Sentence Study

radioman

状元
I had a some ideas on sentence study, starting on today's ideas first. They are:

1) Is there is a way to add a feature to Pleco to cycle through dictionaries when doing a full text search. For example, If I search "#not so", I want to go from definition/example sentence to the next. The way the system works right now (if I'm not mistaken) it requires me to tap to the next dictionary. and cycle down through the list of definitions containing the text string.

2) On Pleco Forums, I downloaded the file that has 20,000 sentences (actually its really 2500 or so). Referencing the above desire to do text string searches, and knowing that the custom personal dictionaries will not currently allow to full text searches, I was hoping that if I imported the file (Hanzi/Pinyin/English) in as an English==>Chinese dictionary, I could search the English definition some how, including partial strings. For example, the sentence "I am not so sure", if searched by "not so" would find the English phrase "I am not so sure" (or would it have to contain the beginning portion of the string?).
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
So you want it to display results from all dictionaries in one list rather than force you to switch between them? That should be doable with full-text at least, in fact the main reason we haven't done it already is that it's very slow (since with > 1 word Pleco has to manually scan each entry to verify that it actually contains the words you're looking for next to each other in the correct order) so it goes in the oft-mentioned list of Things We Can Do Once We Drop Palm Support.

Full-text search of flashcard / user dictionary databases is another item on that list - the issue isn't with not being able to perform searches on definition fields, it's with being able to perform full-text searches at all, so moving text to the headword wouldn't help - it would still have to match the beginning of the field. But it's certainly feasible to add support for that once we stop developing on Palm OS. (bit trickier with Chinese characters than English words, but still quite doable)
 
mikelove said:
(since with > 1 word Pleco has to manually scan each entry to verify that it actually contains the words you're looking for next to each other in the correct order)
Really? Why can't you just search on the first search term (or the search term with the lowest frequency in the dictionary) and then perform the match on the result set?
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
Sorry, I should have been clearer on that - it doesn't have to scan every entry in the dictionary, just every entry that contains all of those words *somewhere* in its text (but not necessarily in order). That can still be many times the number of entries it actually returns in the search results, though, so it's still a lot more complicated than a regular headword search.
 

radioman

状元
Yeah, just to emphasize my main interest, if there is a particular phrase I now in English and want to say it in Chinese, I don't mind (at least at this point) waiting for a little while while Pleco plows through every relevant database - the priority is getting the phrase.

And for what it's worth, I'm OK at this point with a freeze on Palm with the hope that some of that time would go toward iPhone development :)
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
Oh, I don't think there's going to be another even .0.x release before the iPhone version is out, or at least before it's finally in the hands of beta testers. However, there probably will be another such release (maybe even one we'll call 2.1) before the flashcard-equipped iPhone version is out, since we'd like to get some more flashcard improvements integrated into that very first iPhone flashcard version (feels like we're maybe 75% of the way to having a really solid / consistent / well-designed system at this point).
 
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