2 weeks to build a language app (a music-style language trainer)

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ryanheise
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Re: 2 weeks to build a language app (a music-style language trainer)

Postby ryanheise » Sat Oct 24, 2020 1:37 am

MorkTheFiddle wrote:
ryanheise wrote:
MorkTheFiddle wrote:But are you saying you don't currently have any sort of usable smartphone? That is quite rare.
:D Yup, that's what I'm saying. Most iOS apps work on my iPod, but because it's missing its own connection to the internet, it needs a wifi source. It has a lot of apps, but the weather app and the music player are what I use most. I don't do social media, so, bottom line, I don't really need a smartphone.


That's pretty smart actually. I wonder if it would be a good idea for me to buy an iPod touch for testing? It looks like it has everything I need but for a much cheaper price. Is it missing anything important that an iPhone has other than phone calls? I need to be able to test that the app correctly pauses audio when receiving an incoming call, but maybe I can test the same sort of audio interruption by pressing the Siri button on the iPod (assuming that's what happens?)

When I think about it, I use my Google Pixel 3a in the same way that you use your iPod: I never make phone calls (VoIP is good enough), and I restrict connectivity to WIFI to save money. It doesn't bother me that nobody can contact me while I'm out on a walk, because I don't want to be distracted then anyway.
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MorkTheFiddle
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Re: 2 weeks to build a language app (a music-style language trainer)

Postby MorkTheFiddle » Sat Oct 24, 2020 5:59 pm

ryanheise wrote:I wonder if it would be a good idea for me to buy an iPod touch for testing? It looks like it has everything I need but for a much cheaper price. Is it missing anything important that an iPhone has other than phone calls?

As long as it can connect to WiFi, the apps on my iPod function well. I can even use the Starbucks app to order coffee or the Lyft and Uber apps to set up a ride. I used it a couple of times with Facetime, once to a friend locally and once to an acquaintance in Switzerland. On a couple of other occasions I watched things on Netflix, though the small screen is less than optimal for that. Having said that, when all is said and done, I don't use my iPod very much except for listening to music and for some language listening practice, so I can't really say absolutely for sure whether there are limitations other than the phone calls.
I wish you continued success with your project
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Re: 2 weeks to build a language app (a music-style language trainer)

Postby ryanheise » Sun Oct 25, 2020 7:53 am

I think I've (finally) managed to upload the app to Apple, and am about to do the same for Android.

If you'd like to test this "alpha" release, please send me your email address via PM to be added as a tester, and also mention if you want to test the iOS version or the Android version (or both) so that I can add you to the correct test list for the appropriate platform. Either Apple or Google will then send you an invitation email with a link to the app store / play store page.


Keep in mind as mentioned above that I still need to extract the review code out of this app and put it into a separate app. I haven't done that yet. My ideas on what this would be replaced with in Wordwalker are:

- Rather than just having a button to "Prepare next section" (which was originally intended to be a daily event in the review algorithm), there may instead just be a button to prepare the whole file, as needed. You'd be able to see all of the segments in the whole file and make any adjustments to any part at any time as needed.
- Instead of having a button to "Add to training set" (which again was intended to be used once per day), I think instead what we need is a way to view a birdseye view of the whole file and then to be able to jump into some specific part of the file that you want to focus on and then start a training session for that.

So what I'll need to work on now is some visualisation of the entire file, showing the tree structure, as this would be the easiest way of allowing the user to navigate to any desired part of the file.
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Re: 2 weeks to build a language app (a music-style language trainer)

Postby ryanheise » Sat Oct 31, 2020 3:39 pm

Things are starting to shape up. I made a fancy new "tree view" which lets you picture the whole tree structure of the file, and lets you easily select which branch of the tree you want to listen to:



(Yes, the tree's upside down visually, but that's pretty normal in a computer program).

I also changed the blue colour to green to match my icon design (alternatively, I could change the icon from green to blue to match).

Also, now that the tree metaphor is more visual, I'm thinking I could probably redesign the icon to maybe have a tree in it. Incidentally, another app name occurred to me which might induce a smirk among the computer scientists: "Tree walker". (But, I still plan to stick to Wordwalker for the time being since it has a language-related word in it.)

I was hoping to do another release of this tonight with all of the newest stuff you see in the video above, but it's getting late and I've learnt from recent experiences that it's best to get a good night's sleep first. I will try to get this working on tablets before the next beta release.
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MorkTheFiddle
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Re: 2 weeks to build a language app (a music-style language trainer)

Postby MorkTheFiddle » Sat Oct 31, 2020 4:59 pm

Obviously, I don't have a vote in this, since it's your project, but Treewalker just doesn't do it for me. Wordwalker conjures up the astronomy app Skywalker, which has a nice ring to it. Anyway, keep up the good work.
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Re: 2 weeks to build a language app (a music-style language trainer)

Postby ryanheise » Mon Nov 02, 2020 3:45 pm

MorkTheFiddle wrote:Obviously, I don't have a vote in this, since it's your project, but Treewalker just doesn't do it for me. Wordwalker conjures up the astronomy app Skywalker, which has a nice ring to it. Anyway, keep up the good work.

It may also conjure up images of Luke Skywalker :-) Just FYI, "Tree Walker" (a completely NON-serious name, btw) is to a computer scientist nothing more than the most banal descriptive classification one could think of for the type of algorithm being used.

In other news: my latest updates have been approved by Apple and Android for testing. If you're already on the beta list, you should already see the update. If not, you can PM me to be added to the beta list.

== Things to be tested in this release ==

* Try it with headphones. Can you skip forward and backward through sentences using the headset skip buttons?
* Try it on different screen sizes. Does it work on an iPad/tablet or an iPod touch?
* Try the different tree walking algorithms: breadth first, depth first, back chaining and offer feedback.

Some things that I'm aware need to be improved:

* On Android, it takes a very long time to import audio files (depending on your device's built-in hardware acceleration). I can improve this, but not immediately as it'll probably involve at least 3 weeks of very low level coding work.
* I removed the slider to adjust the audio speed in the UI redesign, but I forgot to put it back in. I'll do this in the next release.
* If you edit the start/end timestamps of a segment to overlap an adjacent segment, the UI will jump you back to the first segment on the page for no reason. It's harmless and I'll fix this in the next release, but for now you can avoid that glitch by not dragging segments to overlap.
* There's currently no option to delete a collection or a language.
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