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Design decisions?

With every single feature I rewrite I always think about what should be changed to make it better. There are many decisions to be made, but changing stuff is not easy. I’m sure a lot of people will be angered if something is removed, and many others if things get changed. I could of course keep everything as it is. In a way this is the most appealing choice. It’s not surprising many developers and companies choose this path, but this is also why a lot of programs don’t get better.

Unfortunately there’s nobody I could ask about the changes I intend to make. If I only asked a single person they wouldn’t be able to help as they can’t possibly know the needs of all users either. So in the end changes will be made, features will be removed or completely reworked. People will get angry. This is not what I’m aiming for, but asking everyone on this blog what they want is difficult, as people rarely come to developer blogs. (I never intentionally visit such either.)

When a feature is completely changed, the data stored in user data files is usually changed (or removed) as well. Because of this in most cases there is no going back. I believe everything I change is for the better, but only time can prove that. Still, it will be difficult to change things back if a decision turns out to be wrong.

Basically what I’m trying to say is that if you want something to be in some way you can still get it while I’m working on the new zkanji. But it’ll be late to complain after the release.

Categories: Rant Tags: ,
  1. Ricardo
    July 25, 2015 at 8:55 pm

    I use zKanji mostly as a word and kanji dictionary, so my favorite features are those related to that.

    E.g., I like the use of a hotkey ([Ctrl]+[Alt]+[J], etc.) to have zKanji pop-up in a small, size-adjustable window, and the “auto paste” when I already have a word in the clipboard is nice! The “search-as-you-type” is a must, and so is the display of example sentences and search filters (start/end of word and search for inflections/conjugations). And the options in the context menu (to copy/append to the clipboard, search words online, etc.) are also very useful.

    To tell you the truth, I don’t use the kanji/word groups and “long-term study list” mostly for lack of instructions. I know it’s obvious for you how to use those features, but I’m not sure what they do exactly or the best way to use them.

    BTW, I think I have never mentioned to you a bug when drawing kanjis: drawing with the mouse is fine, but if I use my Wacom Bamboo tablet I can draw much faster, and when I draw fast the strokes are shown all connected (as if I haven’t lift the stylus from the tablet)… yet the recognition works just fine. So, it is mostly a cosmetic bug, but it can interfere when I can’t find a kanji on the first try.

    And as an improvement, I’d suggest to sort the example sentences by ascending size. A shorter sentence should (usually) be easier and faster to read/understand.

    Keep up with the good work! 🙂


    • July 26, 2015 at 11:49 pm

      I had a similar issue with my bamboo tablet but it was a windows problem, not related to zkanji. Try drawing fast in ms paint or some similar program that doesn’t recognize tablets and you might see the same thing. I had to disable a system service (related to tabletpc functionality or something) to fix it.

  2. Kent
    July 26, 2015 at 12:38 am

    I think my use of Zkanji has been pretty similar to Ricardo’s. Most freqently, I use the kanji lookups and the dictionary.

    I’ve used the word groups quite a bit, but mostly as a way to keep track of things I have looked up recently. I make a word list for the book that I am reading, and add the words that I didn’t know to that, so if they show up again a few pages later, they are still handy.

  3. Jacopo
    July 27, 2015 at 2:57 pm

    I’m looking forward to see your new creation! Personally, I used the Long Term Study system much more than the dictionary (which was very handy anyway). I thought it was great and much better than the one you can find in other Flash Programs!
    By the way I was wondering: this time will you opt for an integration with the windows IME or we will still be seeing the internally driven hiragana writer? Greetings!

    • July 27, 2015 at 5:00 pm

      Both the IME and custom hiragana input can be used in edit boxes accepting Japanese. I have only tested this on my windows 7 though. I want to keep it this way but if I can’t find a way to make this work on other systems I’ll have to pick one or the other. It’s possible that it will work just fine too.

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