etc.)

- Reader: support for reading subtitle files, together with a "time slider" or "jump to time" function. To achieve this at present, I convert subtitles to plain text, and every insert some new lines with the time code every ~10 minutes.
 
#2
- Ability to search the example sentences using multiple search terms e.g. show all the sentences containing *both* 什么 and 吃.
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
#3
Thanks for the suggestions.

Page break indicator: could you expand on the use case for that? Wouldn't be hard to add but we've never had anyone ask for it before.

Text search: already on our to-do list (and in fact already supported in our iOS app, which to be honest has a considerably more fleshed-out document reader in general at the moment).

Flashcards: to clarify, we would be locking cards from being added to / removed from a category? Through which specific command path do you find yourself accidentally adding / deleting cards from a category?

Part of speech refinement: already in the works, we just recently added a generic filter function (gao#tall => words pronounced 'gao' containing 'tall' in their definitions) and are working to get that working for cross-dictionary parts of speech.

Subtitle files: what format? Would you perhaps also want these to play along automatically, with some sort of scrolling log so that if you missed a phrase you could scroll back and look up what you missed without pausing playback? (this is something we've already put some consideration into, as you might guess)

Multiple search example sentences: good idea, thanks. (also facilitated by the new filtering code)
 
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#4
[Note: these are just ideas. Icing on what is already a very delicious cake.]

Reader line break indication. This primarily concerns when scanning through subtitles and user created transcripts found online. These rarely have 句号's. My work around has been to double space the text before loading it into pleco. Also, when copying and paste text from websites into txt files for later reading on pleco, I will manually go through and ensure there are double spaces between paragraphs, as this sometimes gets lost in copy and paste process.

Accidental card deletion. I have two personal vocab category and six HSK categories. I think accidental deletion happens due to me fat-fingering it on the flash card edit screen, i.e. when I try to hold-and-remove it from one of my vocab categories. If the HSK categories were locked, the hold-to-remove operation could be denied, or display a confirmation prompt. As for adding cards to a locked categories, I don't know, but consistency with the user dictionary lock semantics would make sense.

Subtitles. SRT is very popular, but there are so many different formats, and one can always convert between them using desktop tools. This is how I currently convert by subtitles to plain text.

I don't feel confident to comment on an automatic subtitle play feature. My video watching experience involves many "pause-rewind-play-pause" iterations. When writing the earlier post I did think a little about what this might look like. I envisaged exactly the same reader screen, with the current dialogue line highlighted using a background color. There would be a 'time slider' at the bottom that would let you seek to a time point, but the existing vertical scroll bar of the reader would remain, so that the dialogue could be read normally. The current HH:MM:SS timecode would be displayed on screen, together with a button to input a manual timecode. All the features of the reader would remain, like popup dictionary, text-to-speech, and text search.
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
#5
Understood about line breaks, they would indeed be useful in that case.

With card deletion I think it might make sense to get rid of the long-press thing entirely and use a delete button + confirmation alert instead - two taps are a roughly equivalent hassle to a single tap-hold but reduce the likelihood of incorrect presses. This is already how category deletion works on iOS - indeed it's the standard UI for deleting anything in a list - and it hasn't generated any complaints, so I'm pretty confident that we could introduce it on Android without annoying too many people.

Category locking strikes me as something that can get confusing quickly - not intuitively obvious what exactly one is locking when one locks a category, are we simply locking cards from being added to / removed from it or are we locking the cards themselves from changing or are we preventing the cards from being added to additional categories or something else? I can see the value in some mechanism to ensure that cards are not added to / removed from standard vocabulary lists like HSK but it'll take some careful thinking to work out a way to do that without confusing people.

If conversion is easy then it sounds like just supporting SRT initially would be enough - the main point would seem to be having that extra UI to navigate a subtitle file by time. We'd certainly want to support all of the existing reader features here too, yes.
 
#6
Flashcard feature: It would be very nice if one could temporarily 'sideline' cards from a category that one already knows very will in order to concentrate on cards that one does not know in that category. 'Sideline' meaning that they temporarily become inactive from a category but not really being removed or moved to yet another category. Obviously, one can manually create another category for those cards, but that more or less disassociates the cards from the original category, and that is a manual operation. I'm thinking there are natural categories - like words in a chapter of a text, and if I know 12 of 30, then I don't really want to toss the 12 I know fairly well; rather I want to concentrate on the other 18, until I have those down, and then I want to be able to periodically check myself on the entire chapter - i.e. the original 30. Maybe this has been discussed before and I've missed it.

Thanks!
 
#7
I have one feature request.
When length of query >=3 and #results are small enough (e.g. < 5), automatically search for words with one char difference (e.g. 弄巧反拙 hits 弄巧成拙, 口讲无凭 hits 口说无凭).
In addition to this, It might be helpful if pleco automatically search for words which end with the query (e.g. 铁鞋 hits 踏破铁鞋).
I know I can do these manually by using * and ?, but it would be cool if done automatically.
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
#8
@laobaigou - already supported; create a new category, add your sidelined cards to that category (in addition to the one they're already in), then add a category filter in Card Filters to exclude cards that are in that category.

@Taichi - good idea, thanks.
 
#9
almost ... now if there were a button to move the card from category A to category A' (and vice-versa) at runtime as you learn a card, and then later realize later you don't know it quite as well as you originally thought...
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
#10
@laobaigou - there is; set "Category button default" under Commands and that will then the category button (in the triangle tab) into a one-tap toggle for that category during tests.
 
#11
- I wish measure words were more prominent on the definition screen. e.g. a list of measure word characters appearing just beneath the DICT, STROKE, etc tabs.

This might be only relevant to beginners, but I find myself having to go hunting through different dictionaries looking for measure words. Each dictionary does this differently, ABC sometimes gives the measure word, but other times gives just an English description of what measure word to use. CEDICT is consistently gives the character and pinyin.
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
#12
Good idea, thanks - we'd eventually like to fill in the gaps in ABC/CC with our own data but in the meantime it would be logical to provide an option to list measure words in CHARS or WORDS.
 
#13
Familiar words containing - Whenever I look up an individual character I want to know what other (multi-)character word I already know contains this new character. But, under the words tab, the only options are to see "Words Beginning" and "Words Containing." It would be extremely helpful to include a "Familiar Words Containing" unit, which would collect these words from previous searches taken from the search history or flashcards. What do you think?
Thanks for all of your hard work and amazingly useful app. I use it every day!
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
#14
If you turn on the option to "prioritize flash in containing" in Settings / Definition Screen that will put your flashcards on the top of those lists.
 
#15
Definition screen, CHARS page. I am unsure how the CHARS content is currently sorted, but consider adding a sort option (笔画,拼音).
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
#16
Currently sorted by frequency - I'm a little wary of sorting it as you describe because you could end up with a lot of really obscure characters cluttering up space before you get to the useful ones, but we need to add some more flexibility to character component browsing one way or another.
 
#17
- Popup dictionary. I find it awkward to scroll through different dictionaries as the dict name also serves as the scroll button. After clicking tou must move your digit away from the screen to see what dictionary is in shown. Furthermore, when you scroll past the dictionary you want, you have to scroll all the way through them again. I am not sure how to improve usability in the limited screen space available, perhaps left/right swipe interface.

- plecoapi://. This thing is fantastic. An URL option that instructs Pleco to immediately display the stroke order page would be helpful. I am using it with Anki character flashcards, and sometimes want to quickly check the stroke order. e.g. 'plecoapi://x-callback-api/s?q=舆&display=stroke'. If the q= char/word is not known then it should just display the search screen.
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
#18
- Popup dictionary. I find it awkward to scroll through different dictionaries as the dict name also serves as the scroll button. After clicking tou must move your digit away from the screen to see what dictionary is in shown. Furthermore, when you scroll past the dictionary you want, you have to scroll all the way through them again. I am not sure how to improve usability in the limited screen space available, perhaps left/right swipe interface.
Yeah, that UI is definitely in need of a revamp - hasn't had one since 2009 but should hopefully be getting one in our 3.3 update.

- plecoapi://. This thing is fantastic. An URL option that instructs Pleco to immediately display the stroke order page would be helpful. I am using it with Anki character flashcards, and sometimes want to quickly check the stroke order. e.g. 'plecoapi://x-callback-api/s?q=舆&display=stroke'. If the q= char/word is not known then it should just display the search screen.
Good idea, thanks.
 
#19
- Flashcards (bug). TTS always uses the *male voice* for flashcards that have *no pinyin* entry.

Admittedly, my use case here is a bit strange. My flashcards have numerical headwords (e.g. 638261). The aim being to practice number recognition and simple maths.
 
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