Pleco 4.0

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
139 years and counting.
True, but on the other hand, in another 61 years Barcelona is going to be underwater and whatever portion of Sagrada Familia is completed by then will be mostly of interest to scuba divers and artistically-inclined fishes, whereas Pleco 4.2.182761 will still be creaking along as one of my grandkids posts occasional TikTok updates on the progress of Pleco 5.0.
 

Fernando

举人
True, but on the other hand, in another 61 years Barcelona is going to be underwater and whatever portion of Sagrada Familia is completed by then will be mostly of interest to scuba divers and artistically-inclined fishes, whereas Pleco 4.2.182761 will still be creaking along as one of my grandkids posts occasional TikTok updates on the progress of Pleco 5.0.
You may have chosen the blue pill, Mike, but perhaps your kids will choose the red one.
 

LeonardoM

举人
We've already added that for 4.0, the main limitation at the moment is that you have to bring the images in from files or your photo album since we haven't yet added an image search feature - trying to figure out a way to do that that a) works in China and b) doesn't get our app a 17+ rating is dicey.
Perhaps you could let users upload photos for each character to Pleco's server, and share those photos back with all other users. Also, implementing a way to contribute by selecting which photo look best - as a poll - could also help keep a higher standard, and would take away the risk of having low quality photos visible to the millions.
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
Perhaps you could let users upload photos for each character to Pleco's server, and share those photos back with all other users. Also, implementing a way to contribute by selecting which photo look best - as a poll - could also help keep a higher standard, and would take away the risk of having low quality photos visible to the millions.
Honestly, that's even worse, since we'd then have to take responsibility for that content ourselves - moderate that server aggressively / police it for copyright violations / etc. And end up in all sorts of situations where somebody would be mad at us for moderating a particular photo and somebody else would be mad at us for *not* moderating it and it would be impossible not to end up in the middle of a fight.
 
Perhaps you could let users upload photos for each character to Pleco's server, and share those photos back with all other users. Also, implementing a way to contribute by selecting which photo look best - as a poll - could also help keep a higher standard, and would take away the risk of having low quality photos visible to the millions.
we'd then have to take responsibility for that content ourselves - moderate that server aggressively
Can't wait to see what happens to the flashcard list if this feature was implemented.

IMG_0308.jpg
 

Sam Patrick

Member
Hi Mike!

I have one question about the image feature of the 4.0 update: how easy will it be to incorporate images into Pleco flashcards ? Will it be possible to just convert Anki decks with images into Pleco decks, or will we have to recreate the cards one by one ? What will be the maximum resolution of these images ? I use flashcards to memorise Chinese geography and some of the maps are quite detailed.

Also is it still pointless to ask for a Pleco 4.0 release date frame ?

Thank you so much for your amazing work :)
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
how easy will it be to incorporate images into Pleco flashcards ?
Very - can load them individually in the card editor or in bulk from an import file (in a text / Excel file this would work via links to paths in an accompanying folder). They're stored in their own separate table with their own separate IDs and then linked from cards, which you can edit in our own Pandoc-inspired Markdown dialect, so you can put multiple images in the same field, customize sizes, reuse an image as an icon/decoration in 1000 different cards, etc.

Will it be possible to just convert Anki decks with images into Pleco decks, or will we have to recreate the cards one by one ?
Can import them directly, including images. If your cards have really complicated rich text formatting or templates they might not come over perfectly - we attempt to convert inline HTML in fields to Markdown, but while it works fine for simple stuff like <b> there's a limit to what we can easily represent in Markdown, and with converting HTML templates to our own template system, we do considerably more elaborate parsing (CSS too) but nevertheless it's never going to be flawless.

But it works well in most of the decks we've tested and of course the beta will be an excellent opportunity to improve it; we could even potentially detect / use hand-customized templates for popular Anki decks, pretty much every wacky thing people try to do to Chinese cards in Anki with JavaScript templates can be done through our system too.

What will be the maximum resolution of these images ? I use flashcards to memorise Chinese geography and some of the maps are quite detailed.
We haven't really set one, would mostly depend on device constraints. We do support showing thumbnail images inline + puling up a larger scrollable image full-screen, but with a really big image the performance might start to degrade since we don't currently do a lot of giant image optimizations like tiling / rendering at multiple intermediate resolutions / etc.

Also is it still pointless to ask for a Pleco 4.0 release date frame ?
Yeah, pretty much. If I answered that question here any time anybody asked it I believe every single one of those answers would have been wildly incorrect :)
 

Sam Patrick

Member
Very - can load them individually in the card editor or in bulk from an import file (in a text / Excel file this would work via links to paths in an accompanying folder). They're stored in their own separate table with their own separate IDs and then linked from cards, which you can edit in our own Pandoc-inspired Markdown dialect, so you can put multiple images in the same field, customize sizes, reuse an image as an icon/decoration in 1000 different cards, etc.
That is absolutely amazing. Can't wait to use it !
 

LeonardoM

举人
I'm not sure when Pleco 4.0 will be out, since there are no timelines whatsoever, but I was wondering if the new version will be announced along with the release of the first beta, or if the official announcement will happen sometimes before that.
Can't wait for it, by the way!
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
What do you mean by “announced?” We’ve kind of already announced it, at least informally - I don’t expect we’ll do anything a whole lot more official until even after the beta is out (when we have some idea about a final version release date).
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
I don't think we'll announce that until we already have the beta past Beta App Review and so are in a position where can more-or-less immediately add people to it.
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
Probably TestFlight but not 100% sure yet, we've actually got a build of 4.0 that embeds 3.0 as a framework and can toggle seamlessly between them and we're considering simply releasing that.
 

LeonardoM

举人
Probably TestFlight but not 100% sure yet, we've actually got a build of 4.0 that embeds 3.0 as a framework and can toggle seamlessly between them and we're considering simply releasing that.
So in that case it would be a simple update on the AppStore, with a built in option to activate the beta functions/graphics?
 
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