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FUTURE OF WAKAN - current thoughts & discussion

 
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wakan
Site Admin


Joined: 18 Oct 2003
Posts: 923
Location: Prague, Czech Republic

PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2009 1:10 pm    Post subject: FUTURE OF WAKAN - current thoughts & discussion Reply with quote

Dear Wakan fans & users,

as you probably noticed this project is currently in a state of neglect and is not really actively developed. The reason is I have several other programming projects and I put them on higher priority, partially because they were commercial. I had several moments during last 2 years where it seemed that I will be able to devote larger amount of time into Wakan but it hasn't happened in the end and it's quite clear now that it probably won't happen until there isn't some bigger change.

To sum it all up: I'm currently not able to devote time to Wakan it requires. On the other hand I don't want this project to die out. I've put quite a lot of time into it and it still seems to be used by quite a lot of people (and this site is still visited by a large number of people). Thus I think there's still quite a great potential for this project to live on. I know it would have been much better if I acted two years sooner but ... well - I'm sorry Crying or Very sad

On the other hand, I still do not want this project to become open-source. Besides the "source code mess" I mentioned there is another argument, which is maybe of more importance to me: I still want to keep control over this project and thus want to explore other options of how to continue development without this project becoming really open.

My idea is to gather a small team of people who would like some way or another, participate in this project and then discuss with them the development options. I have no problem giving out the source code to this small team.

So please: IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN WAKAN'S FURTHER DEVELOPMENT AND WANT TO PARTICIPATE, PLEASE LET ME KNOW: Send me a message over this forum and please tell me what your interests in helping with Wakan development are.

The main questions this small team should address are:

1. Will we continue working on the present source code or start "anew" and use only some libraries?
2. What are the main strong points of Wakan and why it makes sense to continue developing it? What is the current position of this project among Japanese/Chinese learning tools? How can we ask this question to the community?
3. Can we gather funds to continue development? What are the options? University grants, donations?

I will be very grateful to all the people willing to join this small team - if you like (or liked) Wakan and want to see it alive, please let me know. Even if you have a strong opinion about further development but do not have time to actually help, let me know.

And also thanks to all the people who are supporting this project in any way - I promise to you I will try to find some way to continue, this may be the first step Smile

And have a nice day - here in the Czech Republic it's becoming hot as hell Smile
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Tom Hodgers
Co-Admin


Joined: 26 Jan 2004
Posts: 253
Location: Valencia, Venezuela via Liverpool and Manchester, England

PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2009 1:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Filip,

Great to hear from you.

It's many years now since I did any programming (although I have kept up with a lot of the languages) but, as I do have some free time on my hands, I think I could do a good job of getting (trying to get) the help file up-to-date and maintaining it.

I'll still keep my eyes open for any interesting programs that could contain worthwhile routines for inclusion in WaKan.

Saludos,

Tom
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Just another
和漢 WAKAN
若人 WHACKO DOing his thing
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z-one



Joined: 17 Sep 2006
Posts: 99

PostPosted: Sat Jul 04, 2009 4:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Filip,

It would be great if you could continue making Wakan, with or without help. If there were no Wakan I wouldn't have started working on zkanji in the first place.

I think you misunderstand what open-source means. It only means giving away the source code to people who would still have to keep a few basic rules depending on the license you chose. The project (and rights to the source code) would still be yours. You wouldn't have to let people contribute, and you could chose who to work with or to not work with others at all.
Well, I don't think you will change your mind because of this and I understand that Wakan is dear to you. It was a tough decision when I made zkanji open-source too.

Back on topic, I hope you will get help to continue with your program or to start anew and that I will get to see some cool new features soon!

To your questions:
1. It would be nice if you could make the present program faster and continue with that, but I think a lot of others would like to see something portable and that would mean a fresh start of the UI.

2. This was actually several questions so I take them apart:
a) To me the strongest points of Wakan were the word and kanji dictionaries and the easy to use interface with them that inspired my program too. The editor would have been also useful if it didn't have some shortcomings. I like the coloring of words and that it showed the translation for them in one place, but (at least to me) it was a bit difficult to use for example to chose my own translation when it didn't get it right. I also used to store most of the words I wanted to learn in a vocabulary list.
b) It would make sense to make improvements on the editor/translator, as I don't know another program that tries to incorporate these two together. There are Japanese text editours so the focus would be on the translator part.
c) A lot of people uses Wakan. I know at least two of them among my local friends who never had anything to do with those I met on the internet, and others mention it again and again on Hungarian forums. So I think it's well known and a lot of people would be happy if it were developed further.
d) I'm sorry but I think it's difficult to call everyone using Wakan a community until they get to know each other. For that you would need to have to build a community and ask your questions afterward. But for now you could for example make a query form at the home page and also write it out everywhere that you would like people's opinion and also help with the project. Most people won't even find this forum, just download Wakan and use it (so it makes sense to tell them about future plans on the top of the download page).

3. I can't help in that. If I knew the best way to get donations or grants I would already have done it for my own project, but there is always hope others know about this more.


I hope some of this helped, but if not at least I tried. Smile Wakan helped me a great deal in my Japanese studies and I would like to see it improve. As I mentioned earlier, zkanji is now open-source, if you needed any part of its code I could give help. It was written in c++ which Delphi is not, but it wouldn't be so difficult to convert parts. I have done it before (with some other project).
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ZKanji, kanji and vocabulary study program.
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z-one



Joined: 17 Sep 2006
Posts: 99

PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2009 7:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wonder why this topic is abandoned when there were so many people demanding the source code of Wakan. Now they could help improving it. Rolling Eyes
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bebert218



Joined: 07 Jul 2008
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2009 3:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I didn't see this post, since I somehow wasn't hoping anymore for it to happen, and indeed started working on my own application a while ago.

For me, the main interest would be to make it at last multiplatform. That's why I started with Python and Qt on my side.

As far as I remember, Wakan was done with Delphi first (or am I wrong ?). I don't have any opinion about it, since I have never used it, but still since the Lazarus project seems quite healthy, it could be worth checking how good the portability is, so we can at least get a solid Win/Mac/Linux version before adding/correcting functionality.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lazarus_%28software%29

Anyway, thanks a lot for your work so far. I can say that Wakan litterally gave me my JLPT2 back then Very Happy
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bebert218



Joined: 07 Jul 2008
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2009 3:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Needless to say, I can program and would be happy to help, whatever for updating the existing code or starting from scratch.
As said before, I have a certain preference for Python and Qt, but I'm open to many things Wink
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Viktorius



Joined: 09 Oct 2009
Posts: 1
Location: Porto Alegre - Brazil

PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2009 4:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's great to know that you people are still developing this wonderful program. I would like to help, but unfortunately I cannot aid in the programming part. But, I can be a tester! Or something like that! xD

I also would like to say that I've used Wakan on a presentation in my university, about Japanese Language Tools. I'm focusing Japanese on my translator course. I also used Wakan in a Poster Presentation at the VII International Congress of Japanese Studies in Brazil that happened in the last August.

Now they use it a lot to their studies of translation. I and other classmate use windows mobile powered cellphones and would be great to see Wakan there.

If you would like this kind of help, please let me know.

Best regards, Cool
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MrAurelien



Joined: 13 Oct 2009
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Tue Oct 13, 2009 12:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi everybody,

I'm very new to Wakan application but i was really impressed by the application : it's the software i was looking for since a long time !!! It's sad that i did not discover it before !

I've read some topics about the project's future ...

z-one wrote:
Hi Filip,

I think you misunderstand what open-source means. It only means giving away the source code to people who would still have to keep a few basic rules depending on the license you chose. The project (and rights to the source code) would still be yours. You wouldn't have to let people contribute, and you could chose who to work with or to not work with others at all.

Well i agree with z-one. The project belong to you Filip and you still can restrein people who contribute to implement things you don't. There are plenty of tools to manage rights on a project and to manage changes in source code, so you will still have the last decision on it.

As for me i'm not a professional developer but i did some development studies in the past. Now i work as a Windows Mobile Phone tester and i did some .Net tools on that plateform because of my needs.
Well, to be honest, i'm very lasy but if Wakan project would become open-source (or maybe a new Wakan 2 project starting from scratch), i'd like to contribute.

I join bebert218 in the choice of python/QT but you have to know that except C/C++ or NETCF environment, the project will not be compatible with Windows Phone devices (Windows Mobile).


Aurélien.
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narashi



Joined: 22 Dec 2008
Posts: 7
Location: Tokyo, Japan

PostPosted: Wed Oct 14, 2009 5:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm in my 3rd year of University (Software Engineering), but I think I can help with the development.

1. I think the current UI of Wakan is good and easy to understand, so even if you want to start anew, It's best to keep the UI.

2. The best thing about Wakan would be the Jap2Eng dict and Kanji section. I just love the ability to use clipboard to find a kanji's on/kun reading. The popup window to display kanji with all the on/kun and stroke order helped me alot in learning new kanji, but It kind of have lots of other info that I don't need (and I have no way to hide/collapse those info).
About the position of Wakan: It hasn't been updated since 5 year ago, but I still use it as my main Japanese dictionary. One of my friend is translating Anime (Japanese Cartoon) and he only use Wakan for translating.

3. Well, i don't have any answer for this question Sad
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iZaak



Joined: 03 Nov 2009
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Tue Nov 03, 2009 4:45 pm    Post subject: Opensource Reply with quote

Hi, I'm in fourth year of computer science and second year of japanese studies and I have also some nontrivial coding experience. If (and only if) Wakan goes opensource, count me in.
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Drex



Joined: 11 Feb 2008
Posts: 26

PostPosted: Mon May 10, 2010 2:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Filip,

I guess strong points of Wakan are extremly good kanji search, handful and rich dictionary section with examples database and an ability to extend database with new dictionaries. Of course, the popup tool is a great thing when it works fine. I use these features of Wakan for last 5 years and I do not know any better solution. Of course, it's more than pretty that all this wealth is free of charge.

Meantime Wakan has a strong weakpoint - it was started and it was abandoned many years ago... It's not "contemporary", it doesn't support Unicode for database and controls, it doesn't support best modern techniques based on Internet, it's rather difficult for common user to customize dictionaries and so on... many things because of its obscolescence...

I wish I can help with something for this lovely project. I'm not a system-level programmist and just like you I don't have enough free time, so all I can do is to say my opinion and to hope that things get better for all of us
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paoyabao



Joined: 29 Aug 2016
Posts: 2
Location: Philippines

PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2016 9:54 am    Post subject: Hi Filip Reply with quote

I've been using Wakan also for a long time now, every since I've started learning Japanese in earnest (maybe 7 years now). I have tried many many other dictionaries online, new flashy modern interface, etc. But Wakan beats them on this point: Kanji search options and customization. As a Japanese language learner, I use a lot of kanji dictionaries (the printed old school ones) for cross reference: Kodansha Kanji learners, Heisig & Henshall dictionaries. Being able to search using these dictionary indexes, is bar none, beats all dicitionaries in the market to this day. I dont even mind that wakan cant accept hiragana input. The kanji index search, and search combinations (SKIP+reading+etc) and cross references is the gem of Wakan for me. That is why, up to now, to this very minute Im using it. I dont care about new cool looking dictionary on phones, or whatever, if it doesnt have these kanji index references. If you can expand this kanji search functions, it would be all the better. Here are my suggestions:

-Search kanji using On, or Kun reading
-Use of Exceptions in search,
ex. Search all kanji with skip 1-2-3, except any with 'kaku' yomi
-Use of wildcards in SKIP search for example
1-*-4
1-(any number here)-4

Additinal suggestions:
Dictionary section:
-additional search options:
search by grammatical type: (verb, i-adjective, na adjective, etc)
-more info on verbs: if a verb is intransitive or transitive.
-show more (even all) sentence examples when selecting a word. (learning a word by context is vital to understand meaning nuances)

-cojugation expounder: function to see how a verb or adjective conjugates to different forms: past, present, future, passive, causative, etc.

improvements:
-able to input hiragana, katakana, and kanji
-support on hi-res monitors
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