How do you imagine the perfect SRS application?

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Reply #26 - 2009 May 30, 1:29 pm
vengeorgeb
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Registered: 2008-12-22
Posts: 308

I have been checking out FlashcardDB and jMemorize. Why is it that you are prefer Anki over these other two?

Reply #27 - 2009 May 30, 1:34 pm
resolve
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From: 山口
Registered: 2007-05-29
Posts: 919
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SM2 and Leitner may yield similar retention rates - it would certainly be interesting if Fabrice has some global stats on the performance of the users on this site. Anki is very close to 90% correct for cards with an interval > 30 days.

But the point is that SM2 does it a lot more efficiently. Easy cards increase their intervals faster, harder cards slower, and your previous performance influences the scheduling of cards in the future. As for the merits of more recent SM algorithms, they are not without a cost, as is documented on the Anki FAQ.

Reply #28 - 2009 May 30, 2:10 pm
vengeorgeb
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Registered: 2008-12-22
Posts: 308

Exactly and whether they are beneficial or not is yet subject to further testing and scientific validation. Also the complexity of this algorithms is very high when compared to Leitner or a basic graded spaced repetition system.

Right now I think I got this point cleared, however I would like to know why is it that Anki is so popular and software like jMemorize, FlashcardDB, Mnemosyne, SuperMemo is not.

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Reply #29 - 2009 May 30, 2:14 pm
mentat_kgs
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From: Brasil
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Posts: 1671
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1) Anki's source is open and freely distributable.
2) All anki's dependencies are also open and freely distributable.

This ensures that even if Resolve resolves to stop working on anki, anki will not die and its development will go on. Anki's longevity only depends of its userbase. This is vital for a SRS software.

3) Anki's database format is open. You are not hostage of your SRS like the webbased FlashCardDB.
4) Anki is easy to extend by the means of plugins that you may write or ask somebody to write.
5) Anki's development is very active. Bugs are corrected in under a week after they are detected.
6) Anki is not writen in Java.

And many more.

Last edited by mentat_kgs (2009 May 30, 2:15 pm)

Reply #30 - 2009 May 30, 2:30 pm
Jarvik7
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From: 名古屋
Registered: 2007-03-05
Posts: 3946

mentat_kgs wrote:

1) Anki's source is open and freely distributable.
2) All anki's dependencies are also open and freely distributable.

This ensures that even if Resolve resolves to stop working on anki, anki will not die and its development will go on. Anki's longevity only depends of its userbase. This is vital for a SRS software.

Being open source isn't automatic immortality. Most of the software I use on my Mac is open source, but most of it also only has one maintainer. When that maintainer stops updating, the app dies. Sure, I could continue those apps myself, but I want to use them not program them.

Other than translations, it seems Resolve is the only one who submits to Anki. Even if there are other contributers, he alone needs to audit/approve that code. If he stopped working on it, it would likely stagnate.

Last edited by Jarvik7 (2009 May 30, 2:30 pm)

Reply #31 - 2009 May 30, 2:36 pm
stoked
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From: Switzerland
Registered: 2009-01-09
Posts: 378
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Btw, has anyone ever tried http://edu.kde.org/parley/ ?

Reply #32 - 2009 May 30, 2:42 pm
vengeorgeb
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Registered: 2008-12-22
Posts: 308

stoked wrote:

Btw, has anyone ever tried http://edu.kde.org/parley/ ?

Looks sophisticated and aiming at advanced users that will employ the software for many different things.

My idea for an SRS application is that it should be extremely simple, just like my idea for most applications.

Reply #33 - 2009 May 30, 2:55 pm
magamo
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From: Pasadena, CA
Registered: 2009-05-29
Posts: 1039

resolve wrote:

But the point is that SM2 does it a lot more efficiently. Easy cards increase their intervals faster, harder cards slower, and your previous performance influences the scheduling of cards in the future. As for the merits of more recent SM algorithms, they are not without a cost, as is documented on the Anki FAQ.

I always thought in most cases only the first few reviews by SRS would be essential to memorize each card because you would probably see, hear or use the word/phrase before the next review, especially if you immersed yourself into the language you're learning.

In general, the more frequent an expression is, the more important it is. So basically a lot of input such as complete immersion will take care of it, and different SRS algorithms would make no significant difference. Of course, life is not that simple and words that are important to you may not always appear frequently. A more sophisticated SRS algorithm comes in handy for that kind of thing. But how many are they? I think those important-but-I-don't-see-often things are so rare when compared to other things that it doesn't matter which algorithm you use.

Of course, it's a different story if you're dabbling in a foreign language and don't come across a word you put into SRS again.

Reply #34 - 2009 May 30, 3:20 pm
alyks
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From: Arizona
Registered: 2008-05-31
Posts: 914
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sethg wrote:

alyks wrote:

I think Anki is quite good as it is. A lot of people want something to manage multiple decks, but I use only one deck for everything, so I'm perfectly happy. I also think the UI is just fine as it is, no complaints here.

Kanji and sentences too? I think having more than two would be a pain, but mixed kanji and sentences... I dunno... just seems like it would be odd. Do you not mind it?

Kanji, sentences, biology, school, history, pretty much everything. It's fine.

Reply #35 - 2009 May 30, 3:33 pm
sethg
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From: m
Registered: 2008-11-07
Posts: 505

jorgebucaran wrote:

My idea for an SRS application is that it should be extremely simple, just like my idea for most applications.

If you really want simple, you can use Khatzumoto's: http://www.surusu.com/

Reply #36 - 2009 May 30, 3:45 pm
mentat_kgs
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From: Brasil
Registered: 2008-04-18
Posts: 1671
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@Jarvik
That's true. But if it were closed source we would really have no option but to cry.
But look at quake 1 for instance. It runs everywhere. As long as there's someone disposed to help, the software won't die.

Last edited by mentat_kgs (2009 May 30, 3:45 pm)

Reply #37 - 2009 May 30, 4:12 pm
Zarxrax
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From: North Carolina
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 942

What exactly is wrong with Anki's UI? I personally think its rather elegant, simple, and (for the most part) obvious.

Reply #38 - 2009 May 30, 4:23 pm
Squintox
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From: Toronto, Canada
Registered: 2008-07-27
Posts: 292
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sethg wrote:

alyks wrote:

I think Anki is quite good as it is. A lot of people want something to manage multiple decks, but I use only one deck for everything, so I'm perfectly happy. I also think the UI is just fine as it is, no complaints here.

Kanji and sentences too? I think having more than two would be a pain, but mixed kanji and sentences... I dunno... just seems like it would be odd. Do you not mind it?

I do it, not only that I've added the world capitals, Korean and a couple of school stuff too - it makes the reviews more interesting.

Reply #39 - 2009 May 30, 5:03 pm
sethg
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From: m
Registered: 2008-11-07
Posts: 505

Zarxrax wrote:

What exactly is wrong with Anki's UI? I personally think its rather elegant, simple, and (for the most part) obvious.

I concur. Anki feels clean and smooth. Interface takes no more than an hour to learn for ever those who aren't really used to computers (for basic functions, that is...)

I guess I can't argue against having one deck for everything... but it just seems like everything would become so... combined! Perhaps if I were at a level to remember school facts *in* Japanese, I'd try it.. but that just boggles my mind tongue

Bully for you, though... that's impressive.

Reply #40 - 2009 May 30, 5:32 pm
vengeorgeb
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Registered: 2008-12-22
Posts: 308

Zarxrax wrote:

What exactly is wrong with Anki's UI? I personally think its rather elegant, simple, and (for the most part) obvious.

I am not downplaying Anki's features. And it's UI is not bad or anything, is not complicated either, at least for the basic stuff. However I think it could be improved and I am a sucker for pretty applications that have uber simplified interfaces.

However this may be subject to bias. Let me show you an example of what I think is a beautiful UI and then you can tell me if you agree or not.

OK this is not the ultimate test or anything but it is one of my favorite applications when it comes down to UI.

https://buzzword.acrobat.com/

I think that is an awesome UI (remember that UI is not only the graphics).

I am developing a SRS and my intention is to bring the best of all the worlds, make the application usable by most people and not only a niche of users, reduce the concepts you need to have to use it and present an UI as elegant as my example (which is just a random example that illustrates my point very well though).

Last edited by jorgebucaran (2009 May 30, 5:36 pm)

Reply #41 - 2009 May 30, 5:59 pm
sethg
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From: m
Registered: 2008-11-07
Posts: 505

jorgebucaran wrote:

I am developing a SRS and my intention is to bring the best of all the worlds, make the application usable by most people and not only a niche of users, reduce the concepts you need to have to use it and present an UI as elegant as my example (which is just a random example that illustrates my point very well though).

Got anymore examples of good UIs? You have to sign up for Buzzword... and I don't want to sign up for something just to see how pretty and intuitive it is, ya know?

That's exciting smile I was going to post a comment saying something like, "Well, hey, you try and make an SRS!" big_smile I'm glad you are! I'm anxious to see what comes of it, truly! Please keep us updated. I'm quite sold on Anki now, but if something better came along (would be quite a challenge to best Anki), I'd happily give it my business.

頑張れ!

-世澄

Reply #42 - 2009 May 30, 6:10 pm
vengeorgeb
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Registered: 2008-12-22
Posts: 308

@sethg I do have but I urge you to sign up. This is not a total random example. Every time I got into an UI discussion I put the same example. There is just something about its interface that is so loveable it drags you.

And thanks for the positive comments, that is something you don't get so much these days anywhere, unless you go: "Mom I am doing an SRS".

Reply #43 - 2009 May 30, 6:12 pm
Jarvik7
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From: 名古屋
Registered: 2007-03-05
Posts: 3946

jorgebucaran wrote:

@sethg I do have but I urge you to sign up. This is not a total random example. Every time I got into an UI discussion I put the same example. There is just something about its interface that is so loveable it drags you.

And thanks for the positive comments, that is something you don't get so much these days anywhere, unless you go: "Mom I am doing an SRS".

An easy solution is to make a screencast or screencap a video & put on youtube. You can even narrate what you think is so great.

Reply #44 - 2009 May 30, 6:28 pm
blackmacros
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From: Australia
Registered: 2009-04-14
Posts: 763

I'm pretty happy with Anki, as is. I like the UI, the algorithm seems pretty good, its got some pretty cool stats/graphs, and it gives you quite a bit of flexibility in creating cards (being able to edit the fields etc).

I also use just one deck for everything. Each different type of fact gets added with a new model. So I've got a model for KO2001, a model for Grammar, a model for RtK, a model for Micro economics and so on. When I'm reviewing though, I don't like it all being mixed in, so I suspend all models except one and review all those cards. Then I unsuspend the next model and review those cards etc until I'm done.

Reply #45 - 2009 May 30, 6:33 pm
Jarvik7
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From: 名古屋
Registered: 2007-03-05
Posts: 3946

I can't see using one deck for everything as a good thing, unless everything is really just one thing (Japanese).

If I'm drilling JP vocab and all of a sudden some jp geography or some Chinese comes up, it takes a few moments to readjust. Plus there are the obvious problems of where Chinese and Japanese jukugo overlap and you wouldn't know which way to answer.

Micromanaging suspended tags seems like a much poorer solution than just having separate decks.

Last edited by Jarvik7 (2009 May 30, 6:34 pm)

Reply #46 - 2009 May 30, 6:38 pm
vengeorgeb
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Registered: 2008-12-22
Posts: 308

Jarvik7 wrote:

I can't see using one deck for everything as a good thing, unless everything is really just one thing (Japanese).

If I'm drilling JP vocab and all of a sudden some jp geography or some Chinese comes up, it takes a few moments to readjust. Plus there are the obvious problems of where Chinese and Japanese jukugo overlap and you wouldn't know which way to answer.

Micromanaging suspended tags seems like a much poorer solution than just having separate decks.

Well in my application I plan to have nothing but tags. Not even decks or anything. You will tag your cards with whatever label you want in hopefully the easiest way possible.

Reply #47 - 2009 May 30, 8:13 pm
blackmacros
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From: Australia
Registered: 2009-04-14
Posts: 763

Jarvik7 wrote:

I can't see using one deck for everything as a good thing, unless everything is really just one thing (Japanese).

If I'm drilling JP vocab and all of a sudden some jp geography or some Chinese comes up, it takes a few moments to readjust. Plus there are the obvious problems of where Chinese and Japanese jukugo overlap and you wouldn't know which way to answer.

Micromanaging suspended tags seems like a much poorer solution than just having separate decks.

I prefer to micromanage tags (although really its not so painful as 'micromanage' implies tongue). There are a couple of reasons I had for this:

1) Suspending/unsuspending tags in Anki is really quick. It takes a few seconds at most to suspend all the models except the one I want to review. Changing decks, on the other hand, is a lot more of a hassle imo. Especially if you sync online. Even though it only takes a few seconds longer to switch decks it is still annoying.

2) Using multiple decks I was always forgetting to open them up and review. Or even worse, I would remember I needed to open a particular deck but put it off because I didn't like that subject very much. I ended up just never reviewing some decks. Having everything in one deck forces me to review properly because I can see all my due cards (seeing all my due cards is a plus in and of itself, as well), and can't cop out and say "ahhh I'll open that deck later". Plus I never have to close Anki, or go through the hassle of opening and closing different decks.

3) I just prefer having one deck, its more central and makes importing/exporting less of a hassle, I think, should I ever have to do that.

I agree though that neither solution (multiple decks vs micromanaging tags) is really very elegant. I would prefer a sort of central dashboard showing that status of multiple decks as has been mentioned before.

Last edited by blackmacros (2009 May 30, 8:17 pm)

Reply #48 - 2009 May 30, 10:02 pm
vengeorgeb
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Registered: 2008-12-22
Posts: 308

Tags vs Sets? I have been running this over and over in my head and I can't decide.

For more that I love tags over folders, as in Gmail labels vs Hotmail folders, I keep thinking that maybe tags are not right for this kind of application.

I am leaning towards sets but with the ability to tag each card to allow create things like custom lists to review just like you would create playlists in iTunes and attach songs to it.

Reply #49 - 2009 May 30, 10:21 pm
blackmacros
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From: Australia
Registered: 2009-04-14
Posts: 763

jorgebucaran wrote:

Tags vs Sets? I have been running this over and over in my head and I can't decide.

For more that I love tags over folders, as in Gmail labels vs Hotmail folders, I keep thinking that maybe tags are not right for this kind of application.

I am leaning towards sets but with the ability to tag each card to allow create things like custom lists to review just like you would create playlists in iTunes and attach songs to it.

I don't see why you couldn't offer both as you suggest.

It seems to me in the context of an SRS a 'folder'/'set' would refer to different decks. Ie. Politics, japanese, economics facts etc. You could then allow users to tag individual cards anyway they liked (Australian politics, verbs, Microeconomic Theory etc). If you had a central management screen which showed each of those decks/folders and their due cards as well as also allowing you to review however you liked based on tags (the playlist type system you mentioned) that would be really cool.

This sort of thing is what I've tried to imitate by using different models instead of seperate decks. I can customise my review schedule by selectively suspending and unsuspending tags and I get an overview of how many due cards I have in total. But it isn't as elegant as it could be, and to get information about each due cards for each different model I have to suspend everything but that one.

Reply #50 - 2009 May 31, 12:51 am
resolve
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From: 山口
Registered: 2007-05-29
Posts: 919
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After you asked three times and ignored my "sorry, I'm too busy", you were wasting my time. Feel free to post the full email thread if you feel you've been badly done by - I stand by my replies.