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Messages - Chris

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Stackz - Solved Issues / Stackz List Editor on Vista
« on: July 21, 2007, 11:58:02 AM »
It is not running on Vista?
What kind of behavior do you experience?

Stackz - New Feature Requests / Sound
« on: July 12, 2007, 04:53:59 PM »
Thanks to all for your thoughts, I'm happy to see that Stackz makes our users dream! ;) But I'm sure you'll like even more the way we envision to implement the sound feature. It will be introduced later though, and is will not be disclosed earlier - how could we ever get the same attention as the iPhone for a release otherwise!? ;D

By the way, this is how the current language concept works: Every attribute is of a certain language (the attribute language). Stackz has a default language, which you can set with the menu - it initializes the attributes of a new file and enables the dictionaries. On every file activation, the default language is automatically set to the file language of the activated file. Yes it's a bit abstract, but it's the generic stuff of this kind in Stackz that allows us to use the same files on different devices with different fonts, and that will also allow us to introduce the sound with the existing concepts, and without sacrificing one of the precious attributes.

Stackz - New Feature Requests / Sound
« on: July 03, 2007, 05:34:25 PM »
1. Integrated audio file option as found in "b4uki" (before you know it), not the linked kind as in "V-train".
Please let me know what the difference is between the two (integrated vs linked), and how would this translate to Stackz?

At present "Stackz" is great. You can you make it "insanely great"?
Sure, we are working on it... :)

Stackz - New Feature Requests / Re: New features
« on: July 03, 2007, 06:08:28 AM »
PSP is not an open system, I don't know how to write software for it (without using a homebrew eLoader, that is...)

The Stackz Wordlists / Re: Upload of .szm files enabled
« on: June 30, 2007, 10:26:19 AM »
Please send it as attachement to info at stackz dot com.

Stackz - New Feature Requests / Sort on multiple columns
« on: June 14, 2007, 06:41:35 PM »
The ability to sort on multiple columns would be welcome (in the edit list for example), so i can sort the category's column then on language's column.

Stackz - New Feature Requests / Remember all open files
« on: June 14, 2007, 06:40:37 PM »
It would be nice if Stackz could remember all the file open at next startup and not only the last one.

Stackz - New Feature Requests / Re: Success Test Counter
« on: June 13, 2007, 11:52:02 PM »
No problem, new feature requests can be posted here anytime. And if the change is as small as this one, its chances of being implemented are good.

I'll add this on the todo list, it looks like a small change.

That would be a bit difficult to do, because some actions would have to be allowed (selection), others not (opening another edit dialog). Currently everything is blocked by opening a modal dialog, this avoids all mysterious side effects that could arise otherwise.

Stackz 07 offers a new method for that purpose (Stackz 07 beta 4 is currently available in the members section). It offers a new "Maintenance - Move to Stack" context menu command in the edit dialog which opens a dialog that asks for the target stack. And if you edit more than one stack, the paste command needs to know where you want to put the entry as well, so it opens the same target selection dialog. Those proceedings allow you to move cards around without selecting the target stack previously.

HINT: You don't have to copy all entries to the same file before applying this technique - you can select stacks from several open files by holding down the ctrl key. This allows you to see all entries in the edit dialog so you can cut or copy the ones from one file, and when pasting them, the said target selection dialog will appear. It will show the stacks of the active document only however (i.e. the one on top).

As a side note, using this multi-file selection technique you can avoid copying the entries around. In the same way that you can select stacks from several files for editing, you can also select stacks from several files for testing or learning. The settings (ColorMode etc) of the active (on top) document are used to configure the test or learn dialog in this case.

This multi-file selection thing should work without problem, it allows you also to break your content into several files even if you want to learn them in one session. The reason why I have not advertised it more in the new version is that there are enough other new features to be introduced, and then the support is somewhat too basic to make a foolproof feature out of it (manually select with control key only, and somewhat unclear situation about what file's configurations are used). However, if you know what you are doing, this could be of great benefit for your task even in the Stackz 07 version that is currently available!

Stackz - New Feature Requests / Re: Font size and text click behavior
« on: June 13, 2007, 08:10:05 AM »
The dictionary window uses the font size that is defined in the stackz options, you can change that.

Note: please post only one suggestion per message - this makes it easier to handle the issue, and thus increases the chances of not being forgotten.

Stackz - New Feature Requests / Re: Adding examples to flashcards
« on: June 13, 2007, 08:07:14 AM »
I guess you know the AutoPaste function? If enabled in the dictionary window, it automatically runs a query with any text that is copied to the clipboard. Only available in the dictionary.

Note: please post only one suggestion per message - this makes it easier to handle the issue, and thus increases the chances of not being forgotten.

Stackz - New Feature Requests / Re: New features
« on: June 12, 2007, 11:29:08 AM »
With Japanese text, "type" is done with the IME, so it's rather "selecting from a list" than really typing the answer. We encourage the students to write the answer using pen and paper and to compare the result manually. Stackz can be conveniently operated with the left hand, using the arrow keys, for that purpose.

The answer input of Japanese text makes more sense with tablet PCs, but the dialog must be designed for that.

Thanks for your comments!

Please note that you can use the ColorMode "DefinedOrder" to have the cards appear in a - well - defined order.
You can define the order in the Stackz edit dialog.

Adding flags to individual cards will be added in the future, also with colors...


Currently we focus on the beta test of the functionality in the Stackz 07 beta version. Algorithms may be added at a later point in time if they are needed. We don't have any concrete schedule at this point in time.

Please note that the Stackz fundamental function is to give an accurate picture of the proficiency state of all cards at one glance, and the algorithms (mainly RepeatAdvisor, and the other ColorModes) are placed on top of this visualization, intended for making automatic use of the classification if no manual processing is wished. This makes Stackz different from other applications that use an algorithm as their fundamental function, without visualizing the state: The Stackz main function is independent from the algorithms. This is useful if a manual interaction is needed (e.g. real-world constraints like exam dates have higher priority than theoretic perfect learning). Also, we can add new algorithms quite easily if needed without interfering with existing functionality.

For example, a "fail" is a fail, but when we get a kanji correctly there is a big difference between something dredged up with great effort, something that takes medium effort and something that we know so well it is akin to breathing.

Concerning the extended fail/pass function: This corresponds *somehow* to the 5 levels in Stackz where the cards will eventually be accumulated. Not in one single classification, but after several classifications, the unknown cards will be on the left and the known cards on the right. Thus, in Stackz, the cards are truly characterized, and classified according to their nature, not according the next scheduled review. This gives you a very good starting point for any operation, e.g. "learn unknown cards" or "refresh known but old cards". These are fundamentally different tasks, with different levels of effort even if they are recommended for the same day.

So what happens in reality, is - as always with Stackz :-) - you know what you are doing:

  • If you learn cards from the left side, you will probably not be so strict to yourself, and promote it easily.
  • If you repeat the cards from the right side, you will probably be more strict to yourself.
  • If you refresh an old file, without any ambitions of perfection, you will be less strict that if you prepare for an exam.
  • If you use the RepeatAdvisor, you know why you are using it and what level of proficiency you aim at.

I would love to see a more sophisticated algorithm implemented in Stackz (in addition to the current modes). I want to keep using Stackz but these more sophisticated SRL systems are tempting me away. I'm sure the same is true of other users and potential customers.

Check those tools out, and see what is best for you. Preferences for tools differ in the same way the learning styles differ.
But what algorithm exactly would you wish?
Generally speaking, we believe that one should not try to find exaggerated precision in the whole process. The two difficulty estimations that can be used as basis for the RepeatAdvisor (promotion level, and success ratio) along with the assigned repetition delay are already very sophisticated. We are convined that what helps in reality is a simple tool that serves as a reminder for the constant learning actions, that will show you where your weak spots are, that will motivate you to continue improving your skills and somehow reward you for your efforts. All those things together bring value to the student, not the perfect moment for repetition alone.

The extended fail/pass function, translated to the Stackz world, would be a "directly send to level x". This would speed up the classification, but at the cost of lower accuracy (the success ratio is based on repeated tests). In addition, the user interface would become more complex, which we try very very hard to keep at an absolute minimum. But this has been requested before, and if more people wish it, we will introduce that one day. But not in the next release :-)

Thank you for this information, it's new to me. Maybe I should have a look to get inspired for a future version :-)

Are there more people interested in that way of learning?
And how (in what stage of your learning) do you use it, i.e. what do you do if you know/dont' know a word?

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