• 24 December 2010Christmas Update!

    Today's update adds the RTK Supplement kanji, fullscreen flashcard reviews, and a new Flashcard Edit dialog on the Study pages.

    Read on for the detailed changes!

    RTK Supplement : 23 new kanji from the RTK Supplement (the "Newly Approved General-Use Kanji") can now be added to the flashcards. As James Heisig explains in the introduction to that supplement, 39 characters were already present in RTK Volume 1, while 134 were also present in RTK Volume 3. This leaves 23 new kids on the block, which are now available on this site.

    Without knowing exactly what the newer RTK editions numbering will be like, I chose to simply add the kanji not previously available to the end of RTK 3 with the frame numbers extended from 3008 to 3030 (thanks NeoGlitch). You can add these one by one from the Study page (see below), or just add the whole range in Manage > Add Custom Selection ("3008-3030").

    A new "RTK Suppl." item will appear in the Check Progress page if any of the kanji in that range are added.

    Please use this thread for feedback on the RTK Supplement kanji. RTK Supplement discussion and PDF link is here.

    Flashcard Options on the Study page : You will now find a flashcard menu in the Study page. The flashcard icon tells you at a glance whether there is already a flashcard for the present character or not. Click the icon to get a list of options: add a flashcard, delete a flashcard, and "fail" the card (put it onto the red pile). Basic information about the flashcard status can also be seen in the dropdown menu.

    This is potentially a better way to work with the flashcards. Just browse in the Study page, and add flashcards one by one for the characters you are studying. After you are done adding a few cards, you can take the "Review new cards" shortcut, also in the flashcard menu. I hope you'll like it. It seems to me on hindsight that this is a more natural way of working than going through the Manage options, it also improves the workflow a bit. Let me know what you think!

    Fullscreen Flashcard Reviews : I thought I would finally make the fullscreen flashcard review mode the default. After all, this website is really a web application. In order to avoid disorientate users, I added an "Exit" button. For the really fearless, try the "Fullscreen" option of your browser as well, for truly distraction free reviews :-) (in Windows it is usually F11, Google Chrome Mac is Cmd-Shift-F, etc).

    You will also find a new "Help" button that lists the available keyboard shortcuts. Did you know you can use the numeric keypad?

    This update was tested to work in Internet Explorer 8. The website makes use of CSS3, some buttons and dialogs will look better in Firefox, Google Chrome, etc. (and hopefully IE9 as well).

    Drama!I have a bad habit of letting my mind linger on projects. Since I work at home the distinction between "work time" and "off time" is not always easy to achieve. I really wanted to put out a little update, and then disconnect as much as I can from the site for the Christmas/NewYear holidays. I really raced to complete this one.

    Donations galore and Wulfgar's Challenge!

    Earlier this month truando kick-started a Christmas donation run. The support you've shown was amazing. I wasn't confident at first that we would gather more than a few hundred euros, but was quickly proved wrong. As we were nearing 700 € another member, wulfgar, raised the bar and his challenge was met in just a couple days. Thank you all for the amazing support!

    As I wrote there I will most likely buy one the newer tablet devices coming out in early 2011. This will be a great motivation to further optimize the website layout for smaller devices. Whether I end up buying an iPad 2 or a Android device, rest assured that most of the work on the layout will benefit both sides.

    Well I was going to write more thoughts about 2011, but I'm running out of time tonight. I'm going to stay with a friend in Brussels for the holiday break. It's good to go back to the capital where I used to live for the past nine years! I'm going to load up on Durüms (kebabs) and otherwise shamelessly play games, read stuff, enjoy the city and take my mind off projects.

    Merry Christmas everyone!