Welcome to JLDrill

JLDrill is a program for helping people drill various aspects of the Japanese and Chinese languages. Current features include a kana drill, a vocabulary drill, a dictionary cross reference tool, a popup reference with stroke order diagrams for kanji and traditional chinese characters, example sentences from the Tatoeba database and the ability to do dictionary lookups (with deinflection in Japanese) by hovering the mouse over a word in the quiz or examples.

NEW IN 0.6.0! Mandarin language support using the CC-CEdict dictionary and Tatoeba example sentences. The popup kanji tool will display readings for Mandarin Chinese. Unfortunately, the stroke order font only supports tranditional characters.

The current version is 0.6.0.


JLDrill screenshot #1 JLDrill screenshot #2

What’s New for 0.6.0

As seen above, the big feature for 0.6.0 is support for drilling Mandarin Chinese. Both traditional and simplified characters are supported in the dictionary tool, but unfortunately the kanji popup mostly only supports traditional characters (if you search for a simplified character, it will give the the radical information for the traditional equivalent). The stroke order font also only supports traditional characters (if you know of a similar font for simplified characters, please contact me).

The other big feature for this release is Ruby 1.9 support. As far as I know, it will work on any 1.9 version supported by ruby-gtk.

I have also transitioned away from the Tanaka corpus as the source of example sentences. The project is now maintained by the Tatoeba project and since I needed to use Tatoeba for Chinese example sentences, it was a good time to switch. There is no loss of functionality, but because the database contains a lot more information, loading is slower. In the next release I will try to rectify that problem.

The statistics window has been given a new tab for forgotten items. If you are used to getting behind (like me), you might appreciate it. Basically, the statistics in the forgotten tab work just like the statistics for items in the review set, but for forgotten items.

One last major issue is the introduction of a folder for containing your own personal dictionaries and such. If you create a folder called “.jldrill” in your home directory and put a file structure the same as the distributed data directory (.jldrill/quiz for your drill files, .jldrill/dict for dictionary files, etc), you can overload the installed versions. This is useful for having your drill files show up right away when opening a file, for example. It is also especially useful for overriding the very old edict dictionary that is distributed with Debian based distributions (just put a newer version of edict in .jldrill/dict).

JLDrill is Beta Software

I consider JLDrill to be in beta. Most of the important features are present. There may still be bugs, but I have been using the software myself for several years and I think I’ve gotten rid of most of the big problems. Please be considerate of the beta status, though. Keep your eyes open for problems and report them. Poor usability issues are especially welcome. Usability problem reports should describe the difficult work flow and give a suggestion for a new work flow that will improve the problem. I am a programmer, not a UI designer, so I welcome any and all advice on this front.


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