Substitute keywords

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woelpad_nl Member
From: Chiba Registered: 2006-12-26 Posts: 23

A few other threads already discussed substituting Heisig's English keywords for a set in their own language, or for using this site to hammer down additional meanings, representative kanji compounds etc. etc. I'm developing a GreaseMonkey script that allows all that and more (or less, depending on your expectations).

The script is aptly called Kanji.Koohii: Substitute keywords. Click the link to download and install it in your FireFox browser after having installed the Greasemonkey add-in.

Editing is pretty straightforward: Browse to a kanji in the study area, click the keyword and start typing. When you're done, press Enter or click somewhere else on the page, even opening a different tab will do. Pressing Esc while editing will cancel the edit operation and revert to its previous state. If you clear the whole word, and then press Enter, the original Heisig keyword will reappear. You can also add alternative meanings by separating them with a / (a forward slash), similar to how 3rd/4th edition keywords (e.g. salute/salutation) are displayed (however without the extra explanation).

All the rest is pretty automatic: Review, browse, failed kanji list, ... will all work with the new keyword (or list of keywords).

Note: There are still a few things that I'd like to add, such as importing/exporting lists of keywords. If you happen to have a complete list of keywords, hold your horses and wait for the next update. **Edit: Given the controversy (see the rest of this thread), this has temporarily been given a lower priority. You're up to typing in the keywords yourself for now.**

As this is a GreaseMonkey script, all changes are stored locally, and thus will only show on the computer you installed it under. Log in from another computer or another browser and nothing will happen. Moreover, your keyword changes will only affect the account you're currently logged under. Therefore, if you have (or create) multiple accounts, you can have different keyword lists for each of them, even on the same computer. (No need to install the script more than once though.)

Last edited by woelpad_nl (2008 April 29, 10:29 pm)

woelpad_nl Member
From: Chiba Registered: 2006-12-26 Posts: 23

Preserving your stories. You might already have published stories using Heisig's english keywords, or just used the story space for your private stories using those keywords. In that case, I'd recommend creating a different account to work in before substituting any keywords. E.g. I created woelpad_nl for testing purposes mainly, though I might use it later on to publish stories in dutch.

Publishing stories. At a certain point, you will probably want to publish your stories using these keywords. Let's say they are in your native language. You can do that, but for many people who are not fluent in it, nor care about it, it's just ballast.

I propose to use a simple tagging mechanism. At the start of your story, put your language code between rectangular brackets, e.g. [nl] for dutch, preferably followed by a space and then your actual story. As such, people can quickly identify and skip stories they have no use for. Moreover extensions can be written which allow to select which stories to show. Try it out with the current script. Your tag, even unpublished, should show up as [nl] (or whatever name you chose).

Similarly, for other keyword lists, come up with a convenient (short and crisp) tag name, post it somewhere (e.g. in this thread) and be consistent in using it. The only restriction is that it shouldn't contain white space (spaces, tabs, newlines). E.g. [en/2] could be used for stories using Heisig's english second edition.

Sharing lists. A bit early maybe, but let me make it clear that for lists for which permission needs to be asked, such as Heisig's French, Spanish and German versions, it might be wise to contact the author before making them available to everyone. No problem with producing them for personal use though.

Last edited by woelpad_nl (2007 January 16, 3:14 am)

dingomick Member
From: Gifu_Japan Registered: 2006-12-16 Posts: 234

Amazing work! I don't much need for this now, but will probably utilize it in the future.

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brose Member
From: Tokyo Registered: 2006-11-15 Posts: 94

It's a dream come true!!!!! Many thanks!!!

CharleyGarrett Member
From: Cusseta Georgia USA Registered: 2006-05-25 Posts: 303

I'm going to use this too....I plan to go to Japanese keywords with japanese stories...I'll use [jp], okay?

Last edited by CharleyGarrett (2007 January 16, 1:04 pm)

ファブリス Administrator
From: Belgium Registered: 2006-06-14 Posts: 4015 Website

I haven't had time to think through this in length yet, but I'd like to remind you (woelpad and everyone else) that I never planned the Study area to display a mix of stories with custom (i.e. non-RTK1) keywords.

As I explained previously in the related discussions regarding custom keywords, there needs to be a common base for people to work together and share mnemonics and stories.

People already ask to be able to "filter out" stories that are generally not useful to them (eg. by author), to see less "polluting" stories, to rank stories by "favorites", etc... and that's with just the original keywords. ... If we consider stories with custom keywords, you need two people who chose to use a custom keyword, and then who agreed on the same keyword, for the shared custom-keyword story to be of any "public" interest.

I continue to believe that although most people would sometime benefit from editing a handful of keywords, the majority of users don't need to edit every keyword systematically. This website was designed from the start to allow people to work together with the original RTK1 keywords.

Fyi, my intention with the implementation of custom keywords was that I would disable the public sharing of  stories for which the user would have set a custom keyword. Thus allowing users to enter their own keywords, while keeping the Study area focused and of immediate use for those who pick up the book.

Another possibility, while I'm thinking of it, would be to create a separate Study area listing for non-standard keywords. So that RTK 1 original keyword-based stories are not mixed with non-RTK1 keywords. Perhaps that would be a better solution. So if someone feels they would really benefit from changing a keyword they have trouble with, they can look in the custom-keyword stories for inspiration.

Publishing stories. At a certain point, you will probably want to publish your stories using these keywords. Let's say they are in your native language. You can do that, but for many people who are not fluent in it, nor care about it, it's just ballast.

So in conclusion, I'm not against custom keywords at all.

However until this website is designed to support custom keywords, in the interest of keeping the Study area focused, please keep your custom-keyword-based stories private.

woelpad_nl Member
From: Chiba Registered: 2006-12-26 Posts: 23

CharleyGarret wrote:

I'm going to use this too....I plan to go to Japanese keywords with japanese stories...I'll use [jp], okay?

That would be [ja]. jp is the country code. For a list of language codes, see here: List of ISO 639-1 codes. If you stick to this list when both stories and keywords are in the same language, there's no real need to report it here. (For country codes: ISO 3166-1 alpha-2).

Regarding subtags, I'd say pick them only if absolutely necessary, as in zh-Hans and zh-Hant to distinguish Simplified from Traditional Chinese (zh-cn and zh-tw can also be found in current applications, but are not recommended, see this w3c article). *edit* That said, there's no reason why we should not use the shorter form instead if the people who are going to use this can agree upon that. *edit*

Last edited by woelpad_nl (2007 January 17, 3:05 am)

woelpad_nl Member
From: Chiba Registered: 2006-12-26 Posts: 23

ファブリス wrote:

However until this website is designed to support custom keywords, in the interest of keeping the Study area focused, please keep your custom-keyword-based stories private.

A valid point of view for certain, and I'm in no hurry to disrespect such a recommendation, the more as it seems to keep a promise that the site will eventually give support to this same endeavor. Allow me to point a few things out, though.

A script like this allows a few of us (actually anyone who can install FireFox) to move ahead and explore a few paths which the site programmer has not yet decided upon, let alone implemented. As such the programmer can build upon the experiences of others, see what works, what not, even get direct input from his users. Therefore, to dismiss the tagging idea first-hand is to suppress a good opportunity.

Furthermore, I've seen instances of published non-english stories before, including Japanese (against which few people would object since it's the target language anyway). You're thus not actually policing the site. In the current state of affairs, this would be futile, given the number of stories added daily, unless you make it your night-time hobby or install software on your server that detects non-english stories and discerns them from simple writing mistakes. A tag would actually make it dead easy to fleece out those stories.

If we consider stories with custom keywords, you need two people who chose to use a custom keyword, and then who agreed on the same keyword, for the shared custom-keyword story to be of any "public" interest.

In the case of a different language, my main field of interest, this is only partly true. A lot of keywords can be directly translated to most languages without much trouble. It's only in cases where meanings are close or where words are chosen that particularly appeal to Heisig's main target group (his own compatriots) that discussions can arise.  That's where I expect the community aspect to come into play. None of these lists will be entirely constructed in isolation. Distribution of partial lists, discussion groups (as the one for Japanese 熟語), on this site or elsewhere, published stories if such are allowed, will work toward creating a single list with a few variations. Evolution of meanings and variations in themselves are nothing to abhor. Heisig himself has various editions and regularly new primitive meanings pop up in stories here and there by individuals. Even personification fits in there. *edit* Seems I'm mixing up keywords and primitive meanings. Disregard the last part. *edit*

I have a proposal. You allow us to publish tagged stories. At the same time you implement a javascript method to filter them out. (I can give you the code if you like.) Then my script will remove this filter, or replace it with its own device. *edit* Easier still, make the tagged stories hidden when constructing the page. My script will then unhide those the user chooses. *edit* As such, I can experiment further with the GreaseMonkey users as my audience, while other people remain unbothered. How does this sound?

Last edited by woelpad_nl (2007 January 17, 6:59 am)

brose Member
From: Tokyo Registered: 2006-11-15 Posts: 94

If a tickbox "share nonstandard story" were available and all of the nonstandard keyword stories were placed at the bottom of the story list (and if possible further grouped by keyword) that might work. If there were an indication line drawn under the last standard story, then another line under the last English nonstandard story, a line under the last Japanese keyword story, etc., that would help save people from having to read through stories they can't use.

CharleyGarrett Member
From: Cusseta Georgia USA Registered: 2006-05-25 Posts: 303

woelpad_nl[b wrote:

jp[/b] is the country code

I'm a lowly computer programmer and not so concerned with compliance to international standards organizations.  JP is good enough for the IME button to allow me to type in japanese.  You use what you like, if you ever decide to create japanese RTK stories.

OTOH, since Faburisu wants us to keep our non-standard keyword stories private, then this is all a moot point.  I'm not going to share my stories against that policy.

Reply #11 - 2007 January 17, 6:41 pm
woelpad_nl Member
From: Chiba Registered: 2006-12-26 Posts: 23

CharleyGarrett wrote:

You use what you like, if you ever decide to create japanese RTK stories.

That beats the purpose. The purpose is to identify the language in which you are writing, or in a broader context the keyword list you are using. If everyone chooses their own tag  (ni, np, charleyg, ...), it makes classification a lot harder.

OTOH, since Faburisu wants us to keep our non-standard keyword stories private, then this is all a moot point.  I'm not going to share my stories against that policy.

Wait and see. Things may turn out for the better.

Last edited by woelpad_nl (2007 January 17, 6:46 pm)

Reply #12 - 2007 January 17, 7:15 pm
CharleyGarrett Member
From: Cusseta Georgia USA Registered: 2006-05-25 Posts: 303

It only defeats the purpose if there are many japanese stories to share.  Then whatever tag we choose is okay.  We don't need to try to comply with some ISO standard.  I like jp better than ja and as long as I don't share my stories (which is my priviledge) then it really doesn't matter.  It shouldn't matter to you.  I'll let you go and tell the IME people that they're out of compliance.

Reply #13 - 2007 January 17, 7:34 pm
synewave Member
From: Susono, Japan Registered: 2006-06-23 Posts: 864 Website

I'm not sure I get this thread. JP keywords are great but if we use different ones, what use is sharing stories?

woelpad Member
From: Chiba Registered: 2006-11-07 Posts: 425

CharleyGarrett wrote:

Then whatever tag we choose is okay.

It's a simple economy of scale. If we can agree on a single list that covers all, then we don't need to fuss over every individual one. In the case of languages, the ISO standard is simply a convenient one. Is there a similar list for the Windows input language bar? How many languages does it cover?

I realize though that as long as the user inputs it by himself, he will tend to choose whatever he's most familiar with. I'm also not averse of exceptions (including your choice of jp), or flexibility for the benefit of compactness (see my edited remark on chinese earlier on). I prefer consistency though, and therefore endeavor to propose basic guidelines, facilitating both communication between users and the amount of programming.

I like jp better than ja and as long as I don't share my stories (which is my privilege) then it really doesn't matter.

I introduced tagging in the context of publishing stories. Private stories are of no concern here.

synewave wrote:

I'm not sure I get this thread. JP keywords are great but if we use different ones, what use is sharing stories?

Indeed! Although I can see some value in producing different lists for different purposes, even in the same language or language family (australian version of the keywords, anyone?). Depending on how differing they are, they might require a different/extended tag or not. How to construct these tags is a matter of discussion.

Which raises the question, is identification by language a good base choice, or is region more important?

Last edited by woelpad (2007 January 17, 11:42 pm)

synewave Member
From: Susono, Japan Registered: 2006-06-23 Posts: 864 Website

Not downloaded the script yet. Is there a limit to the amount of text we can enter?

Reply #16 - 2007 January 18, 1:05 am
woelpad Member
From: Chiba Registered: 2006-11-07 Posts: 425

There's no limit. Long keywords with no spaces or forward slashes in them will break out of their frame in cases like the list of failed kanjis in the study area, but please try out for yourself.

Last edited by woelpad (2007 January 18, 2:23 am)

Reply #17 - 2007 January 18, 6:54 am
RoboTact Member
From: Russia Registered: 2006-11-26 Posts: 108

There're so many programmers reviewing Heisig kanji hacking this and that some open-source effort for building a portal may succeed. Given consistent direction...

yajikita New member
From: france Registered: 2006-08-14 Posts: 1

It's working very well. I can study with french keywords now.
By the way, where are the new keywords stored on my local computer? Just to backup all the new keywords I have entered.

Reply #19 - 2007 January 18, 2:32 pm
ファブリス Administrator
From: Belgium Registered: 2006-06-14 Posts: 4015 Website

woelpad wrote:

How does this sound?

I feel that adding a "tag" is unnecessary. People can see right away if a story is written in another language, especially in asian scripts.

That's the only thing that really bothers me : the tag is extraneous information, which purpose is to serve the Greasemonkey script. It is a programming device, which all Greasemonkey users have to agree on, which is unknown by the non-Greasemonkey users. In design terms, it's "noise" added in the Study area. It's cutting through my efforts to display clear, brief, and readable stories, for everyone. It's putting programmer's logic where it doesn't belong. From a usability perspective, "[xx]" doesn't mean anything. It doesn't belong in the stories or mnemonics. I really appreciate your efforts woelpad, it's just that on a designer's terms, I don't agree with the methods used.

The tag will not help the non-Greasemonkey users to skip those stories faster, because that would be assuming that they already know about the "protocol" that you are agreeing here with other Greasemonkey users.

Anyway, I reckon I am somewhat defensive of my work, and this really isn't that much of an issue.

Since this will represent a minority of the shared stories at this time, go ahead and publicly share stories written in other languages, or using non-standard keywords, as you wish.

If it can help you, good. But I don't see how at this stage it will help much, as that would mean you expect the substitute-keyword script users to browse back and forth all the stories, search for that elusive "tag", to get keyword ideas.

I see that your reasoning and the script itself are all with the right intent, but at this stage it seems to me it would be far more practical to work together with other users in this forum, or on the RTK Yahoo Group or wherever you like, to build together this list of non-standard keywords, so as to establish a common "alternate keyword" list.

I think the most positive outcome of this will be when I can add the alternate keyword support. Then it will be possible to sort out automatically the standard and non-standard keyword stories in separate lists. The tags won't be of any use. The simple fact of editing in a substitute keyword will automatically identify the story as a non-standard keyword story, so that when users convert to the built in alternate keyword feature, the sorting of the stories will take care of itself. Still, the tags will remain as extra "noise" in the non-standard keyword story list, but as long as it doesn't affect users of the standard RTK1 keywords, I can live with it.

Just to clear up some of my reasoning, I want the users who are new to RTK 1 to be able to delve in the Study area and see stories that are immediately of use to them. I want "advanced" features to be outside of the main focus, keeping the main functionality straightforward for everyone.

I am wary that making a substitute keyword feature too obvious will encourage users to change the keyword as soon as they encounter the slightest difficulty, which may do them more harm then good when it comes to completing RTK1.

..

Anyway, as I said above, feel free to publicly share non-english stories and custom keyword stories if you like.

Reply #20 - 2007 January 18, 7:20 pm
woelpad Member
From: Chiba Registered: 2006-11-07 Posts: 425

yajikita wrote:

By the way, where are the new keywords stored on my local computer? Just to backup all the new keywords I have entered.

As any other add-on, GreaseMonkey stores its user settings (including what you request) in a file called prefs.js in your FireFox profile folder. To locate this folder, edit a GreaseMonkey script (for a how to, read this message's 4th paragraph), press "Save As...", go one folder up and copy the folder path. prefs.js is one of the files in there.

Warning: You need to explicitly close FireFox (using File -> Close) first to get your changes. When closing, make sure that you're not locking prefs.js, i.e. not have it opened in a text editor, otherwise you will lose your changes, which may amount to all your changes if you're in the habit of restoring the previous FireFox session everytime you restart your computer.

As mentioned earlier, I'm working on importing/exporting keyword lists, which will be much more user-friendly than the method described above. If you're not in a hurry and not fearing any hard disk erasures for the next few days, you might want to wait for that.

Last edited by woelpad (2007 January 18, 8:04 pm)

woelpad Member
From: Chiba Registered: 2006-11-07 Posts: 425

ファブリス wrote:

That's the only thing that really bothers me : the tag is extraneous information, which purpose is to serve the Greasemonkey script. It is a programming device, which all Greasemonkey users have to agree on, which is unknown by the non-Greasemonkey users.

It's a programming device indeed, as I'm working within the confines of what's available.
Some kind of identification apart from the keyword is necessary however. In french and english for example there are lots of words written exactly the same, and analysis of the story to determine the language is not feasible either. Moreover, I can not ascertain that everyone has all keyword lists available, making lookup unfeasible. Nor can I change the way data are stored on the server. There's no real alternative to embedding a tag in the story, except perhaps adding it to the author's name, which has limitations of its own. BTW, language is not the only criterium for making a keyword list (editions f.i., additional meanings, fill in the blanks example sentences, experimentation with other methods of identification, ...), that is why I left the choice of tag names as a topic of discussion.

On the question of visualization, there are several alternatives apart from coloring and boldening the tag. I can display the tag next to the author name, perhaps using a different font, background, unbraced, etc. Or, as was suggested by brose, group the stories by tag, allowing the user to hide and unhide parts at will. Currently I'm more leaning toward a Wikipedia style of design, displaying just one group (language), along with the complete list of available groups (languages) for that keyword to toggle between. That's just my choice. You may take another approach, someone else might write a different script, ... Likewise for story input, there are several alternatives of specifying the correct tag. The bottom line is, the tagging gives a base for experimenting.

This kind of manipulation of the page display can of course only effect people/browsers who install the correct script. The others are left with the tagged story as is, mixed between other stories. I do believe however that it makes skipping easier. Currently, when I see a german story for example, it takes a few seconds before realizing what it is. If there'd be [de] in front, I'd recognize it immediately and skip it. If it had [es] in front, I might even try to decipher it (just an example, don't take it too personal).

ファブリス wrote:

Since this will represent a minority of the shared stories at this time, go ahead and publicly share stories written in other languages, or using non-standard keywords, as you wish.

Point taken. One advantage is that you'll already have a (small) number of stories from the current members for immediate use and testing. It should be quite straightforward to write a tool (SQL, Perl, some other script language, manually? ugh) to go through your database, converting the tagged stories to whatever form you decide to store stories and tags (i.e. categorization of story) under, without the loss of a single story.

ファブリス wrote:

If it can help you, good. But I don't see how at this stage it will help much, as that would mean you expect the substitute-keyword script users to browse back and forth all the stories, search for that elusive "tag", to get keyword ideas.

GreaseMonkey gives a lot more fine-grained control than that smile

ファブリス wrote:

I am wary that making a substitute keyword feature too obvious will encourage users to change the keyword as soon as they encounter the slightest difficulty, which may do them more harm then good when it comes to completing RTK1.

You could set it up such that a new member would select his desired keyword list at the start and make changing keyword lists or editability of keywords a user option. Or you could leave creating keyword lists in this way to scripts such as this one (which is for sure only one way of creating a list, but a nice one), provided there's a way for people to upload their lists so that they can be shared. The extra effort should severely reduce the lure of casually tempering with the keywords.

ファブリス wrote:

Anyway, as I said above, feel free to publicly share non-english stories and custom keyword stories if you like.

Much appreciated. Thanks!

Last edited by woelpad (2007 January 19, 12:37 am)

Reply #22 - 2007 January 19, 6:57 am
ファブリス Administrator
From: Belgium Registered: 2006-06-14 Posts: 4015 Website

provided there's a way for people to upload their lists so that they can be shared

woelpad, the most practical use of custom keywords as far as I am concerned will be to allow non-english users to enter keywords from non-english versions of RTK. Unless I get the authorization of the respective authors for the translations, I can not allow users to share lists of non-english "official" RTK keywords through the website.

Your script shouldn't allow this either, because inevitably this will lead to people sharing lists of the keywords from the non-english versions of RTK. I already received an email from the author of the German version asking me to "refrain" from using the german keywords without express permission... so please be responsible about this. If you need more details contact me by email.

Reply #23 - 2007 January 21, 6:52 pm
Hyland1 Member
From: Japan Registered: 2006-09-13 Posts: 49

I have a comment and two questions. First, all of these greasemonkey additions are amazing and very appreciated. Thank you!!
Questions: If I make a personal list of Japanese keywords that are saved in my firefox settings can I open that list and copy and paste it to someone else? And two. Everyone who was working over at RTKjukugo, wouldn't this be a great way to get around all the problems we had with trying to put files into the clunky yahoo group? We could open a new account here, put in our example sentences for each story and have a group of keywords (actually jukugo) that we share around. Then if you just add the story from the group account to your personal account you'd be done! Tell me what you think.

woelpad Member
From: Chiba Registered: 2006-11-07 Posts: 425

Fabrice's changes over the weekend broke the review part of this script. His Ajax knowledge is improving, but so is mine wink New update available.

woelpad Member
From: Chiba Registered: 2006-11-07 Posts: 425

Hyland1 wrote:

If I make a personal list of Japanese keywords that are saved in my firefox settings can I open that list and copy and paste it to someone else?

I mentioned the method as a means to backup your work, with a big warning that it might destroy it if you're not careful. It doesn't take a smart person to figure out that you could indeed use it as a way to distribute user lists, but it's highly inelegant, and there are better ways in the works. I'm currently discussing with Fabrice about what the best approach would be to stay on the safe side with copyright issues, something that will certainly impact on what will be added.

Everyone who was working over at RTKjukugo, wouldn't this be a great way to get around all the problems we had with trying to put files into the clunky yahoo group? We could open a new account here, put in our example sentences for each story and have a group of keywords (actually jukugo) that we share around. Then if you just add the story from the group account to your personal account you'd be done! Tell me what you think.

That would be one way to go about it. The copying would be a bit clumsy, because you can't be logged in under two different accounts at the same time, unless you work in two different browsers or unless you actually publish the stories from the joint account.

Last edited by woelpad (2007 January 22, 12:42 am)