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veneficus

Pleco equivalent for desktop PC

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realmayo

I dream of a Pleco/Wenlin conjugation........... :) 

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Shelley

ah, yes, me too realmayo.................. :)

 

Or at least a modernisation of Wenlin's GUI. I find all those cascading windows confusing. Very good content but could do with a revamp.

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艾墨本

@Shelly, I couldn't agree more. The GUI of Wenlin is what keeps me away from it. I snagged it with one of those sales they often offer, thinking "I should see what all the fuss is about." But the GUI feels unintuitive to me. The scrolling is what really gets me on Wenlin. It never seems to move how I want it to. 

 

For the same reasons, I love Pleco. With so many features packed into a mobile app, I can't imagine how hard it was for them to organize everything, but they've done an excellent job. I do still have to hunt for things but once I find them I usually hit my head with a "oh duh, of course the dictionary settings would be in the dictionary tab." Overall, I find the Pleco GUI quite intuitive. 

 

And, once again, for the same reason, I hope Pleco makes it to laptop and desktops. Their GUI design paired with wonderful functionality would be great on a computer. 

 

Pondering a Pleco-wenlin combo leads me to ponder a Pleco-Chinese text analyser combo. I think I'd like the latter. I'm imagining the functionality of CTA wrapped into Pleco's "clip reader". Now that I'm getting the hang of all the functions Pleco's notecard section has, I'm using Anki less and less. If CTA merged with Pleco, I'd have one app for all my Chinese learning needs.

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EricJMa

For those who use Wenlin why do you like it?

 

@mikelove

 

 It seems quite possible that Apple will follow suit next month at WWDC - the Mac App Store is so moribund at this point that I'd almost say they don't have a choice, and a desktop/tablet linkup would also help move a lot more of those giant expensive keyboard-attaching iPads.

 

I wouldn't bet my fish on a desktop/tablet linkup from Apple. I mean, I don't know. They might. That would be a really awesome feature actually now that I think about it.

 

As much as I would like that to happen, it doesn't seem like that's the direction they are going with the OS X and iOS platforms. It's difficult to predict what they are cooking for WWCD.

 

So outside the hypothesis of the desktop/tablet merge, are you confirming there will be no standalone Mac App ever? :cry:

 

Say it ain't so. :cry: :cry: :cry:

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realmayo
For those who use Wenlin why do you like it?

 

A combination of: PC monitor, keyboard and mouse

 

 

- can paste in text, use it as a reader

- mouse-over unknown words; pull up words with mouse

- very quick to type in pinyin to look up words

- can drill down, e.g. find commonest words to use a given character, or find other characters which use the same component

- can copy and paste into e.g. flashcards

 

So, sat at my desk, working through a text intensively, I'll use Wenlin in preference to anything else.

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Shelley

Have to agree with all realmayo said plus I like the etymology and the old forms and variants of the characters.

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querido

Off-topic reply to two posters above, about Wenlin's windows:

 

Just grab the title bar and slide it up and down. The other windows move just like an abacus. My friends, it's not that hard. :-)

 

There's also a "hamburger" button in the upper right to swap the windows around but I never use it; just grab that button and move that window to wherever you want it.

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querido

On topic:

I tried Bluestacks and one or two others (virtualizing an Android device, etc) and they worked, but I don't remember which features did or did not work. I now use Pleco above all as a text file reader, and I'm happy with a tablet for that. (...just desire an integrated text editor on Android...)

 

Just Chromecasting Pleco - to whatever extent possible, I don't know - would be convenient.

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mikelove

Wenlin GUI has a bit of a learning curve but we use it extensively here ourselves, mostly for text editing (it's helped inspire me to finally give our iOS app a decent text edit function).

 

@艾墨本 - we're looking at adding some of that functionality ourselves, actually on iOS at least they have a pretty powerful built-in Chinese text analyzer we could tap into but Google hasn't yet added the equivalent to Android (they obviously have very powerful lexical analysis tools internally, but adding them to Android would necessitate open-sourcing them and they'd probably rather not do that).

 

Re Anki, anything you still miss from that in Pleco? (happens to be an opportune time for changes in that area since we're knee-deep in flashcard revamping)

 

@EricJMa - I don't think we're likely to do a standalone Mac app if it requires extensive rewriting, no - don't see where the money to pay for that work would come from.

 

@querido - yeah, text editing on Android is an ongoing request; we've even experimented a bit with alternate versions of the NDK that would let us cross-compile our very powerful iOS text viewer / editor control on Android, but the results are quirky enough that we would probably need to do a brand new native text editor control and that would take a while. (we wrote the iOS one way back in 2009, back when text rendering performance was a critical problem on mobile, but by the time we got around to Android the stock UI controls were fast enough at drawing Chinese that we couldn't really justify investing the time in rolling our own system)

 

My prediction regarding Apple tablet/desktop convergence is that they'll add a bunch of new APIs to iOS 10 to let iPads act just a bit more like desktops - keyboard/mouse control, more flexible split-screen, shared document storage, some important missing widgets like a tree view and toolbars-with-text-labels - and that along with that they'll add support for cross-compiling those apps to work on Mac OS. Android already has most of those APIs, and it's likely that optimizing an Android app for use on Chrome OS will simply be a matter of taking advantage of them to track mouse movements and such.

 

If Apple somehow wasn't already planning to do this, the fact that Google is now actually announcing it on Android means that they'll probably have little choice if they want their offerings to stay competitive with Android tablets and Chromebooks - heck, Android N beta's multi-window support runs circles around iOS 9's and I can't imagine them letting that situation continue with iOS 10. They may be content to fall behind Google when it comes to services (even Facebook can't compete there, witness the recent Go kerfuffle) but there's no way they let Google get ahead of them on core OS functionality like this.

 

So I actually think it's quite likely that we'll be spending some time on both platforms this summer adding desktop-specific features like mouseover lookups, and that in the fall you'll be able to run the Android version of Pleco on Chrome OS (and perhaps a bit more awkwardly in Chrome on Mac/Windows) and the iOS version of Pleco on Mac, along with being able to control Pleco on your iPad with a Bluetooth mouse and keyboard. This is clearly the way the tablet market is evolving - my own parents just last weekend floated the idea of dumping their old laptops for a couple of iPads - and my expectation that this sort of convergence would happen eventually is one of the many reasons I've punted for so long on doing a desktop version.

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mikelove

Update on the above: per http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2016/05/the-play-store-comes-to-chrome-os-but-not-the-way-we-were-expecting/ it sounds like Google's new Android-on-Chrome solution actually doesn't use ARC, it uses an emulator, more akin to BlueStacks. Which should mean a nice, smooth, better-than-ARC experience on Chrome OS devices, but probably won't do much for Windows or Mac users.

 

Hence I'm hoping all the more fervently that Apple offers a similar solution for running iOS apps on Mac. (considerably easier for them, actually, since Mac OS already supports secure app containers - no need for an emulator to keep apps isolated from the rest of the OS)

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eddyf
Re Anki, anything you still miss from that in Pleco? (happens to be an opportune time for changes in that area since we're knee-deep in flashcard revamping)

 

 

I haven't actually used Anki but it would be nice to be able to mass upload sentence flashcards with my own custom audio (e.g. Glossika). I couldn't find a way to do that. Also it would be nice to have a way to sync flashcards automatically between devices that is better than the existing iCloud integration because the iCloud based syncing works badly (sometimes even causing the flashcard database to lose recent progress or even get cleared entirely). 

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Shelley

If this is a sort of wish list for Pleco flashcards, what I would like is to be able load "decks" of lessons from popular textbooks and courses. I think it would also be great to be able seamlessly go from tablet to phone with syncing being done automatically.

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mikelove

Sorry, didn't mean to turn this into a flashcard wish list topic - better place for that is email or our own forums; was just responding to a particular Anki mention in the moment. (just on my mind now)

 

Both good ideas, though - iCloud integration needs both improvement + replacement.

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allenkt

Maybe I'm not doing something right?  I installed Bluestacks on my Mac, then installed Pleco.  But I still can't copy from a Word document on my Mac into the search field in Pleco.  Am I missing something?  I've tried command-v.......aha!  I'll post this for anyone else having the same problem.  As I was typing that I remembered that Windows uses control-v to paste.  And sure enough it worked in both ARC Welder and Bluestacks!  So now I'm good to go :)

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woundedbreakfast

@allenkt would you be able to share your setup and how you got it running on MacOS? 

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