Outlier Dictionary of Chinese Characters

Discussion in 'Future Products' started by mikelove, May 13, 2015.

  1. @Ash
  2. sobriaebritas

    sobriaebritas 榜眼

    I'd like to make some comments or suggestions, if I may.
    1. In some entries (e.g.the one for 气), the content of "Character meanings" and "Component meanings" is identical. In those cases, I'd present the content only in "Character meanings" and just add (same as above) to "Component meanings".
    2. Some characters (e.g.工) appear as sound components in others. I think it would be useful to at least mention that.
    3. In the entries for characters (e.g. 红) which contain a sound component (in this case 工), I´d add the pinyin for that sound component: "In 红, 工 (gōng) is a sound component". (One can always tap on that component to find its pronunciation, though).
    4. I wonder to what extent it is useful to highlight in blue "semantic component", "sound component", etc. and link it to its explanation.

    Congratulations to all on the release of the Outlier Dictionary of Chinese Characters!
  3. John Renfroe

    John Renfroe 举人

    We talked about this some internally, and we completely agree with you. The Mini Edition currently has enough info to allow the user to figure out what's going on with Semantic Components (tap the component to read our form and meaning explanations) and Sound Components (tap to find the pronunciation and compare to the character in question). But not for Empty Components, and those are generally the most difficult to figure out. So we're going to add some basic info about each Empty Component in the next update. Something like:

    看 was originally composed of the sound component 倝 gàn and the meaning component 目 "eye". 倝 later corrupted into its current form ([看-目]), and was misinterpreted as "hand" due to its superficial resemblance to 手.​

    Keep in mind that the above is just a quick draft, and may not be exactly what shows up in the dictionary.

    We may put that information in a popup, so that people who aren't interested can ignore it, but people who are can find out more. And of course, that sort of information will appear in the main FORM section in the Essentials and Expert Editions.

    So, thanks for the feedback!

    The 〇 symbol indicates that the following meanings are via sound loan. In other words, there is no meaning connection between the character's form and those meanings.

    Example: 花 is made of semantic component 艹 (vegetation) and sound component 化 huà. The meaning "flower" is tied directly to the characters form, while the meaning "to spend" as in 「我不要花這麼多錢」 is via sound loan. In other words, there was a word that meant "to spend" pronounced huā that existed independently of the word for flower. It's just that the character for flower got used to write it because the two words sounded the same.

    When the full entry for 花 gets filled in, it will look something like:

    1 (orig.) flower
    2 〇 to spend​

    So, the 〇 tells you that there is no meaning connection between the character's form and the meaning "to spend."

    No, not generally. The references are there to point people to the research we consulted if they'd like to do the same, much like the bibliography of a journal article or monograph. We'll only quote the relevant passages if and when it seems necessary to do so.
    daal likes this.
  4. John Renfroe

    John Renfroe 举人

    1. We'll consider that, thanks.
    2. Same—something to talk about internally. It will definitely be covered in the System tab in the Essentials and Expert Editions though.
    3. Yes, that's something we're already planning to do. It would make for less tapping around.
    4. Well, we have a list of what we call "Key Concepts." You can the list in the demo by tapping 土 > original meaning > all Key Concepts (note there are more in the Mini Edition, and we'll be adding a way to browse them in a future update). A lot of these concepts will be unfamiliar to most learners, so we've provided a link to the explanation each time a key concept appears. It can be a bit repetitive, but that's the best way we know to make the information available when the user needs it.

    Thanks for the feedback, and for the congratulations!
    sobriaebritas and alex_hk90 like this.
  5. mikelove

    mikelove 皇帝 Staff Member

    Android beta with support for inter-note links is up now - sign up at https://play.google.com/apps/testing/com.pleco.chinesesystem - though it turns out that the data files were also bugged in this regard and we're waiting for Outlier to check the new ones we sent them before we update those. But maybe 2/3 of note links will work correctly with this update.

    Not bothering with an iOS beta since beta App Review takes a week and regular App Review only takes a day or two - the finished update will be out faster than a beta could be :)
    Miguel, naphta and alex_hk90 like this.
  6. 新豐客

    新豐客 Member

    I think the problem is not so much that it's repetitive, but rather that the names are long and take up a lot of screen space, which distracts the user from the information in the entries. What you might consider is using abbreviations for these concepts, which could be tapped on to reveal the full names along with the explanations--like the ABC dictionary does for parts of speech. For example, M.C. for meaning component and S.C. for sound component.

    By the way, I think the product is off to a great start and I look forward to seeing how it develops in the future!
  7. Oko

    Oko Member

    As the activation code will be connected to the Pleco Licence. How does it work when I use Pleco on a different platform? When I buy the iOS version of Pleco you allow me to use the full android version on android devices at the same time. But if I register the code once to my iOS, will the Outlier Dictionary also be usable on the other platform?
    I'm asking because I have diffent platforms in use. iOS for business and Android for private, I bought Pleco for iOS but use it more with the Android devices. I don't want to be bound to one platform or at least deceide which is my favorite one before using the activation code.
  8. mikelove

    mikelove 皇帝 Staff Member

    Yes - if you go to the activation page and scroll down you'll see a whole little section on cross-platform issues, activate it on iOS and transfer to Android and you can use it on both.
  9. Outlier update on Android keeps failing - not sure why
  10. mikelove

    mikelove 皇帝 Staff Member

    That's odd - which version of Outlier do you have? Does it help if you reboot your phone? (could be some bad cached data)
  11. Have: 170206 / Archon
    I believe the update is: 170210

    I think it might be a GFW issue - I had trouble getting the update down on iOS too actually (VPN didn't work over Wi-Fi but worked over 4G).
  12. sobriaebritas

    sobriaebritas 榜眼

    I cannot download neither the Outlier update nor the New PLC beta (iOS).
  13. ahd298l

    ahd298l Member

    Is there any way to pre-order the essentials edition right away without buying the mini edition using any payment method in china?
  14. sobriaebritas

    sobriaebritas 榜眼

    Hi ACardiganAndAFrown,

    I guess that GFW stands for Great Firewall of China. As you probably know, the Fifth Session of the 12th National People's Congress (NPC), China's top legislature, will convene in Beijing on March 5.
  15. mikelove

    mikelove 皇帝 Staff Member

    Yeah, access to our CDN (file distribution system) has been a bit iffy in China lately - we're still hard at work trying to find a good alternate CDN for China and procure the ICP号 necessary to use it legally.
  16. sobriaebritas

    sobriaebritas 榜眼

    Thank you, Mike. I finally managed to download the updates.
  17. mikelove

    mikelove 皇帝 Staff Member

    Actually that turned out to be not China's fault at all but rather Amazon's - our file distribution system is backed by Amazon S3 which went down yesterday taking like half of the internet with it :)
  18. kun4

    kun4 举人

    Bought the Outlier dictionary, but it's getting less use than I thought. A large part of the entries are "xx is a semantic component and yy is a sound component" - most of which I already know. I'm slightly disappointed.
  19. etm001

    etm001 状元

    My apologies if this has been suggested, but I'd like to have a setting to default hide the stroke order diagrams.

  20. John Renfroe

    John Renfroe 举人

    Yes, we're working on filling those entries out in the next update. More info about that here. Also, there's a blog post and video about how to get the most out of the Mini Edition here.

    Yes, not having lived in China ourselves, we sometimes miss things like this. I'm looking into our options now, and I'll make an announcement once we have something set up.
    ahd298l likes this.

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