Request for Comments: Drag & Drop Text Format

Say you’ve done a search in Tensai and now you want to drag & drop some entries into a text editor as plain text. In 0.92 and earlier doing this would net you some weird URL type thing like tensai://JMdict:ent_seq@entries/;1405810. Well no longer! Say you’ve got a result that looks like this:

What I’m planning for 0.93 is to make it so you can drag and drop the result above into a text editor and get:

» one-step verb
1. to bear; to stand; to endure; to put up with
2. to support; to withstand; to resist; to brave (たえる only)
3. to be fit for; to be equal to (たえる only)

» one-step verb
1. to be unable to endure; to lose patience

» adverb, noun, ~suru verb
1. perfectly; properly; exactly

» ~na adjective, noun, ~suru verb
1. diffidence; restraint; reserve

What I’d like to know is, how would you prefer to have the above text formatted? I’m particularly curious to know if anyone can think of a readable way to show complex entries like the first two on a single line.

9 Responses to “Request for Comments: Drag & Drop Text Format”

  1. Joe Says:

    I think that looks great as is! Perhaps you could have a tab-delimited option for people who want to ‘wrap their own’ — that’s an easy format to manipulate.

  2. Justin Says:

    I can see delimiting ちゃんと and えんりょ with tabs, but how would you delimit entries with groups of kanji and readings or multiple definitions like 堪える、絶える、耐える? They’re essentially multi-dimensional data, so I wouldn’t have thought that tabular text could express them.

  3. David Says:

    Looks good and seems to suggest the capcity to make some drag and drop quiz materials. What I might suggest is that you could have options to change what part of the entry is the focus an dtherefore appears first. If the English definition is what is important for your particular search you might be able to make it so that the English text appears first (and all logical permutations that would follow).

    By the way Glad to see you’re still working on it!

  4. Justin Says:

    I think it’d be best to have just one way to represent dragged entries as text, and provide more options in a separate “Export…” menu item. So for just this I want to choose the single most intuitive and expected textual format to represent dragged entries.

  5. Michael Says:

    First off, as this is my first post — this application is way cool! ありがとうございます!

    OK, I may be one of the few people who actually use this, but I actually would like to be able to still have access somehow to the xpath information that you currently get with dragging (maybe this goes in preferences???). I won’t cry too hard if it goes away but just noting that I do like that option.

    I also like the idea Justin proposes for an “Export…” item (perhaps available as a hot key or button on the GUI for those who use it a lot). Perhaps you would get to choose among multiple formats for export as well. Maybe a few basic options (delimited, plain text, HTML) or even allow the user to specify an XSLT file to transform the content as they like.

  6. Justin Says:

    Glad you like Tensai, Michael!

    Actually, dragged entry URLs aren’t XPath statements. An XPath statement for a JMdict entry would be like “.//entry[ent_seq=1405810]”. I just made up the tensai:// URL format due to technical limitations in old versions of Tensai. But you’ve piqued my curiosity now — how are you using those URLs?

    Don’t worry, I’m definitely including the ability to choose custom XSLT files.

    And Justin == the developer == me. I take all of my own feature requests seriously. :)

  7. Karl C.H. Lin Says:

    I’ve just started to learn Japanese. I downloaded this software and found it very useful. Thanhks a lots.

  8. RiceKicker Says:

    Hi Justin,

    Shucks, sorry I’ve been out of touch. I made my comment and hadn’t checked back until now. Sorry!

    I’ve been developing a Japanese study aid in Python which digs through the JMDict format. I guess that’s where I though the raw lookup information would be useful (note, I haven’t done anything with it yet which is one of the reasons I didn’t realize realize your URL was not an actual XPATH statement =)

    Anyhow, if you’re including a custom XSLT ability, I’m jazzed! Way cool!

  9. RiceKicker Says:

    By the way, “RiceKicker” is “Michael” a few posts above =)

    (Didn’t apparently set the correct display name =)


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