Linking to Pleco through web app licensing

#1
Hello!

I hope this is an acceptable place to post this as it is actually for a concept that I was planning on developing, but that I think that you all might find interesting/useful as well and I would appreciate any insights or advice that may come from bringing it up here.

I would like to build a web interface to a database where people can create a personal dictionary by inputting a character and then having some of the fields autopopulate; those fields being: pinyin, tone, traditional character, part of speech, and a simple meaning; and then having more fields after that where they can put in their own personally relevant definition of the character(s), a mnemonic that is relevant to them for maybe the character and the tone, or the real or folk or personal etymology, etc, and a picture or sound if they have one and would like to associate it.

So my situation then is this: I would like to have a dictionary reference that could populate at least the traditional character (or vice versa if a traditional character was entered), the pinyin and a separate tone designation for sorting purposes when querying the database about tones, as well as a simple definition along the lines of the HANYU PINYIN extension in Google Sheets.
Example of the HANYU PINYIN extension:
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1KrQ-KqMzdK_qnG_CvafqMA8AN0E5uqlX-_usHYKaE_0/edit?usp=sharing

I would also really like to be able to display a more authoritative definition so that people can stay on track with entering good information, and the best source that I know of for that is Pleco of course. :) So then to the point, is there a way to license a way to query the Pleco database? I have looked over the CCEDICT file and it will possibly serve the first purpose, but giving a Pleco definition would help to create good solid definitions for the people learning.

This would be an open source and share/share alike concept, and ultimately if it worked I would like for users to be able to browse each others databases to look for characters and mnemonics that other people are using and be able to copy those over to their personal study system, especially people that are learning together. My friend and I are both studying with different teachers and we can trade Anki decks, but I am really envisioning a more unified system. The major advantage to storing it in a single database (as opposed to a grouping of cards across decks across users) would be the ability to display the information in different ways using personalized CSS and to put tags on the characters for querying specific details that they want to study at the moment, such as verbs that are also beach related and such.

Anyway, I have a lot of ideas about it and you all seem the best group to initiate a conversation with about it as we all are trying to do the same thing; if this isn't appropriate for this forum then of course I will not be offended if it needs to be removed. :)

Thanks,
Jesse
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
#2
So then to the point, is there a way to license a way to query the Pleco database? I have looked over the CCEDICT file and it will possibly serve the first purpose, but giving a Pleco definition would help to create good solid definitions for the people learning.
I'm afraid that's not possible, no. Given the way this is designed, I expect an open-source dictionary would be better for your purposes anyway: with any licensed dictionary there would necessarily be restrictions on further redistribution and certainly on charging money for lists based on it. If you stick with CC-CEDICT, you'll have a lot more freedom to expand this in whatever direction you and your users want without those constraints.

We are greatly expanding / improving on our user dictionary format in 4.0 and our intent is also at some point in the not too distant future to make it easier for people to share user dictionaries within Pleco, so once that's out we might be able to discuss a way for users to import this personal dictionary into Pleco and thus use entries from it alongside their definitions from our other dictionaries without requiring us to make any sort of a deal on content sharing.
 
#3
My friend and I are both studying with different teachers and we can trade Anki decks, but I am really envisioning a more unified system. The major advantage to storing it in a single database (as opposed to a grouping of cards across decks across users) would be the ability to display the information in different ways using personalized CSS and to put tags on the characters for querying specific details that they want to study at the moment, such as verbs that are also beach related and such.
A totally random comment - when I used Anki, I made a heavy use of "Chinese Support" plugin, even if it had some problems with placing pinyin on certain finales like iu and extremely rare mistakers. I also had a link in a card like

<a href="plecoapi://x-callback-url/s?mode=df&hw={{Hanzi}}sec=dict&x-source=Anki">Pleco</a>

This sort of achieves all you want to do, if you want to continue sharing decks. If you don't - maybe Skritter with writing turned off :)
 
#4
Thanks Mike, I had figured as much but also thought that I wasn't doing my due diligence if I didn't ask. :)

I will venture off and attempt to make a functional thing from it, and if it is every found useful by more than just me and my friend, then a method of putting it into the Pleco system's personal dictionary would be a very nice ability to have. Thank you kindly for the offer.

That is a very interesting file werewitt, I am going to have to take my time to parse through it to understand what it does...the reason why we're attempting to make this site is to alleviate the tweaking that we have to do with other apps and make an all in one tool that works for us...although I'm absolutely certain that there exists a combination of tools and settings that probably do what we're envisioning, I am also just very stubborn and want to make it something from scratch. X)
 
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