Pleco Desktop

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
Slim Smith said:
Hi.

I'm late to the party, but since it seems to still be going on, I thought I'd chime in.

After reading some of the posts in this thread and reflecting on how I use Pleco, I've come to the realization that I'm in the "not interested in a desktop version" camp. I also don't see the need for my flashcards to be "in the cloud".

I use Pleco on both my iPod touch and iPad. I study flashcards on my iPod when I'm out and about, and on my iPad when I'm at home.

I've used other desktop flashcard programs and I think the most important thing I've learned is that I don't like studying flashcards on a desktop. Even when I'm at home I like to be mobile, studying on the couch, in bed, standing by the window, walking around, etc.

With Pleco, transferring flashcards via wireless or Bluetooth between my devices is fast and easy. I've had syncing problems with Ankimobile, the desktop version and Anki Online. Over it. I've also recently stopped using Mental Case because I'm tired of having to start up my computer every time I want to sync. One of the great things about Pleco is that it's . . . it's just there. (That would be a great line for a Pleco TV commercial!) :D It's inside my iPod and iPad. I don't have to worry about clouds or desktops when I create flashcards or sync them between my portable devices.

I use a wireless keyboard with my iPad to create sentence flashcards and I've been happy with the experience. If I didn't have a wireless keyboard, I could type up the cards on my computer and then transfer them to my mobile devices via iTunes, email or a web browser.

So yeah. Pleco: it's just there. In my mobile device. And I like it like that.
Thanks!

Having flashcards "in the cloud" in the way we're currently talking about would basically just be for the purpose of synchronization; your iPod and iPad aren't guaranteed to always be connected to the internet at the same time, so by syncing their flashcard databases to Apple's servers, you're guaranteed that you can always get the latest one on each device.

We've been looking at ways we might bring a lot of the benefits of a desktop flashcard interface to an iPad one, though... is there anything you'd like to see made easier in the custom flashcard editing screen? Particularly given that you're using an external keyboard, which isn't exactly the smoothest thing UI-wise right now...
 
mikelove said:
We've been looking at ways we might bring a lot of the benefits of a desktop flashcard interface to an iPad one, though... is there anything you'd like to see made easier in the custom flashcard editing screen? Particularly given that you're using an external keyboard, which isn't exactly the smoothest thing UI-wise right now...
Thanks for the reply, Mike.

Below are some of my thoughts.

I'd like to be able to use the tab or arrow keys to navigate between fields. (For example, using the down arrow to go from the Simplified Character Headword field to the Pinyin Pronunciation field.) Also, maybe a two-key combo to get out of a particular field. (After typing the characters, hitting command + return to exit the Character Headword field.)

When looking up words in the dictionary, it would nice to be able to use the tab or down arrow keys to "jump" from the search window to the list of words, and then be able to use the up and down arrows to navigate through the list. A key to get back into the search window would be helpful too.

I usually study flashcards on the go, but for times when I study at home, it would be nice to be able to use the keyboard. Maybe the space bar to reveal the definition and the number keys to "grade" my answer.

I realize that part of the fun of the iPad is actually touching the screen. But now that I'm using a wireless keyboard for Pleco and other tasks, it would be nice to see more keyboard integration.

Thanks again for your reply.
 

radioman

状元
My Two Cents...

Pleco Desktop = Google Spreadsheets.

At least with regard to organizing flashcards, I believe it addresses a host of issues. Below are some.

1 - Card Backup - by syncing (or at least writing / reading), your cards are backed up version by version. Scores, notes, etc. could be included as well.
2 - Card Editing - Edit in the spreadsheet.
3 - Sharing - Share your cards (spreadsheet) with others securely.
4 - Translation Support - built in Google Spreadsheet functions allow you to translate.
5 - Reader Support - Sheets can be directly read into Pleco's reader if desired by "publishing" the sheet as a webpage.
6 - New Deck Creation - Develop new decks in excel or text editors and import to Google as desired.
7 - Large Database Handling - thousands of lines can be managed. http://is.gd/rvqsOy
8 - Category viewing - Google Spreadsheet filtering allows you to filter on anything and then modify the records that you want. No need to have to look at all records.
9 - UTF-8 fully supported.
10 - API Support - Google Spreadsheets API support is already in place.

In my view, the above would not replace replace iCloud. It would be a complementary function that would allow the user to manage their cards on a big screen.
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
radioman said:
Pleco Desktop = Google Spreadsheets.

At least with regard to organizing flashcards, I believe it addresses a host of issues. Below are some.

1 - Card Backup - by syncing (or at least writing / reading), your cards are backed up version by version. Scores, notes, etc. could be included as well.
2 - Card Editing - Edit in the spreadsheet.
3 - Sharing - Share your cards (spreadsheet) with others securely.
4 - Translation Support - built in Google Spreadsheet functions allow you to translate.
5 - Reader Support - Sheets can be directly read into Pleco's reader if desired by "publishing" the sheet as a webpage.
6 - New Deck Creation - Develop new decks in excel or text editors and import to Google as desired.
7 - Large Database Handling - thousands of lines can be managed. http://is.gd/rvqsOy
8 - Category viewing - Google Spreadsheet filtering allows you to filter on anything and then modify the records that you want. No need to have to look at all records.
9 - UTF-8 fully supported.
10 - API Support - Google Spreadsheets API support is already in place.

In my view, the above would not replace replace iCloud. It would be a complementary function that would allow the user to manage their cards on a big screen.
After the recent Maps / Translate fiascos, I'm no longer willing to depend on Google APIs unless a) they're built into Android (though I wouldn't rely on those same APIs on iOS) or b) Google has an easy way to make money off of apps' usage of them. Since neither of those is true with Google Docs, and since this particular integration would actually be rather complicated to implement, I don't think I can justify the risk - I'd rather hook into some other, smaller, independent service like Dropbox, who would pretty much destroy their business if they stopped letting apps access their API.
 
Giraffe said:
I don't care so much about a Pleco desktop, except that I would dearly love some way of editing my flashcards other than using my phone. For example, if I found an interesting sentence while sitting at my desktop computer browsing the web, I could just copy and paste it somewhere (maybe into a personal account on pleco.com or into Dropbox) which would magically add it to the flashcard list on my phone. It would also be really nice to be able to drag and drop flashcards between categories using a keyboard and mouse. I guess what I'm really looking for is cloud-based flashcard management with the ability to edit from a desktop computer / web browser.
My sentiments exactly: no need (not yet unless desktop Mac OS evolves with touchscreens etc.) for a desktop version but a way to input words from the desktop to iOS through iCloud or similar would be very useful.
 

HW60

状元
Most of my flashcards I write in Excel, copy the table into an editor file, save it as UTF-8, copy the file to the PDA and import the flashcards into Pleco.
 

Paul Duke

进士
Having become completely addicted to Pleco on the iPad for reading Chinese texts, I would love love love love LOVE to have a desktop version for Mac OS. I've been with you since a Palm version of the Oxford Dictionary back in 2003, and now especially that Wenlin isn't really being updated while the Chinese language is changing fast (adding tons of vocabulary, at least), I really find it frustrating to work with texts in Wenlin but not have access to the PLC dictionary, CEDict, etc with updated and alternative translations.

I don't mean to ask about competitors if that's impolite, but while I'm here (and in the meantime), is there desktop software with offline access to CEDict that you recommend? I do not keep up with this stuff and am old enough that my limited knowledge of Chinese software tools was gained in the late-90s, early 00s, so I am really out of it (and apologize for that in advance). And I promise I'll be first in line to buy a desktop version of Pleco.

thanks

Paul
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
Paul Duke said:
Having become completely addicted to Pleco on the iPad for reading Chinese texts, I would love love love love LOVE to have a desktop version for Mac OS. I've been with you since a Palm version of the Oxford Dictionary back in 2003, and now especially that Wenlin isn't really being updated while the Chinese language is changing fast (adding tons of vocabulary, at least), I really find it frustrating to work with texts in Wenlin but not have access to the PLC dictionary, CEDict, etc with updated and alternative translations.
Have you tried running our Android app using Bluestacks? A lot of people have had success with that, though it's not something we're able to officially support.
 

radioman

状元
mikelove said:
Have you tried running our Android app using Bluestacks? A lot of people have had success with that, though it's not something we're able to officially support.
So I am sitting here with a Macbook Pro and I already purchased licenses for my Kindle Fire (not currently using). Is there something special with regard to licensing I would need to do to get the Kindle Fire license transferred to a Bluestacks installation?
 
Is it possible to use Pleco on Mac OS Lion 10.8 via the current version of BlueStacks? The BlueStacks site says that only a limited set of curated apps are available at this point.

Is there a way to install "plecodroid-120725p.apk" via one of the command line apps that come with BlueStacks?
> uHD-InstallHelper ?
> uHD-RunApp ? (Usage: uHD-RunApp <package> <activity>)

If uHD-RunApp would do it, what is the Android "Activity" that you would use to launch Pleco?

+1 to Mac version of Pleco (at least the reader component to replace wenlin)
+1 to iCloud sync of flashcards between my iPhones and iPad
+1 to Synonym/Antonym dictionaries in Pleco
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
ryan erwin said:
+1 to Mac version of Pleco (at least the reader component to replace wenlin)
Possible but we're waiting to see how things shake out with Windows 8 first. (if nobody's still buying non-tablet computers a year from now then we won't want to have just spent a significant portion of that year porting our software to them)

ryan erwin said:
+1 to iCloud sync of flashcards between my iPhones and iPad
Coming, we're hoping the final version of iOS 6 will make iCloud sync sufficiently non-buggy that we can do this without driving people crazy.

ryan erwin said:
+1 to Synonym/Antonym dictionaries in Pleco
Already licensed and probably coming in this big release or the next one after it.
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
radioman said:
Sorry, but will my license for my Kindle Fire Pleco Transfer to the BlueStacks environment?
Assuming that this is an originally-purchased-on-Android license that can be used on multiple devices, yes.
 

Paul Duke

进士
mikelove said:
Paul Duke said:
Having become completely addicted to Pleco on the iPad for reading Chinese texts, I would love love love love LOVE to have a desktop version for Mac OS. I've been with you since a Palm version of the Oxford Dictionary back in 2003, and now especially that Wenlin isn't really being updated while the Chinese language is changing fast (adding tons of vocabulary, at least), I really find it frustrating to work with texts in Wenlin but not have access to the PLC dictionary, CEDict, etc with updated and alternative translations.
Have you tried running our Android app using Bluestacks? A lot of people have had success with that, though it's not something we're able to officially support.
Thanks much for the reply, Mike. I took a quick look at Bluestacks and it looks intriguing but since I don't have an Android device, and since I use Pleco on iOS and thus have an iOS license (I guess), it all seems to me to be too complicated and troublesome and expensive (for me, at least) to try to get Pleco onto my Mac laptop via that method. My sixth sense about software is telling me I'll spend more time troubleshooting this kind of set-up than getting work done.

Only posting this to vote again for a Mac OS version of Pleco!

thanks again,

pd
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
Yeah, at this point if we do anything desktop-based it will probably be web-based - we'd like to be more in control of our own destiny than we are now and an online dictionary is the best way to accomplish that.
 

EBass

Member
I'd just like to Chime in with my thoughts. Even though I'd probably still use the phone version more, I'd personally love a desktop version of Pleco. For several reasons.

Firstly, I love the security of having my flashcards and scorefile on two devices that can sync to each other. If one goes wrong for some reason I can simply restore by syncing.

Secondly, if I'm using the document reader, a bigger screen is just nicer to have.

Thirdly, maybe I'm old fashioned but I still do most of my browsing on a pc and not a mobile device. There are of course some automatically translate websites out there, but none are as good as pleco. Being able to copy and paste into the clip reader or the dictionary when I'm searching on a Chinese site would be a godsend.

So yea, a desktop version would be awesome.
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
Well the first two options would be perfectly doable with a web-based option too - third would be a bit more challenging but we might perhaps combine a website with a browser plugin of some sort.
 

caesartg

榜眼
Presumably if you do a web-based option, we'd also have cross-platform flashcard sync? I really truly hope this happens as it would get me using Pleco again. I don't know if it's just me but with the nature of my work I get through my day using an Android phone, iPhone, Ipad, company Windows 7 laptop, Windows 10 desktop and just got myself a Xiaomi MiPad2 running Windows 10.

I no longer have convenient access to a Pleco synced flashcard solution on a charged device wherever I am. As much as I love Pleco after first using it 12 years ago, I have hardly touched it in a year - it no longer runs well on my old Iphone 4, my corporate iphone 4s only has 8GB, there is no reasonable syncing solution on Android, my old Ipad 2 offers the most pleasant flashcard experience but I rarely have it with me when I have a study opportunity. The one device I do have with me all the time (my Android phone) won't flashcard sync with the iPad and runs out of battery with intensive usage.

I'm spending almost all my productivity time in cross-platform apps or platform-specific ones that play well with Dropbox. Apps like Quip, Xodo, Toggl, the MS Office suite, etc. The platform and the device are becoming less and less important - I can just use whatever device is available and best suited to the situation I'm in, whether at home, at my office desk, in a meeting or rushing somewhere. I find I'm dropping apps, even the really good ones, that are limited to a specific platform or form factor.

I hoped that you were going to offer a Dropbox syncing solution because even through VPNs in China, I think it would have been acceptable to many ex-pats who aren't heavy up-to-date IOS users - I use Dropbox with plenty of other apps through VPN. A China cloud solution would also be fine - I imagine most users of Pleco spend most of their time inside China or outside of China and not hopping between the two, so fast/slow syncing performance or the hassle of switching from one cloud provider to the other isn't the bigger issue (presumably developing your own syncing solution outside of Apple's offering would be a significant undertaking which would be a bigger issue).

So, +1 here for a web-based option and your overcoming the perennial syncing and China hosting issue. I want to use Pleco irrespective of devices and I want to be able to study when those study opportunities present themselves 24/7. I'd probably go for a subscription model if you offered a Pleco cloud service solution where I could use whichever device I have to hand for study, reference and lookup.

Just my liang mao -- maybe it's just me...
 
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