Blog / March 2014

  • 31 March 2014Upcoming feature: Example words in the Study pages

    I'm currently working on a dictionary feature for the Study pages! I know there's quite a few areas of the site people would like to see improved, but .. when the motivation is there I'll take it.

    With this feature you can see a list of example words for a kanji on any given Study page. Having example words for the kanji, even when you are not memorizing them yet, is very helpful to make a connection between the character and the english keywords.

    This feature will be at first mostly a convenience one. It can save time looking up the characters in a paper dictionary (eg. Kodansha's Kanji Learner's Dictionary) or separate online resource. But there are quite a few interesting things that can be done in further updates, especially for users who take advantage of the Flashcards on this site.
    JapanesePod101.com
  • 19 March 2014Squashed a bug today.

    The "assertion error" when looking up kanji characters that are not in RTK (Remembering the Kanji) has been fixed. Example character #21816: .

    Trivia: the Study pages allow editing stories for roughly 12500+ kanji, hence many thousands more than the ones indexed in the RTK books. For non Heisig characters, the unicode value is considered to be an extension of the RTK index. Thus you can also search those characters by typing in the unicode value in the search box, in addition to the character itself.
  • 6 March 2014Update: Shared Stories list optimization.

    You will now see a "paging" interface above the Shared Stories list in the Study pages. This shoud improve the response time of the Study pages, along with some SQL optimization.

    With the latency between your computer and the server, the change is probably not as noticable as it is on my development version, but it is definitely there. The render time for the page used to be often above 300 milliseconds, and a quick check now shows an average under 150 milliseconds, which is much better.

    Note that the "rows per page" setting is remembered during a session only. If you log out or stop using the site for a while, you may have to change it again if you don't like the default of 20 rows. Saving options like that would be nice but it is the kind of things I can not prioritize right now.

    I wish I could work on new exciting features and more fun things... but unfortunately in order to ensure the longevity of the website I am going to have to take care of other optimizations and some rewrites sooner than later. The storage of the Stories is something that needs a lot of improvement. It is really old code, it is very inefficient in terms of storage and I can think of better ways to do it now.
  • 5 March 2014Update tomorrow, website may be unavailable for 15-30m

    Tomorrow there should be a small update to the Study pages adding paging of the Shared Stories list. This along with a database tweak hopefully will make a noticable improvement to the response times of the Study pages.

    The website has to be disabled for a short while because it requires an update to a table of the database that contains millions of rows (your kanji stories !). You can tell the website is being updated, rather than having some kind of trouble, because it will redirect to a maintenance page.