JSync and Kongzi Beta-6

You know, I’d probably make more blog posts if wordpress didn’t suck so much. I just have this intangible feeling that it sucks, that something sucks about wordpress. More on that later when I remember what sucks so much about wordpress. Right now I can’t think of anything.

Anyways I have been working on Kongzi off and on. I’ve added a timer to the Multiple Choice quiz. Which is kind of cool. Now you know how much time it took you to finish. I’ll add the same to Flashcards and so forth. I’ve also added the concept of “Sticky Tags” to the Add Entries dialog. The thing that really made me upset the most when adding lots of entries is that the tags wouldn’t be remembered from entry to entry. This may or may not be a desired behavior (from personal experience) so I put it in as a checkbox.

Another annoying thing I fixed is that if you accidentally click “open” instead of “save”, it wipes the Dictionary. That killed me twice during actual classtime so I fixed it. “Open” doesn’t clear your database until you select a file.

So yeah I’ve been real busy at work lately which is why I haven’t bothered to seriously work on Kongzi. I spent most of 2010 with an insane number of teaching hours and I am only now recovering from the shock. It was that bad. What brought me back? Simple, file sharing. The idea came up at a meeting that we should be able to share files. It’s better than e-mailing files to everyone all the time, and it would encourage a greater amount of collaboration. But every option we looked at was “expensive”. So me being me I decided, why pay? Or rather, I should say, why pay someone else? haha. That was something I could do. So I whipped up JSync.

JSync is pretty cool. It doesn’t actually copy files yet, I’m banging out the code for that as we speak. First I’ll talk about the job selection menu which is a cool little piece of work. You’ll notice one item is blue and one item is greyed. The greyed items, greyed (or de-greyed) by the right mouse button are “jobs which will be processed”. The blue item is the currently displayed item. I’m rather proud of that interesting user interface. Next there are three modes: synchronize, contribute, and mirror. Finally there are three types of connection; local, FTP and JSync. JSync will be a very interesting mode which I’ll keep secret for now. Actually I’ll discuss the whole file sharing back end later. I just wanted to mention I’m working on JSync now. And it’s gonna be good. Real good. Just like Kongzi.

I know, I know, I haven’t released Kongzi yet… so when am I gonna release JSync.. well, I’ve been using Kongzi to teach now for a very long time. It’s mainly “finished” and could be released, except for one or two small things. The only feature I want to add to Kongzi now is a cloze test generator (also known as trigger exercise). I’ve realized the best way to do this is to accompany each dictionary with a separate database of sentences and dialogue. I could attach sentences and dialogue to each vocabulary word. But that’s a little clunky. Yeah well this post is long enough. I just needed to write down some ideas. There’s actually a lot here, which I will be discussing in greater detail as time goes by. But for what it’s worth this is it… probably… Once this round of development is complete, I’ll probably release Kongzi. It works really well for teaching and self-learning.

Actually there’s something else I want to do. I want to add hiragana, katakana and a basic list of kanji as well. Then, really work on the presentation a bit and trim the dictionaries so I have a basic list of say 500 english words, 500 chinese and 500 japanese kanji. Maybe 500 korean as well. As a basic release package. Man there’s so much I want to do! Why did I stop working on Kongzi.. I got sick and had a motorcycle accident and I was so busy at work.. Well, I guess I learned something about myself.. back to work!

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