I don’t know how much of this has to do with Beta issues, but I upgraded the app again yesterday and am running into all kinds of trouble. I always have trouble with the adjustment when I try the upgrade, but this time I was determined to just get used to it, so I’ve tried to put up with a lot of weird stuff in the beginning.
For instance, I started off with 800+ words in my study queue. All but less than 10 of them were tone reviews until I got the number down below 100. I figured there was some kind of adjustment taking place and that this was a one-off situation. So far, it seems to be: today my queue started at under 300, and the balance is much better.
The problem I’ve having now is that “got it” and “too easy” are both functionally useless. There is nothing I can do short of banning a word or character that will prevent it from popping up again and again in my queue. Worse, there’s no diversity in my studies: because of the frequent repetition, I’m only getting exposure to about 10 terms. Even if I skip through (and this is another problem, but I’ll post it in the Beta subforum later), marking at either 3 or 4, it just comes back. I don’t know if it’s subtracted from my study counter either, because it tends to get stuck, forcing me to go to the dashboard to get it to update.
I don’t even know if I’m going to be able to get through today’s study block and clear the queue down to zero before I give up and go back to the old app (yet again). I really would prefer not to, because the SRS/got it/easy functionality (or lack thereof) was driving me nuts there too, and I upgraded primarily so I could at least have the option to skip terms. At the same time, it seems that in upgrading the app, I’ve also entered a new situation where the SRS problems are magnified beyond belief.
To be clear, these aren’t all words that I’ve already gotten wrong today, or that I have a previous history of making mistakes with. A lot of these terms are new ones just being added to the queue. If I don’t mark them as “too easy” on their very first appearance, they’re on me like a social disease from that point after. And I’m noticing that a lot of ones that I DO mark as too easy from the get-go still show up again a few minutes later, especially after making a trip to the dashboard to get the counter to reset.
I don’t know how the SRS is supposed to work; I got the impression when I began working with Skritter a year or two ago that it was based on some iteration of Supermemo, like Anki. Here’s how I’d want it to work if everything were up to me: if a new term enters my queue and I get it right on the first try–got it, not too easy–then that’s it. I don’t see it again for the REST OF THE DAY. If I mark it as “too easy,” then it goes to the back of the line. All the way back. If I get a term wrong the first time, but get it right the next time (which should be at least 10-20 terms later, not almost immediately), then I should be done with it for the rest of the day, or maybe after another successful try. If it’s a repeat term that I’ve had trouble with in the past but I still get it right on the first try in a single day, DONE. The next day when it shows up can be determined by the larger history, i.e., if I’ve gotten it wrong 10x a day for the last month, then yeah, show it to me tomorrow to see if I still remember it, and then gradually lengthen the repetition space as long as there’s success.
I like the way Anki presents the grading options: 1) Again, 2) Hard 3) Good 4) Easy, with each option showing clearly how long a space will be inserted before the next repetition, with everything being a matter of days except “Again,” which is minutes. The trouble with Anki is that it always cycles cards in the same order, and I also think there’s some value in repeating terms a couple of extra times when they’ve been problematic in the recent past. Oh, and you can’t draw characters with it. That’s a big one.
If Skritter doesn’t/can’t/isn’t supposed to function along those lines, then can we at least have a button added that will banish a term for the rest of the day? Even skipping character drawing and marking them directly is burning up way too much of my study time, and severely setting back my larger overall goals and targets.
I hope this doesn’t come across as too demanding or fussy, or that I think it’s easy to solve all these problems and make everything perfect for everybody (and I especially hate making negative comparisons to other apps, so I wasn’t trying to do that with the Anki example, just trying to flesh out my idea of how SRS is supposed to work); it’s just that this is such a great educational client when things work right, and it gets tremendously frustrating how much these little issues can derail everything.
/rant. Hope there’s something of value to be gained from all that.