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Shelley

pleco for desktop pc?

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Shelley

Hi,

Just wondered what the situation was concering Pleco for desktops or laptops. I would really like to be able to sync my handheld with my desktop and be able to carry on using Pleco at my desk or on my laptop. I think Pleco is great and this would just be the iceing on the cake. Anybody else got any thoughts on this? Shelley

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Shelley

Hi,

Thanks for the link to the thread. Its all a bit old. Wonder if its going to happen now. Doesn't make me feel as if it will. oh well one can but hope there will be a desktop version. Shelley

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roddy

Reading the end of the topic rather than the beginning makes it all sound a lot more likely - maybe not imminent though . . .

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Shelley

Ah yes the end of the topic, if i had worked out that there were 16 pages of it i might have read more and sounded less silly :huh: I am gald to hear that it is being considered, I am afraid I am not a fan of Wenlin. Its been out for a long time and hasn't really changed. I really don't like the graphic interface. Too many windows stacked, I lose track of where I am. i also don't like the English font, i find it hard to read. Pleco on my desktop would be perfect. I would be happy to help with Beta testing if it helps in anyway to speed things up. Its all i can offer as I am not a computer genius. Here's Hopeing, Shelley

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mikelove

The current plan is to release the Android version on desktops first and see how that goes before deciding how to proceed with a desktop version; if we did develop a full native desktop app, we'd probably do it on Mac OS X before we did it on Windows, since the porting process is a lot easier and we're still pissed off at Microsoft for breaking backwards-compatibility in Windows Phone 7. (and for lying to me about their plans to do so when I wrote them to ask about that possibility, though in fairness the compatibility-dropping might have been a last-minute decision)

Specifically, as far as how this Android plan would work: it's possible to run Android on an x86-based desktop using Android-x86 and a virtual machine like the open-source VirtualBox, and we think it would be feasible for us to package up that whole setup with Pleco in an easy-to-use installer; the interface might be a bit awkward, but since we're going to have to optimize the Android version of Pleco to work on large tablet screens anyway, it should actually offer a pretty good desktop experience. Palm / Windows Mobile / iOS all have desktop emulators, but they're all restricted to developer use only and the Palm/WM ones only ever worked with small screens, so this wasn't really an option before Android.

The one big issue is that Google is taking a very long time to update a critical piece of the Android development tools (the NDK) to work on x86 - they've committed to doing so, but they seem to be dragging their feet a bit. But if necessary we think we've got a way to fix them ourselves, and as a fallback it's also possible to run the whole thing on the open-source ARM-based Android emulator, so one way or another we should be able to offer a fairly-usable version of Pleco on desktops via the Android port.

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Shelley

Thank you for your comprehensive reply. I didn't realize it was so complicated. Here's me thinking it would be fairly simple. It seems lots of things are involved. Well I will keep a look out for news. Thanks

Shelley

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來撒母耳

What about other non-android linux systems?

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mikelove

The same Android VM trick should work on Linux too, yes. A native Linux port is unlikely, but if we ever release a version on Windows it should be pretty Wine-friendly.

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Apollys

Soooo... I've been Googling around for Pleco on PC.  Should I give up?

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Shelley

Yes, probably.

It is apparently possible to run an Android emulator on a PC, but I know nothing about how to do it.

 

A lot of people use Wenlin on their PC.

 

 

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DavyJonesLocker
On 11/1/2018 at 12:42 PM, mungouk said:

Yes, Pleco has speech options and you can buy add-on human voices for it.

 

well worth paying for. I went all out and bought just about everything, graded readers etc. 

I think the day PLECO, start turning their attention to PC / Mac the rival dictionaries online will be redundant. I have seen any dictionary that ever comes near PLECO in terms of definitions, examples sentences. 

 

calling @mikelove

Any chance you chaps intend on focusing one day on the above discussion? Even a crude web based dictionary without the bells and whistles would be great so one can simple copy and paste from a website, word doc, pdf etc (when using a PC/Mac) rather than picking up my phone and having to manually type draw in the Chinese text 

 

Moderator note: some posts split from here.

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mungouk
3 minutes ago, mikelove said:

Apple announced their Project Marzipan which should allow us to do the same with iOS apps on Mac sometime in mid-to-late 2019.

 

Very interesting, hadn't heard of this. So this would be a native OSX app, not just an iOS emulator running the iOS app?

 

Thanks for the detailed response @mikelove, it's great to see developers active in the communities who use their apps.

 

 

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mikelove
6 minutes ago, mungouk said:

So this would be a native OSX app, not just an iOS emulator running the iOS app?

 

It's a bit unclear, but we can tell from the four Marzipan apps on Mojave that it won't simply be an emulator - their interfaces are a little awkward and iOS-y, but they each behave otherwise like a standalone Mac app, are built for x86 and run at native speed. So while I expect them to improve considerably in the finished/official version of Marzipan, and while I expect Apple to add new APIs in iOS 13 to let iOS apps support desktop input (mouseover etc) when it's available (perhaps also on iPad - it's probably not a coincidence that the new iPad Pros finally switched to USB ports), even if they simply ship what they have now it should feel a lot better than a mere iOS emulator would.

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DavyJonesLocker

@imron worth splitting off to a seperate topic for PLECO updates perhaps? Do we have a "All things related to PLECO thread?" Some good good info from Mike above which I'd like to follow up on but not related to the thread.

 

 

@mikelove

 

Thanks for the comprehensive update. Actually what I was really referring to is just a dead simple website  (so not specific to windows) that contains the PLECO database  to be made available online for subscribers, that is, similar to MDGB without character details, stroke orders nor all the other features that PLECO offers (Flash cards,  OCR etc).  No doubt there are plenty of others websites available but the clarity of the PLECO definitions, using straight forward and colloquial English  are in my view, the real true worth of PLECO. Other dictionarys don't come close.

 

I understand creating Win Apps and programs (.exes) is a different ball game and I can't see any need for it. A basic and crude website ouwld be great. Perhaps its more difficult that I iagine 


Subscription: yup not a chance I'd pay for a subscription for the reasons you mention. At the start many are not sure if they will continue studying Chinese for any length of time. Also many leaners take lengthy breaks (years even) from Chinese study so a monthly subscription would be very discouraging. I can understand apps like ChinesePod / TCB needing to charge a monthly sunscription.

 

On 11/1/2018 at 10:40 PM, mikelove said:

Apple/Google continue to stubbornly refuse to offer an alternative model like paid version upgrades 

 

i can see that being open to abuse especially with an app that requires the databases need to updated regularly.  I would have thought a license of 3-5 years would be a happy medium, gives users a chance to see if its worth rebuying. 

 

 

While i have your attention, few other points

1. IIt's great to see that you are including more 'parts of speech' in the app. Well done on that!

 

2. Not really in the scope of your app at the moment but what about a word comparison feature some typically confusing pairs of words 

 

3. more guidance on whether a word is primarily written or spoken would be great. 

 

2. Anything in store for more graded readers? I am running out of material! I think even if you went down the route of ebooks that would get peoples attention. The OCR is useful with using an eReader but still a little fiddly compared to your own built in readers. I see you are doing it already with your release of "Chinese History: A New Manual". It seems an odd choice to start with. I looked at the book, personally $30 is  steep and too specific a topic to tempt many readers. Further given its written in English, I am not sure of the need to use PLECO. Any eReader would do. I wonder what your sales are like?

 

I'd suggest popular and simple titles would also allow you a far more steady income stream, allow cheaper offering due to a wider potential audience. I'd bear in mind that many Chinese learners are primarily interested in the language not Chinese history, they simply just want to practice reading Chinese. The greader readers are good but stories too dull and too focused on the one theme (Hard working Poor Chinese society)


Thanks Mike

 

 

 

Edit: 

Ok I had totally forgotten PLECO have their own support website. I just looked at it  and it seems like an Android emulator might suffice. I will download it and report back here for other user who may be interested. 

 

 

 

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Apollys

Agree that just the Pleco definitions alone are a wonderful resource and far better than any other dictionary I've found.  A while ago I gave up on ever seeing a desktop Pleco, but if there were any way to just make the definitions available from one's computer, that would be fantastic.  Of course, I'm not sure if this would cause legal difficulties for you to implement or not.

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歐博思

I've been connecting my Galaxy S8 via Samsung Flow, turning on screen mirroring, and controlling my Pleco searches from PC.

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mikelove

@DavyJonesLocker Yes, separate thread probably best. Until then:

 

A basic website with just definitions would indeed be easier than a full Pleco-for-web, but that same principle is true for Windows too; in fact, a definition/search-only version of Pleco for Windows would be quite easy indeed, and would avoid the licensing / subscription model concerns of a web version. So if we decide that’s a viable option (we’d need a way to make it clear this was only “pleco lite”), it would still make more sense to do it on Windows.

 

Paid upgrades: well that would depend on the developer, but there’d certainly be PR consequences to abusing users with constant paid upgrades that did little bit update databases and poor support between those.

 

Word comparison: we’ve actually got a plan to let users add lookups like that themselves soon if they can’t get them from us (or don’t like our versions).

 

Written / spoken: a worthy addition, but not easy to add since I’m not aware of any databases one could license for this; we’d have to make our own.

 

Graded readers: lots more coming there. “Chinese History” isn’t exactly something that *needs* Pleco, but it’s a great book, a handy thing to have in your pocket, and most of the people who’d be interested in would also be interested in our app so it was a sensible thing to add - also a great way to push the limits of our reader function. (It’s actually sold pretty well too)

 

But many more titles coming soon, we’re just waiting on a couple of missing bits of data from a publisher.

 

@Apollys - thanks! But actually desktop has become much more viable now thanks to those recent Apple / Google moves; as with 4.0, something we’ve been talking about with varying levels of seriousness for a decade or so now is finally close to happening 🙂

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