Feature Suggestions

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
ben_gb - #1 would probably best be implemented through the revamped Card Info screen; that's due to be reorganized into a multi-tab affair, so that you can get more than two lines of definition on it at the same time, and once we do that we can easily add an option to display the full definition in Card Info. (early sketches for it look really cool, actually - we may even be putting some graphs / detailed statistics / next scheduled review time / etc type stuff on it)

I'm getting more resistant to the idea of adding new button options to flashcards at this point due to the combined impact of iPhone and the Palm Pre (and the likelihood of increasing numbers of finger-driven WM devices too) - already with every button enabled it's very difficult to hit the button you want with a finger, and if we add any more it'll become downright impossible. So I'd much rather combine / add new functionality to existing buttons then introduce brand new ones. Maybe we should do some sort of survey to figure out if there are any buttons that are lightly-used enough that we could easily eliminate them, though I'm guessing every one has at least a few advocates out there.

#2 as mfcb says has already been mentioned once or twice - I'm not wild about rearranging the flashcard screen controls on every card flip (could get slow / annoying, on VGA devices especially) but providing an option to change the information displayed would at least give you a way to mask out that score info.
 

radioman

状元
I have a feature suggestion, and might throw an identified bug in here as well. I see some related stuff on the board, but not quite what I am requesting here.

First, while in the reader (Palm T5), showing "run definition in a popup window", I get the special reader popup window. I understand why that is there. However, I would like the option to be able to get the standard "dictionary" popup window while in the reader that allows me to do the standard dictionary things like bring up character info. Also, the "hack" that I miss with that popup is to be able to access the dictionary module and manually type in other characters for lookup.

As a general statement on usability (my own perspective of course), when in the reader, if I want to "scroll" through characters sequentially with a view to their associated definitions, I just take it out of "reader popup" mode and use the highlight bar. For me this, mode is appropriate for text where there is a large percentage of words I do not know. However, with many of the files I am reading, only a small percentage of the words I would want to do a look up (maybe 3%-5%).

I see that if I run split window with the definition at the bottom (or reader popup) I can get the the dictionary popup definition, but at the expense of screen real estate as well having to view definitions that are not of necessarily of interest.

As for the bug (not a priority by any means), within the reader, if you bring up a popup window of a word, within that there is a definition that could contain Hanzi. If you highlight that Hanzi, you will have the option to do various things including magnify the character. At this point the character is displayed in large font but is not vertically centered and in certain cases is fully unreadable.
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
Good note on that bug. On the reader suggestion, I see your point, but while the popup windows look similar they're actually driven by entirely code on the engine side, so it would be really really tricky to allow seamless switching into the dictionary-style popup - we're combining those two sets of code on iPhone, though, so it may be somewhat easier on that.
 

Alexis

状元
I would love to see a "List Today's Incorrect" button in the main flashcard screen.

This would provide a listing (one entry per line) of flascards answered incorrectly that day. It would only show incorrect cards for the current profile. You could click on each entry to see the full card.

Justification: I have 5 flashcard profiles that I do daily on the bus. I like to study the ones I got wrong in more detail when I get home. This is not currntly possible (review incorrect at end for this purpose only really works if I had only one flashcard profile).
 

Alexis

状元
Or instead of a seperate button, some advanced search options that would accomplish the same thing would be good too. (ie. Last Correct = N AND Last Reviewed = Today AND scorefile = Name_of_scorefile).
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
There already are search options for those, actually - the scorefile is determined by your current profile selection, so just choose the profile you want to search in and do an advanced search for last correct = N and last reviewed >= today's date.
 

radioman

状元
If I go to:

>manage flashcards ==> Find all cards where category is.... Sort by....

I might be missing something, but In the "Sort by" section, there is no way to sort by Definition.

I am not interested in sorting on main dictionaries (i.e., ABC definition), but on custom card definitions that I have created.
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
No, there's no option for that - we didn't think it was something people would generally want to sort by. Do you have a lot of one-word / simple definitions, or are you just looking for an easy way to separate cards that have definitions from those that don't?
 

Scoox

举人
Loop animation

It would be very useful to have a checkbox next to the character animation; if the checkbox is checked, the animation repeats forever. Thanks!
 

radioman

状元
I have about 200 sentences within any given chapter that I am studying - This week's problem was that about 30 of them were from a special dialog that I wanted to concentrate on that were previously not organized to a single category so wanted to see the English defintion to quickly pick them out and put them in their own category. I know it's a bit off the beaten track of the initial design intent, but as I pour more custom content in to my flashcards (which constitutes the bulk of what I am doing with flashcards), the feature would be useful for me.
mikelove said:
No, there's no option for that - we didn't think it was something people would generally want to sort by. Do you have a lot of one-word / simple definitions, or are you just looking for an easy way to separate cards that have definitions from those that don't?

Also off the Beaten Track...

"Bookmarking" a Flashcard (stick with me on this one...) - Basically, my goal is to quickly ask the my teacher a question on a given flash card or reader file next time I am in class.

- Within the Pleco Reader - If I run into text that I want to ask the teacher about, I actually use the question I want to ask as the title of the bookmark.

- Within Pleco Flashcard Module - Right now, even without a per-card memo feature, a card could be dropped in the "ask the teacher" category. However, I then have to remember why I put it there in the first place (not always easy). A per-card memo feature would solve that, but if there was a fast way to do a similar bookmark type function to that described above, that would address the issue as well.


And some other semi-related items...

Specific Reader Bookmarks - When placing a bookmark I do not see the exact character where the bookmark was placed. Would it be possible to have a specific highlight to the exact location where the cursor was when the bookmark was initially created?

Sending a flashcard into the reader - If I have a flashcard of a sentence, I want the option be able to throw that into the reader after the card is revealed. If that act interrupted the flashcard session, that is OK as long as I could again enter the flashcard module and take up the flashcard session where I left off.
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
Scoox - interesting idea, though it seems like it might make more sense as a preferences option in order to keep that interface a bit less cluttered (we already want to redesign it to make more space for the character on tall / wide screens).

radioman - ah, makes sense. I'd rather not create a separate bookmarking system that's independent of the category one, but flashcard annotations are definitely something we'd like to do.

Character-specific bookmarks I think we're going to be playing around with a bit in the iPhone version (which in general is getting a newer take on the reader UI which we plan to subsequently bring back to Palm/WM) - the bookmark code in 2.0 now is such a maze of poorly-designed garbage that I'd rather not add any more features to it at this point, it really needs to be thrown out and rewritten altogether.

We're also looking at some ways of combining the reader and Popup Definition UI, so the whole concept of "Send To Reader" may be obsolete by the time we get to 2.1 - if we can, say, overlay the interface in the flashcard / main definition screen with some reader controls, there's really no need to jump to that separate reader screen.
 

Scoox

举人
mikelove said:
Scoox - interesting idea, though it seems like it might make more sense as a preferences option in order to keep that interface a bit less cluttered (we already want to redesign it to make more space for the character on tall / wide screens).
Yeah I don't really mind where you put it because I'd have looping ON by default. But then you would need to have some sort of Stop button to stop the animation if needed (and I do think the ability to stop the animation is a must). To that end I would suggest that the Play button become a Stop button while the animation is running. When the Stop button is tapped, the whole character is shown straightaway and the animation stops. This Play/Stop dual funcionality would be useful also for users who don't wish to turn looping on.

One thing I don't like about the current implementation is that if I tap on the animation it halts (on my Palm Zire 72). I don't know if this is so by design but I would love to be able to "write" over an animation to practise the strokes. This encourages learning because the character is both seen and felt. At present this is not possible.

Thanks Mike!
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
Well yes, we definitely need to provide a better way to interrupt animations in progress - that's a somewhat tricky proposition on Palm, though, due to the lack of multithreading support.
 

Scoox

举人
mikelove said:
Well yes, we definitely need to provide a better way to interrupt animations in progress - that's a somewhat tricky proposition on Palm, though, due to the lack of multithreading support.
Actually I think interrupting animations IS possible already :D I don't know whether you intentionally coded this behaviour or it is a side-effect of the Palm OS, but, as I said, if I tap anywhere on the screen while an animation is in progress, it halts!

I love Palm but no multitasking is a big disadvantage and one day I will end up getting a WM device. You will find that many Palm OS users, myself included, are reluctant to switch to WM because of an application called DateBK6 which is THE best PIM out there and is only available for Palm :?
 

taijidan

举人
I'd like a Forecast for Automatic Scoring: (Should be really easy to implement) a basic forecast screen to tell you how many cards are due each day for the next week, month, ... (given you didn't add/answer any - so you can see how they would they build up).
Anki has some pretty flashy graphs, which are nice, but something simple would be fine.

I have written a small vb app to do what I want - but it would be nice to have this built into pleco.
 

Attachments

taijidan

举人
Hi Mike,

Inspired by sites like antimoon.com and alljapaneseallthetime.com I have started looking at sentences for flashcards.

One of the beautiful things about pleco is that you can create flashcards directly from the dictionary entries - this means it's easy, fast and accurate. Making sentence flashcards is a little trickier, but I found I can build them in a spreadsheet and import them into pleco - it works quite well. I have a few queries.

1) The audio on flashcards seems to read a max of 8 characters and then stops. Is this configurable? Could it be extended?
2) The colour coding of characters by tone also seems to have some limit ~20 chars.
3) You mentioned the new dictionary has lots of example sentences - would there be some way you could create flashcards from the new dictionary to automatically use an example sentence as the Chinese you are tested on?

Cheers
Dan
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
Scoox - I think the tap-halt was intentional, actually, but IIRC it was going to be really complicated to get animations to interrupt with a button instead - the tapping was easier to manage because of the nature of Palm OS pen events.

DateBk6 is pretty spectacular, yeah - they actually support the Palm Pre now, so that or WM + StyleTap might be the best way to keep it on a newer phone.

taijidan - is that forecast coming from a Pleco flashcard database or from a separate VB flashcard program you've written? Adding some sort of prediction system makes sense, though it would probably be coupled with the new all-encompassing repetition algorithm we're hoping to introduce in 2.1.

Sentences are also a 2.1 (or possibly later) thing, but it would certainly be possible to extract examples from the ABC and ACE databases at least and turn them into flashcards. Both color coding and audio could theoretically be extended as far as we want them to, but honestly I'm not sure if that's such a good idea with audio, at least with the way it works now - that syllable-by-syllable pronunciation would get downright excruciating after a while. So before supporting sentence-length audio I think we'd need a proper text-to-speech system rather than simply a series of recordings.
 

daniel123

榜眼
There are three things I would really like to see:

1) In a flashcard session, when configured "Review incorrect cards at end" and "loop" the order of the reviewed cards is always the same. For example first it repeats 10 words. And I need to repeat all 10 at a second loop and afterwards 8 in the third loop and 6 and 5 and so on... that's when I start to remember the words faster because of its order instead of its meaning. I would like to have the cards randomly mixed for each new loop.

I hope this could be a thing in 2.0x...

2) Surely something for 2.x:
In the reader you already use an algorithm to recognize words of two or more syllables. Many of such words already have its own recording. You could use this algorithm also in prounciation for sentences in dictionaries or vocabularies (or even in the reader). That could lead to more fluently pronounced sentences than just read them syllable by syllable. Maybe you could even give the user the possibility to choose which words belong together. I guess this could very much improve the quality of sound in sentences.

2b) I proposed it a time ago but it seems to be a special case of (2). I am really wish that pronouncing of two syllable words ending with 儿 like 这儿 or 那儿 would be pronounced as usual instead of two different words/syllables. Maybe you can realize this before (2).

THX

Daniel
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
Randomizing the repeat-incorrect order should be easy enough (and a good idea), only question there is where we put the checkbox. (since it'll have to remain an option to keep it in the same order - some people would undoubtedly prefer that)

The reader actually isn't very good at breaking down sentences into words, we need a proper text segmenter for that - there's a very good open-source one of those we've been thinking about using but it'll take some work to port it to Palm/WM. Really, though, to do a proper job of reading long documents we need not just a text segmenter but a very good sandhi algorithm and a new set of single-syllable recordings that are shorter and include varying syllable lengths / stresses / halfway tones / etc; just pulling up multi-syllable recordings wouldn't be enough, I'm afraid.
 
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