2.(0.5/1) / Minor Fixes

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
We've finally started work on some cross-platform engine upgrades (full-text user dictionary indexing, e.g.) for the 2.3 release on iPhone / 2.something release on Android, and as promised we're planning to release most of those in a new update on WM as well.

Obviously a lot of the things we'd been planning to do on WM never materialized; the bottom really dropped out of WM sales after our flashcard-equipped iPhone software came out, and the arrival of Windows Phone 7 has further hastened WM's decline. And lately most of the time we've been able to spend on non-iPhone development has gone to Android. Aside from apologizing, offering free iPhone / (hopefully) Android transfers, or blaming Microsoft for making their new OS totally incompatible with old WM apps, there's not a whole lot we can do about this - investing months into a major overhaul of our WM software at this point would be borderline suicidal when then there's so much more interest in what we're doing on other platforms.

I do think we managed to do a decent job in 2.0.4 of taking care of some long-standing bugs / annoyances, though - the HTC too-many-files-open-at-once problem, the accidental tab-switching bug in HWR, some needlessly-tiny flashcard management screens - and I'd like to at least try to continue making improvements in that vein in this next update; regardless of how many more updates we release, people are going to still be using our WM software years from now, just as people are still using our 2003-vintage Oxford Dict software today on their 10-year-old Palm Pilots, and we owe it to them to keep tidying things up when we can.

So my question to the remaining WM users is: what aspect of Pleco on WM now bugs you the most? Could be an ergonomically-unfriendly user interface, a feature from old versions of WM that doesn't work on 6.5, an area with terrible performance (startup, e.g. - we could improve that by adding an option to only search for files in one particular directory), a bug we've steadfastly refused to fix... what minor change / changes could we make that would most improve your life as a Pleco-on-WM user?
 

Alexis

状元
Hi Mike, I'm pretty happy with Pleco as it is now and would vote just to leave it as is and move forward with other platforms.
However, I hope we are still able to get new dictionaries when/if released.
 

jinteh

Member
I haven't really come across any bugs, though I don't use the flashcards that much. Most of my use is within the main dictionary search screen (defintions/pronunciations). Not sure if updating the UI is still in the works for wm, but making it a bit more 'finger touch' friendly would be great for me.
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
Alexis said:
Hi Mike, I'm pretty happy with Pleco as it is now and would vote just to leave it as is and move forward with other platforms.
However, I hope we are still able to get new dictionaries when/if released.
Thanks! The new Classical Chinese dictionary at least should come to WM, though I'm less certain about Cantonese (if we even eventually sign that license) since it involves a lot of extra programming too.

jinteh said:
I haven't really come across any bugs, though I don't use the flashcards that much. Most of my use is within the main dictionary search screen (defintions/pronunciations). Not sure if updating the UI is still in the works for wm, but making it a bit more 'finger touch' friendly would be great for me.
That's still possible, though since the capacitive-screen phones also seem for the most part to be relatively easy to re-flash to Android I'm thinking a lot of the people bothered by finger control problems might be better served by a faster Android port.
 

jinteh

Member
mikelove said:
That's still possible, though since the capacitive-screen phones also seem for the most part to be relatively easy to re-flash to Android I'm thinking a lot of the people bothered by finger control problems might be better served by a faster Android port.
No capacitive-screen for me. I've been using careful fingernail taps on the resistive screen to get by without the stylus. Although compounding that with my Touch Diamond's small screen, it takes careful concentration. Haven't seen any completed Android ports for my phone yet, but I'll keep that in mind if and when they do finish one.

Without overhauling the UI, I think even making the icons along the top bigger (and maybe even letting Pleco run full screen) could help a lot. I do understand the demise of wm limits what changes you can make, so all updates that you've done and are able to do in the future are always appreciated.
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
jinteh said:
No capacitive-screen for me. I've been using careful fingernail taps on the resistive screen to get by without the stylus. Although compounding that with my Touch Diamond's small screen, it takes careful concentration. Haven't seen any completed Android ports for my phone yet, but I'll keep that in mind if and when they do finish one.
Yeah, that was the funny thing about those early HTC iPhone competitors - they were touch-optimizing Windows Mobile but they were also making devices significantly smaller than iPhones and trying to compete on that; didn't really hit on a winning formula until the Touch HD, which is more-or-less the template for every successful high-end HTC device since.

jinteh said:
Without overhauling the UI, I think even making the icons along the top bigger (and maybe even letting Pleco run full screen) could help a lot. I do understand the demise of wm limits what changes you can make, so all updates that you've done and are able to do in the future are always appreciated.
Full screen might be difficult, but it's certainly high time we added an option to make the buttons bigger.
 

thph2006

进士
I don't know if it's minor but the thing I think frustrates me the most in day to day use is the difficulty switching back and forth between flashcards and dictionary mode. I quite often find myself needing to check the dictionary to clarify the difference between a flashcard word and other words that seem similar to me. Being able to bounce back and forth without quitting the flashcard session would be great.
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
thph2006 said:
I don't know if it's minor but the thing I think frustrates me the most in day to day use is the difficulty switching back and forth between flashcards and dictionary mode. I quite often find myself needing to check the dictionary to clarify the difference between a flashcard word and other words that seem similar to me. Being able to bounce back and forth without quitting the flashcard session would be great.
That one would be rather major, unfortunately - there is an option to add an input field to the Instant Access screen, though ("Include edit box in Instant Access window" in the "External" panel), FWIW, so if you've got a good way to invoke IA you could pull that up during a flashcard session and quickly enter a new search without leaving it.
 

johnh113

榜眼
mikelove said:
thph2006 said:
I don't know if it's minor but the thing I think frustrates me the most in day to day use is the difficulty switching back and forth between flashcards and dictionary mode. I quite often find myself needing to check the dictionary to clarify the difference between a flashcard word and other words that seem similar to me. Being able to bounce back and forth without quitting the flashcard session would be great.
That one would be rather major, unfortunately - there is an option to add an input field to the Instant Access screen, though ("Include edit box in Instant Access window" in the "External" panel), FWIW, so if you've got a good way to invoke IA you could pull that up during a flashcard session and quickly enter a new search without leaving it.
Dear Mike,

As you already know, I agree with thph2006. I also switch back and forth between flashcards and dictionary mode to clarify the difference between the flashcard word and other words that seem similar to me. Since I can't have another row of buttons on the bottom how about if we replace one of the button/icons on the top with a button that toggles between flashcards and dictionary. If I'm in flashcards and hit the toggle, it goes to dictionary and if I'm in dictionary and hit the toggle, it goes to flashcards. What would I give up? I don't need the quit button (the X with the box around it, I didn't use it for years and now rarely use it, and if I need to quit, I can hit the fan, then flashcards and can quit my current flashcard session there, which as I said is something that I rarely, rarely do), I can give up one of the 3 displays, and I could definitely give up the zi with the box around it as I never test myself with writing on the screen. So that's 3 buttons/icons that I would be willing to do without in order to get the toggle. But if I can't get it, it's still a great interface. Saving one stroke is still just saving one stroke. I can live with the current setup just fine.

John
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
johnh113 said:
As you already know, I agree with thph2006. I also switch back and forth between flashcards and dictionary mode to clarify the difference between the flashcard word and other words that seem similar to me. Since I can't have another row of buttons on the bottom how about if we replace one of the button/icons on the top with a button that toggles between flashcards and dictionary. If I'm in flashcards and hit the toggle, it goes to dictionary and if I'm in dictionary and hit the toggle, it goes to flashcards. What would I give up? I don't need the quit button (the X with the box around it, I didn't use it for years and now rarely use it, and if I need to quit, I can hit the fan, then flashcards and can quit my current flashcard session there, which as I said is something that I rarely, rarely do), I can give up one of the 3 displays, and I could definitely give up the zi with the box around it as I never test myself with writing on the screen. So that's 3 buttons/icons that I would be willing to do without in order to get the toggle. But if I can't get it, it's still a great interface. Saving one stroke is still just saving one stroke. I can live with the current setup just fine.
This was actually a discussion for Windows Mobile specifically, where getting out of / back into flashcards requires several more steps, but thanks for the reminder - this might at least be a good thing to add as a custom toolbar option in 2.3.
 
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