Author Topic: Learn Mode  (Read 5339 times)

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tarix

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Learn Mode
« on: October 15, 2007, 05:05:53 PM »
I've never really liked the learn mode in Pocket Stackz.  I wish there was one slight tweak to it.

Here's my typical case:  I have a bunch of vocabulary works in my temporary stack.  Usually between 7 and 10.  I'm getting near the end of my vocabulary list or I've got some really hard words in my temporary stack.

1) So I finally think I've got one of the cards learned and I press the up button to toss it out of the temporary list ... and a new vocab card takes it's place?  Why?  This is what the DOWN button does.  Why does the up button also do this?

2) Occasionally the up and down button don't work.  Instead of pushing and popping cards from the temporary stack it just scrolls up and down the temporary stack.  Yet there is no button to toggle this mode on or off.  It's just random.

3) The card you are looking at is highlighted on the left.  This sucks.  I tend to memorize the meaning and reading of the NUMBER not the kanji.  Why do I care which card number it is in my temporary stack?  That list should be gone, which would fix bug #2, and there should just be a count of how many cards you have in your temp stack.

All my opinion of course.  However, I've been using Stackz for almost two years now and went from zero Japanese to being quite functional.  So these are requests based on tons of experience trying to actually use it to learn difficult (for me) material.

Chris

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Re: Learn Mode
« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2007, 11:46:31 PM »
Thanks for your comments! It's very valuable to hear the experiences of long term users.

1) Replacing: How about an option in the style of

 [ x ] Local stack: automatically replace removed entries

The current functionality is checked, and your preference would be to uncheck it. Then you will have to press the down button after removing an element in order to keep the same number of entries in the local stack. We'll think about this option, even though options are increasing the complexity.

2) It seems that the focus is put somehow on the list with the numbers from time to time... the buttons always manipulate the controls with the focus. If you put the focus back on the arrow buttons, it will be OK. This is not random - are you sure that you did not remove the focus from the buttons?

3) This active number can be helpful when you start with really hard words. Also, the number is not constant over time... Please also note that thanks to this list you always know how many elements are in your "hand" for review, without this list you would not intuitively feel it (a number displayed somewhere has a completely different effect). We could add another option to hide this list...? aaaargh another option... well, maybe?


« Last Edit: October 16, 2007, 11:50:19 PM by Chris »

tarix

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Re: Learn Mode
« Reply #2 on: October 17, 2007, 05:53:50 PM »
1) Replacing: How about an option in the style of

 [ x ] Local stack: automatically replace removed entries

The worst problem in software.  Adding options, especially user-selectable ones, increases the complexity.  I'll try to think of an alternative implementation, but there's only so many handy buttons on a PDA.

2) It seems that the focus is put somehow on the list with the numbers from time to time... the buttons always manipulate the controls with the focus. If you put the focus back on the arrow buttons, it will be OK. This is not random - are you sure that you did not remove the focus from the buttons?

It's certainly possible.  I'm sure if I thought about it this probably only happens when I'm on the train.  I probably got bumped or something and set focus to that list control.  I'm not sure how to unfocus it.  I used to fix it by selecting the About Box, but that hasn't been working for me lately.

3) This active number can be helpful when you start with really hard words. Also, the number is not constant over time... Please also note that thanks to this list you always know how many elements are in your "hand" for review, without this list you would not intuitively feel it (a number displayed somewhere has a completely different effect). We could add another option to hide this list...? aaaargh another option... well, maybe?

Actually the list itself is fine.  It's the association of a particular card with a particular number that wrecks havok on my brain.  Stupid engineering brain I'm afraid.  It always tries to link things to numbers and vice versa.  This becomes much less important if I get #1 because the numbers would be changing much more rapidly.  (Right now I rarely pop cards off the stack because I don't want new cards.  I just keep them all until I know the entire temporary stack.)

bkzk7188

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Re: Learn Mode
« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2008, 05:09:38 PM »
I have one gripe with Learn Mode. When I learn new entries, I usually do so from a pretty big stack (~500 entries) and use the Learn dialogue until I've encountered 10 that I didn't answer correctly at first sight (I'm an advanced learner). The ones I do know go straight into level 5, where I start off, and the idea is that the rest should go all the way down to Level 1 (Leitner system). This works fine, BUT:

there is no stop button. When I've collected 10 entries, I want to review them over and over until I get them right, which is when I declare them as unknown. However, as it is now, a new entry always butts in, crowding the list to the left. The only solution to this is pressing the up button ~450 times, until there are no entries left in the cue.

Chris

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Re: Learn Mode
« Reply #4 on: May 16, 2008, 06:14:07 PM »
We will make the automatic replacement optional for the future version. In your case, you can then change the option when you have collected 10 entries - or decide to fill the local stack manually throughout the entire session.

By the way, I like your learning algorithm! It limits the learning effort to a small number of new entries and refreshes many old ones in the same time. It seems to be very well suited for a short and motivating learning unit with a clear focus on (re-)learning another 10 words. I'll think about an option where the above mentioned auto-replace option is automatically cleared when the defined local stack size is reached (if it does not get too hard to understand...)

Chris

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Re: Learn Mode
« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2008, 01:00:09 PM »
Automatically replacing the removed entry is optional in the PC version now.

This will be released with Stackz 7.1, which can be already downloaded here until it is officially released.

bkzk7188

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Re: Learn Mode
« Reply #6 on: June 13, 2008, 12:44:31 PM »
Awesome, thanks. Waiting for this to come to PocketStackz, too... That, and the selection slider thingy.

And a functioning undo button in the Learn dialogue  :)

tarix

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Re: Learn Mode
« Reply #7 on: August 12, 2008, 04:27:51 AM »
Another excellent feature.  I think I can finally completely ditch Anki.  (I still like it's SRS algorithm better, but everything else about it sucks for me.)