[Unofficial] Feature Request / Suggestion List

Weyland

探花
Flashcards:
- Allow alphabetical card selection.
- Search Cards: "NOT" command. E.g. I have a collection of 20,000 cards and a collection of 100 cards. I'd like to know which of those 100 cards aren't part / shared with the 20k collection.
- "Smart Selection" test homophones (冤枉 vs. 愿望) , words that share one or more characters, and or synonyms close together.
- More pre-made flashcard collections.

Dictionary
- Provide pre-installed tags. Make it always show the HSK/TOCFL level as well as the level the word is taught in Chinese schools (e.g. Year 6). Dictionary.com also does a similar thing:



- It would be nice to have a dictionary with grammar points. The new HSK grading standard documents provided a list of grammar points. (Again) it would be kind of neat if I could search for these, or have them be displayed in the app somewhere. If I want to look up the common saying 七 ... 八 ... I first have to know about it. It won't show up if I search for "七" or "八", it only shows up if I search for "七..." or "qi...". The entries are there but not readily available, which is kind of a waste. Also, a ton of the HSK entries haven't been done either. “既 ... 也 ... " is a grammar point covered in the current HSK, yet only Tuttle C-E has a very basic entry on it without any example sentences.


Settings:
- Provide an example sentence for the TTS voices people can listen to (so they know which one they prefer and disable the other ones).

Search:
- "Choose a dictionary" toggle. For some reason, my specific dictionary always defaults to Hanyu Da Cidian (HDC) as it's likely the latest dictionary purchase I made. I'd like to be able to make a certain dictionary a default.
- Organize search results first by flashcards -> then by preferred dictionary -> then by the rest.
. E.g. if I search for "cai?" on my Pleco it doesn't sort by relevancy. Most of my results are from HDC, some of which don't even have a definition, and I have to scroll quite a bit down before I get my first flashcard result (财产 in this case). It's searching alphabetically.

Tbh, I kind of regret purchasing HDC, because it messed up my Pleco experience. It still has many bugs, if you search for "qi?", for example, the first result is "<span class="PUC06-e9"> ... ".
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
- Allow alphabetical card selection.
Already added for 4.0. Also added the extremely heavily-requested option to review cards in category order.

- Search Cards: "NOT" command. E.g. I have a collection of 20,000 cards and a collection of 100 cards. I'd like to know which of those 100 cards aren't part / shared with the 20k collection.
Very definitely added for 4.0 - can chain arbitrary numbers of conditions according to any standard boolean operation. (with multiple levels of grouping)

- "Smart Selection" test homophones (冤枉 vs. 愿望) , words that share one or more characters, and or synonyms close together.
I think you could do these with the right set of Expert Mode options - definitely the first one anyway; shared characters if they aren't supported should be pretty easy to support, synonyms would require you to supply your own thesaurus but we do have a "table search" option that you could probably tie that into.

- More pre-made flashcard collections.
Yeah, definitely on to the do-list once we've got everybody on 4.0 and don't have to convert the same data twice. (but we also support Anki imports in 4.0 so you can tap into that collection)

- Provide pre-installed tags. Make it always show the HSK/TOCFL level as well as the level the word is taught in Chinese schools (e.g. Year 6). Dictionary.com also does a similar thing:
4.0 Import files - even in text - can define category tags, so we'll probably attach these to the premade HSK flashcards. I'd be reluctant to actually build in HSK or TOCFL tags without users explicitly installing them because there's a certain small but noisy contingent that thinks the HSK shouldn't exist and a certain small but noisy contingent that thinks the TOCFL shouldn't exist and at any rate there are lots of people who legitimately have no use for one system or the other.

- It would be nice to have a dictionary with grammar points. The new HSK grading standard documents provided a list of grammar points. (Again) it would be kind of neat if I could search for these, or have them be displayed in the app somewhere. If I want to look up the common saying 七 ... 八 ... I first have to know about it. It won't show up if I search for "七" or "八", it only shows up if I search for "七..." or "qi...". The entries are there but not readily available, which is kind of a waste. Also, a ton of the HSK entries haven't been done either. “既 ... 也 ... " is a grammar point covered in the current HSK, yet only Tuttle C-E has a very basic entry on it without any example sentences.
We've been thinking about either offering web links to or selling-as-a-paid-addon the Chinese Grammar Wiki. Or licensing some other Chinese grammar title and selling that. But somebody may also produce a dictionary keyed specifically to those HSK points, in which case that would probably be a better fit for people studying for HSK 3.0 (since it would neatly cover each point they defined in a single article).

- Provide an example sentence for the TTS voices people can listen to (so they know which one they prefer and disable the other ones).
Makes sense, already available in "Add-ons" but it would be nice to offer it in the settings screen directly + for free voices.

- "Choose a dictionary" toggle. For some reason, my specific dictionary always defaults to Hanyu Da Cidian (HDC) as it's likely the latest dictionary purchase I made. I'd like to be able to make a certain dictionary a default.
Drag your preferred dictionary to the top of Settings / Manage Dictionaries and that should fix that. You can temporarily delete it in "Add-ons" if it's really bothering you + re-download it once we get rid of those stupid errors.

- Organize search results first by flashcards -> then by preferred dictionary -> then by the rest.
Yep, that's doable in 4.0.
 
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Weyland

探花
Drag your preferred dictionary to the top of Settings / Manage Dictionaries and that should fix that. You can temporarily delete it in "Add-ons" if it's really bothering you + re-download it once we get rid of those stupid errors.
Doesn't work, sadly. All it did was remove the "HDC" tag in the top right.



I'd be reluctant to actually build in HSK or TOCFL tags without users explicitly installing them because there's a certain small but noisy contingent that thinks the HSK shouldn't exist and a certain small but noisy contingent that thinks the TOCFL shouldn't exist

Imagine taking the cross-strait issue to flashcards...

... selling-as-a-paid-addon the Chinese Grammar Wiki
I'm all for collaboration. The only issue is that the guys behind the Grammar Wiki, AllSet Learning, only provide content for the beginner/pre-intermediate stages and just forego the advanced grammar altogether. Whereas educators like Chinese Zero to Hero will put in the effort to create an animated 10 min video for every grammar point. But, seeing as you guys are already in collaboration with Mandarin Companion I could see how you'd go for the Grammar Wiki. I'd just be a bit peeved if the grammar points cut off at HSK5. I'm aware 90% of the demand is in those HSK1-3 ranges, so business-wise it wouldn't make sense to even bother doing any of the advanced grammar points.

But somebody may also produce a dictionary keyed specifically to those HSK points ...
This document lines out all the grammar for the new HSK, of which there are 572 grammar points in total. It provides a (few) sentence(s) as an example per grammar point, but that's about it.



... synonyms would require you to supply your own thesaurus ...
You've explained why, but I still don't quite get why Pleco doesn't have a synonym/antonym feature. Especialy, when a new one-month app like XXX provides / has it at launch. If monetary incentive plays a part, and I'm probably repeating myself: what about crowdfunding?
 
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mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
Is the problem just that HDC is getting sorted to the top in those searches? (that'd be trickier to fix without a database update)

I'm all for collaboration. The only issue is that the guys behind the Grammar Wiki, AllSet Learning, only provide content for the beginner/pre-intermediate stages and just forego the advanced grammar altogether.
Well we can always start there and license some other more advanced title.

You've explained why, but I still don't quite get why Pleco doesn't have a synonym/antonym feature.
There isn't one available to license that I'd feel good enough about to be able to charge for, and if we're going to offer it for free I'd rather have my own, both for cost-saving and quality control reasons.

It's on my to-do list for editorial projects after 4.0, but I don't have the spare cycles to supervise its creation in the meantime - if some incredibly qualified person just randomly showed up and wanted to make the thing for us and I could just pay them to do it all that would probably be workable, but absent that, crowdfunding or whatever wouldn't make a difference since the money itself just sits in a bank account until you use it to hire somebody and I don't have the time to do a good job of that.
 
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Weyland

探花
Is the problem just that HDC is getting sorted to the top in those searches? (that'd be trickier to fix without a database update)
In my case; the latest purchased dictionary is always put on top. On an older phone of mine, the OCC dictionary keeps being the default (which I can't change) because that was the last dictionary I bought on that phone.

- - - - -

Not sure if a bug or feature, but; I have excluded most of my dictionaries in the flashcard session, but these dictionaries remain excluded in the dictionary when clicking the flashcard's "view in dictionary". I'd like to be able to re-include those dictionaries.

Having a "fall-back option" would be nice for flashcard entries. Having another second line, apart from the "Drag dictionaries below this line to exclude them", that shows options from other dictionaries above that line. Scenario: I have only enabled the OCC, GF and CY dictionaries so I can have both the English and Chinese definitions at my fingertips. But sometimes my flashcard definition is only available in CC-CEDICT. Having a failsafe for flashcards would be nice.
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
In my case; the latest purchased dictionary is always put on top. On an older phone of mine, the OCC dictionary keeps being the default (which I can't change) because that was the last dictionary I bought on that phone.
That's odd... I assume deleting and re-downloading some other dictionary to make it more recent doesn't help?

(have to double check on that HDC glitchy headword fix, I'm not sure why it wasn't done like a year ago since it's a pretty minor / straightforward thing)

Not sure if a bug or feature, but; I have excluded most of my dictionaries in the flashcard session, but these dictionaries remain excluded in the dictionary when clicking the flashcard's "view in dictionary". I'd like to be able to re-include those dictionaries.
Currently deliberate; you could fix it in Expert Mode in 4.0 but I don't know if we'll make those separately customizable without delving into that.

Having a "fall-back option" would be nice for flashcard entries. Having another second line, apart from the "Drag dictionaries below this line to exclude them", that shows options from other dictionaries above that line. Scenario: I have only enabled the OCC, GF and CY dictionaries so I can have both the English and Chinese definitions at my fingertips. But sometimes my flashcard definition is only available in CC-CEDICT. Having a failsafe for flashcards would be nice.
Maybe just an option to keep the original entry rather than skipping the card altogether in those cases?
 

Weyland

探花
deleting and re-downloading some other dictionary to make it more recent doesn't help
It still defaults to HDC even though I deleted it. Which is really weird.


Currently deliberate ...
What's the point then of the "switch dictionary" option? Is it just a more awkward "view in dictionary" option? Like in my case it would be nice to only allow Chinese dictionaries in the flashcard section and if I'm in doubt I can always click the "view in dictionary" button and see the rest of the entries. At the moment the "switch dictionary" button doesn't add anything other than being a more clumsy "view in dictionary" option.


Maybe just an option to keep the original entry rather than skipping the card altogether in those cases?
Makes sense if you have already assigned an entry to it, but it doesn't make sense if you uploaded a .txt file with just the characters and pronunciation.
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
What's the point then of the "switch dictionary" option? Is it just a more awkward "view in dictionary" option? Like in my case it would be nice to only allow Chinese dictionaries in the flashcard section and if I'm in doubt I can always click the "view in dictionary" button and see the rest of the entries. At the moment the "switch dictionary" button doesn't add anything other than being a more clumsy "view in dictionary" option.
That is in fact exactly what it is - some people prefer it inline and it's something we've supported for a long time so we're reluctant to remove it but we might do so in 4.0.

Makes sense if you have already assigned an entry to it, but it doesn't make sense if you uploaded a .txt file with just the characters and pronunciation.
Can't you fix that with a batch remap command (after searching for cards with no definition / no dictionary)?
 

Weyland

探花
Can't you fix that with a batch remap command (after searching for cards with no definition / no dictionary)?
Huh? How does remapping all my cards to dictionary entries that I won't even use in the flashcards help me right now though? Plus I'd have to go to search the card without definition, add them to a separate category, remember where they came from, then remap, put back in the category, check which cards still have no definition, remap again to my next preference of dictionary, then check which words still have no definition, remap again, etc.

At that point it makes more sense to just go card by card and open them in your dictionary and assigning an entry to them. (That is if I'm getting the sequence of things I have to do right).

It isn't that big of an issue. As it's only like 2 in 100 cards that get omitted from the review.

EDIT: PLUS, I have been using the Pleco flashcard feature merely for its review function. Lost my phone and thought it'd be wiser to wait for 4.0 than spend weeks going through my collection of like 30k cards.
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
Huh? How does remapping all my cards to dictionary entries that I won't even use in the flashcards help me right now though?
Because then there’s some sort of default definition in Organize / Card Info / etc.


Plus I'd have to go to search the card without definition, add them to a separate category, remember where they came from, then remap, put back in the category, check which cards still have no definition, remap again to my next preference of dictionary, then check which words still have no definition, remap again, etc.
You can perform a batch operation directly from search results; no need to fiddle around with categories.
 
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