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Messages - Chris

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If you use "add to new lesson", it will be placed in the leftmost stack. When using "add to selected lesson", then it is added to the central stack indeed - we will have a look at this problem!

Stackz - Bug Reports / Re: crash on F5 in edit dialog
« on: May 27, 2009, 11:16:15 PM »
I can confirm the problem you described, I managed to reproduce the crash.
We will have a look at the problem and find a solution soon.
Thank you for reporting this problem!

PocketStackz - Bug Reports / Re: Problems with orange color
« on: May 13, 2009, 11:25:04 AM »
Yes of course we are still here, at the moment we focus our efforts mainly in preparation work for future ideas. Your question seems not to have received the attention it merits... thank you for reminding us about this unsolved problem, we will try to improve our reaction time.

Our mobile developer had a first look at this when I last talked to him, but he did not find the time to completely solve it yet. He promised me to attack it as soon as he can.

Please apologize the unusual long delay of this issue!

Stackz - New Feature Requests / Re: Edit from other windows
« on: March 28, 2009, 02:42:09 PM »
The feature is already there, you can edit the currently tested/learned card. Deleting it is not supported, but you can add a comment, e.g. "TO_BE_DELETED" or so, and later on search for the entries with this comment in the stack edit dialog, where you can then delete them.

We are facing a very busy time at the moment, and development time is rare... but we are still looking into this platform and doing some progress. But please don't expect a real application soon.

PocketStackz - New Feature Requests / Re: Req: Multiplatform List Editor
« on: February 03, 2009, 06:50:21 PM »
There has been only little progress in the last few weeks due to a lack of time... we hope to come up with a first version in the next few months.

Stackz - New Feature Requests / Re: "Pause" feature
« on: January 19, 2009, 09:21:47 PM »
What you are looking for is called "revert to last test", which can be found in the "admin" submenu of the stack context menu. This function moves all test statistics forward for the number of days without any tests.

Some Additional notes:
Learning breaks are not really a special situation for the Stackz system because highlighting all cards that have not been refreshed for a certain period is the one fundamental function of Stackz. Sure, the highlighting refresh interval that has been useful during an intensive learning phase will highlight much more cards after a learning break, most likely leading to a situation where ?everything must be refreshed?.

There are three ways how one can cope with this situation:
  • Accept this situation as the correct representation of the current proficiency state and stick to the currently chosen tight refresh interval. The missed work must be done in the coming days, i.e. the huge highlighted collection must be reduced bite by bite. Here it is a good idea to do this catch up work in a meaningful way, i.e. start with the more relevant lessons and postpone the less relevant ones - maybe for a very long time :-)
  • Loosen the refresh interval, i.e. allowing longer repetition delays. The original tight refresh interval can be re-established step by step. This is basically the same solution as above, but a bit less frustrating because there are less highlighted cards in the beginning - but there is no manual decision what refresh material can be postponed.
  • Use the ?revert to last test? function. This causes the delay to disappear completely, i.e. the color statistics do not reflect the real refresh need (do not simulate the forgetting curve of the brain). Simply expect more tests to be negative, which on the long run has the same effect as the solutions above (increasing the highlighted part step by step).

A long discussion in german can be found in this forum, where Stackz users discuss the same thing:

General Discussion / Re: Question regarding student discounts
« on: December 10, 2008, 02:37:08 PM »
We try to make our tools affordable for people with little financial power who are using our tools for their studies so we lowered the price for students. The limitation to language courses is there to emphasize the intention. In addition, we try to encourage beginners (1st grade = 1st year) with a special discount, this is more a motivation boost for them than anyting else because the start is the hardest part.

Of course we are also interested in people following a course because they might then recommend our tool to their fellow students... :-)

We inspect the discount applications, if there is a doubt we contact the applicant to find out the situation and to negotiate the discount.

Besides, please also note our bigger 50% discount for anyone providing a wordlist, this is the better deal than the raw discount for anyone who is willing to share their wordlist with us.

Please do not hesitate to contact us per email if you are still not sure about your personal discount situation.

PocketStackz / Re: Which pocket Pc ?
« on: November 08, 2008, 05:59:05 PM »
This seems to be an ARM architecture as well, check out

Stackz - Bug Reports / Re: 64 days reserve
« on: November 03, 2008, 01:11:35 AM »
Please download the latest version (7.1.02) for a corrected repetition interval calculation. Note that your files are correct, they will be processed with the correct repetition intervals with the new version.

This new version was scheduled for today anyway, it includes a couple of other minor corrections.

Stackz - Bug Reports / Re: 64 days reserve
« on: November 03, 2008, 12:10:17 AM »
I have to confirm this erroneous behavior, it seems that the reserve time is not always correctly calculated.
An improved version will be available very soon.
Thanks for reporting!

Stackz - Solved Issues / Re: Kanji info pronounciations now unreadable
« on: October 12, 2008, 09:27:12 AM »
Thanks for your comments, I found the problem and released a fixed version 7.1.01 for the Dictionary Editions of Stackz and the List Editor.

Stackz - Solved Issues / Re: Kanji info pronounciations now unreadable
« on: October 09, 2008, 06:42:41 PM »
I have to confirm that a problem indeed made it to the release.

A corrected version will be available as soon as I found the reason.

Thank you for your continuous useful input, Tarix!

In fact it was only three days ago when I started implementing what I have mentioned in this thread more than one year ago:
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 :-)

Now the time of this feature has finally come, and I think I found a way to integrate the new feature seamlessly in the existing context.

I added a new "promotion system" called "manual distribution" that painlessly extends the existing two promotion systems:

Now the bigger departure is to get rid of the arrow buttons in the study dialogs. If this system is selected, we need some sort of direct "send to" buttons.
Something like that:

Note that you can define your own labels for the five levels and use them for whatever purpose you want. Of course it makes sense to use this in combination with the RepeatAdvisor ColorMode, where you can define the repetition delay for each level individually:

I feel that there is little complexity added to the program; in fact many existing concepts can be easily extended with the new ideas.

Things that must be sorted out are:
  • In this mode, one would probably expect that the entries are refreshed even if moved to the left. Stackz up to now only considers a positive test as a relevant point in time; negative tests are not resetting the appearance delay of a card (it may come at a later day if moved to a column with a longer delay, but the wait period will only consist of the delay difference). Now I feel that this will have to change for the new mode - if the card is sent to a level on the left, it should NOT appear until the entire waiting time of that level is over - after all I sent it intentionally to that column with that delay in mind. That's why I tried adding the option "Mark entries as refreshed" on the bottom of the first screenshot. Currently it's hardcoded to the suboptimal version as the checked radio button indicates.
  • Now this "mark entries as refreshed" option could become a global option, allowing the user to adjust the refresh style for the other modes as well. I guess then it would be easier to understand for a new user because the overall feature would be more symmetric..?
  • Another side effect comes from the fact that the proposed design intentionally allows treating the 5 levels as unrelated decks of cards, not necessairly as linked steps in a process. I could e.g. name them according to the days of the week, and simply process the "due stack" each day, manually pushing the card to the day when I will review it again. Or I might want to separate the words according to their importance... or any other criterion, I'm sure the users will have other ideas. And the existing concept would allow that without problems as long as the user knows what he is doing. BUT: what happens to the "success count", "failure count", "success ratio" color modes? These statistics are built when moving the cards across the levels... The flexibility of allowing arbitrary level purposes introduces a problem here... one solution would be to add another option to indicte the type of dependency between the chosen level names, e.g. a checkbox "[ ] levels represent increasing proficiency" or something like that...

OK there were many thoughts in here, I hope it was not too confusing. It's mainly a "flexibility versus complexity" tradeoff.
It would be interesting to hear your comments! I will upload the current version in the latest version section for anyone interesteed.

PocketStackz / Re: Which pocket Pc ?
« on: October 06, 2008, 08:50:04 PM »
There are no big differences between the different models as far as PocketStackz is concerned, Stackz will look fine on any Pocket PC. I have used it a lot myself on an Axim X3 (2004) and on a Fujitsu Siemens Pocket LOOX (2007). The former has a QVGA display, the latter VGA. VGA is nice especially for complicated kanji, but the lower QVGA resolution is completely sufficient as well, I even prefer this one because of the housing style.

It could be worth a look to check the handling of the arrow navigation buttons though. The study tools of PocketStackz are carefully designed to be conveniently controlled using one hand with the hardware buttons of the Pocket PC. This is a big advantage when learning on the go... of course you can also tap on the PocketStackz buttons with your fingers on the screen to avoid using the stylus, they are large enough for that purpose. But good Pocket PC hardware buttons offer a far better feel than touching the screen. And if the hardware buttons are used, the screen buttons can be hidden to reserve the entire display for the learning content.

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