News for November 2010

Donations and Amazon Wishlist update.29 November 2010
There have been seven donations so far this month, including four last week, some very generous. It's great to receive such support in response to a website update!

There are also eight persons currently on a recurring donation. This continued support is also very important to me. It provides a more predictable income, as well as makes sure that the web hosting fees are covered.

Thank you all for your support (past and present) !

Finally, I've put a few items on my Amazon UK Wishlist. You know there is a problem when people have to remind you that your Wish list is empty ;)

Internet Explorer support will likely be restored soon, more about this later this week.

Internet Explorer no longer supported (for the time being).24 November 2010
Thanks to member c_etter, I am aware that the website is basically unusable in Internet Exploder.

It probably chokes on some simple Javascript compatibility errors that I could fix in less than an hour (I have plenty of experience with this), if it wasnt for the fact that Micro$oft decided to make it really hard for Mac and Linux users to run the Virtual PC images outside of Virtual PC.

As you can see on that page the VPC images are "for testing websites with different Internet Explorer versions on Windows XP and Windows Vista". These are time limited pre-activated versions of Windows XP and Vista; They automatically expire every four months, at which point you need to download another update.

On Mac, I need to use Virtual Box (free), or Parallels or VmWare (not free). This used to work about a year ago but Micro$oft has purposefully changed their stance and forced the "Genuine" Activation onto users who do not run the Virtual PC images under Windows. Needless to say I am really disappointed with this.

Let me be clear: this isn't a Mac vs PC thing. At my last day job, for four consecutive years; I honed my skills at building IE 6 compatible websites, both CSS and Javascript. I worked with Windows XP, on a PC. Even on a Windows machine I had to use these virtual PC images, because you can only have one version of IE installed. So in my first couple years I had IE6 by default, and Virtual PC to test the IE7 or IE8 beta. The least year I had upgraded to IE8, and used Virtual PC to test IE6 and IE7.

Well flash forward to today, I can't run a Virtual PC image with an emulator on Mac, so I am forced to either buy another genuine copy of Windows (two actually since IE9 will not run on XPSP3); or I have to "patch" Windows to somehow skip the activation. Needless to say I'm not buying this overpriced piece of software. I already have a genuine copy of XP that I moved to a Macbook Pro, and a genuine copy of Windows 7 which I use with bootcamp in my iMac (for gaming, pretty much).



Long story short: I apologize for the broken Internet Explorer support, but it will not be fixed anytime soon. Given the percentage of total visits to this site from Internet Explorer, I am going to put my development to better uses for the time being.

Comments and help is welcome in the related forum topic.

Solutions: please consider using better, faster, safer browsers such as Google Chrome, Safari, Firefox or Opera for running the website. Keep in mind all these browsers can be installed alongside each other, there is nothing preventing you from using more than one browser. Each have their strengths, and weaknesses. It is actually a favorite trick of mine to set a different home page in each one, and use them for different purposes (for example I'm not an Opera fan, but I liked that it has BitTorrent download built in, your mileage may vary).

If you are stuck with an old version of IE at work, please consider using portable Firefox, Google Chrome portable, etc. These are stand alone browsers that do not require installation and can even be run off the USB stick (your bookmarks and private data is also "portable").

Fixes for Android!20 November 2010
Most of the Manage pages, as well as the "Edit Keyword" and "Edit Story" dialogs didn't work in the Android browser. It should work now.

Many thanks to member zlorfik who posted the bug on the forum and gave basic instructions to run the Android emulator.

Minor update19 November 2010
Bugfix:
  • Fixed a "500 Internal Server Error" on the Study pages linked to the stories formatting. Custom Keywords using braces like "Foo (bar) (lol (cats))" should work now. :-)
Thanks to cyrandl. Please report any errors you come accross since yesterday's update in the feedback forum, I will do my best to fix them asap.

Thursday 18 November Update: Custom Keywords!18 November 2010
New:
  • Customized Keywords! You can now edit and import your own keywords for all the kanji featured in RTK Volume 1 and 3 (roughly 3007 kanji, including the Jouyou). International users can also use this to replace the English keywords with ones in their own language. Other example uses include Japanese keywords, and adding an extra hint for keywords that have multiple meanings.
  • Custom Keywords can be imported from the Manage > Import keywords page!
  • Keywords can be edited on the Study page: simply click the keyword in the story edit area. An "Edit Keyword" dialog will appear.
  • Keywords can also be edited during a review session! Click the keyword inside the "Edit Story" dialog. It works just like on the Study page.
  • Use the Manage > Edit Keywords page when you want to edit many keywords at once. Note that this page only lists keywords from your flashcards. For another way to conveniently edit multiple keywords consider simply typing in the changes in the Import Keywords page.
  • Use the TAB key on the Manage > Edit Keywords page to edit keywords in sequence. This is more convenient than going through the Study pages if all you want is to replace series of keywords. Keep in mind however that the Edit Keywords page only lists Custom Keywords for your existing flashcards.
Other fixes and tweaks:
  • Stories Export now replaces frame number links with the kanji and keyword (dalmim).
  • Stories Export is now ordered by Heisig's "frame number".
  • Fixed a display issue with the Star/Report/Vote buttons (Kysle).
  • Tweaked Custom Keywords based on feedback (Asayoru, EratiK and jmignot).
Switching from the Greasemonkey script

If you're having trouble extracting the keywords please check the Substitute Keywords topic.

Acknowledgments

This update was a long overdue addition to the website. I didn't get around to it until now for several reasons, some personal (free time, motivation…) others technical (I pretty much learned php with this website). During all this time, this functionality has been available through prolific member Woelpad's "Substitute Keywords" script. The script worked basically like a plugin inside the Firefox browser.

I want to thank Woelpad for providing this functionality to the Reviewing the Kanji users until now (besides the many other useful scripts he's written). I also want to thank him for taking the time to update the scripts and help out its users who depended on it, everytime I made changes to the website.

Thank you Woelpad!

Website down Thursday 11AM CET16 November 2010
The website will be unavailable Thursday approximately 11am CET for an update. It may be down up to an hour. The main feature for this update is the Custom Keywords functionality described in previous entries.

Import Custom Keywords ready for testing12 November 2010
The Customize Keyword Import feature is now on the staging (test) website.

The Manage > Edit Keywords page has been tweaked also: you can "chain edit" keywords now when pressing enter in the Edit Keywords dialog (only on this page).

If you are currently using the Substitute Keyword Greasemonkey script (a Firefox plugin), you should prepare your keyword list now and test it out on the staging website. Note that your account may not exist on the test website, since it uses a very old backup of the live site. You can create a dummy account on there, this is just a temporary testing environment.

Please let me know in this forum topic if you come accross any issues. I will do my best to fix or tweak the import feature before this goes live.

Hopefully this will go live next week. My brain needs rest now, yes week end! ;-)

A heads-up for Substitute Keyword script users9 November 2010
If you have been using Woelpad's "Substitute Keyword" script please read this post on the forums. Prepare your keyword list so that you will be able to continue without interruption after the next website update.