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The most efficient way to remember the meaning and writing of Japanese characters.

Remember!

Remembering the Kanji

Use your imaginative memory to remember thousands complex Japanese characters, with Remembering the Kanji by James W. Heisig.

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Site News

Lil update on 6th edition support27 November 2014
The website is technically ready to support multiple character indexes and the new settings page to select the RTK edition is working. Now I have to update the scripts which are used to feed the character information in the database, in order to include the 6th edition frame numbers.

As I was looking into the Perl scripts written years ago I became frustrated with having to re-learn another language once again. This made me realize that, besides the cost of rewriting old code, there is also a cost involved in having to switch between languages. There is only so much that you can be proficient in at the same time, especially when you are building web applications and you also want to be proficient with the front end side of things (Javascript, Html and Css).

So I figured since I have to make significant changes to the Perl scripts, I may as well rewrite them in Php. I'd rather use fewer languages, and get to know them well than use more languages and only dabble in some of them. I really hope I can wrap this up in the next couple weeks!
Multiple editions support headaches17 November 2014
Still working on adding 6th edition support. Unfortunately the solution I was working on is not flexible enough. Turns out this is more complicated than I thought because I want users to be able to add flashcards for characters that are not in the RTK books. The database queries need to support multiple indexes AND also characters that are outside of the indexes. For example a list of the user's flashcards need to be sorted on the Heisig index, while still showing characters that do not have an Heisig "frame number". I have another solution in mind but I don't think it will be ready for November.
How to handle different editions of the RTK books10 November 2014
One thing I considered while working on "multiple edition" support is whether to consider Volume 3 as a separate "index". Doing so would be interesting as the progress chart could focus more specifically on one book. However this causes problems in the Study page. Say I have selected "Volume 3, 3rd edition" (800 kanji), what if I want to go to Study kanji #600 ? This one isn't in the #2201-#3000 range.

Logically it seems 4th and 5th editions of RTK Volume 1 are followed by The 1st or 2nd editions of Volume 3, for a total of 3000 kanji. That would be the "old edition(s)" index.

The "current editions" index presumably will be: 6th edition of Volume 1 (#1 - #2200), followed by 3rd edition of Volume 3 (#2201-#3000).

Can I even assume that most everyone will have the correct volumes as above? If you have an old edition (up to 5th) of RTK 1 then you should probably get an older edition of RTK 3, otherwise the 196 or so "newly approved kanji" added in 2010 won't be covered. Then there are still 23 missing kanji which until today are available on the site as #3008-#3030. Those are from the 196 newly approved kanji that were not covered by RTK3.

If you have a newer (6th) edition of RTK1, then you should follow with the 3rd edition of RTK 3.

So to summarize so far: if the user selects old edition sequence, it will be as it is now: #1-2042 (vol 1), #2043-3007 (vol 3), #3008-3030 (remaining newly approved kanji missing from Vol 1 & 3 ). If the user picks current edition sequence, it will be #1-2200 (vol 1), #2201-#3000 (vol 3).

I hope that makes sense for the users, because it's definitely not intuitive for me. Fortunately switching between editions on the site will be harmless: it will not affect any stories or flashcards as these are all using the unicode character as the unique reference. This may be handy later if I add "RTK Lite". The user could then start with RTK Lite. When they switch to the full Volume 1, adding flashcards will fill in the gaps. New cards will appear in the blue pile, any existing flashcards will stay where they are in the SRS.
Options page.25 October 2014
Work is advancing on the multiple indexes/editions support. There is no ideal way to do this sort of sweeping changes in the codebase, so I renamed the "frame number" column in the database to break the SQL queries and just slowly go through the pages and refactor/fix the code as I go. The solution I went for is the most obvious one: there is a new table that represents indexes or "sequences". Those sequences reference characters, along with a "sequence number" (ie. "frame number" for RTK). What this means is that 5th edition and 6th edition will be two indexes, both in fact refer to mostly the same characters, but depending which one the user selected, the displayed "frame numbers" will be different, along with how flashcard can be managed.

Once that's done it should be quite easy to add "alternative" sequences such as "RTK Lite" with both Study page, and flashcard support. But one thing at a time.. I am wondering here, if adding JLPT sequences would make any sense? Let me know!

Besides refactoring that means I need to add a completely new page and design a few more classes to handle an Options page. The main option here will be the RTK Book edition. All existing users will be set to 5th edition,and new users by default will be set on 6th edition. Existing users will be able to switch to 6th edition after the update.

Can you think of some features on the website which could use an option? If you can think of something you'd like to have different "defaults", let me know! This will give me some additional options to add to the page.

Plans for 6th edition support18 October 2014
I am aware that the website does not directly support the 6th edition of Remembering the Kanji. For the time being gomtuu's 6th edition frame number converter can be used to add flashcards in order for the 6th edition index (forum thread).

When using the Study page, keep in mind you can search by keywords and also by character. While the index is different, most keywords remain the same between 5th and 6th edition. ALL characters in the 6th edition are present on the site. They are just showing under a different index number (many characters that were present in RTK Volume 3, were added to the 6th edition to keep up with the official "common" kanji).

Admittedly this is a cumbersome way of navigating through the Study pages since the previous/next arrows advance using the 5th edition ordering. I will try to get 5th and 6th edition support (both) working before the end of December.
...more in the news archive.