[opinion] please, return control to the users

I understand that improvement of software includes automatic actions where the user need not interact. I also understand that sometimes the viewpoint of the developer is very different from that of users. Also, all users have their own views.

However …

When the software makes decisions for me that I find hinder me in my language learning, then the software has overstepped its boundary. Control over decisions within the learning process should always be with me, and no one else. I have two examples for this, that developers should be aware of. Hopefully, this will stimulate software making decision in favor of user control. The two examples are my beef with the system. I do not know if other people are of the same opinion.

Example 1. Counting words read

The program decides when to count words read. There is no rational basis for this decision other than a guess from the software. Only I know when I read, and what I read. Only I know if I am actively reading or perusing or just doing nothing specific.

The software is overstepping its bounding by making this decision for me. Don´t!

Example 2. Saving every (little) change

When I edit a lesson, the software decides to save every little change I make (on one line). So if I add one character, then switch to another line and click on this line: the software waits until I click and then decides to block my action and save the change. It doesn’t matter whether I changed a full sentence or added one character. It doesn’t matter whether I wait a second, a minute, an hour or a day.
Consequence is that after each change, I have to click twice. Why? Because the software decides to wait until I do my next action, and only then blocks communication (for a short while). Do I have to mention what this does to performance? [Both chrome and firefox have the same issue. In firefox it is just more pronounced because everything is slower.]

The software is overstepping its boundary by deciding when to save, forcing a save and forcing me to mostly click multiple times.

Solution example 1. Counting words read.

The solution is simple. I need a tool to add words read per page and per lesson. This should not be entangled into other functionality (like complete). Make a standard button for adding a page to words read and another for adding a lesson to words read. And please add shortcuts to both of them.

This would return full control to me, the user.
Please return control.

Solution example 2. Saving every (little) change

The problem is as old as computers exist and the solutions are just as old. The first solution is to make the fact that there are pending changes, visible. Examples are changing the label of view lesson, to save and view lesson. In order to cancel the edit, one would have to leave the edit session without saving (or the page). Of course the software would offer the box : “are you sure? There are changes pending!”. Now, that would be helpful.

Another example would be a change of color of the box lining, making the fact of pending changes always visible wherever you are in the document. Of course, you can use both ways of alerting the user.

These measures would return control to me and I would decide when to save! Also, the performance penalty and loss of time would be my decision. If I decide to not save and turn off the computer, that is my decision and the penalty is mine. If I decide to save every 2 seconds, the decision is mine (and so is the performace penalty). Most users will save at logical cross sections of changes, I know I would.

The software could offer as an optional feature to save every x seconds or y minutes, but it should be the users choice, not the software’s choice.

All this would return control to me, the user.
Please, return control.

Thank you, and I apologize for the rant.

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I want to bump this post into developers attention again. It warrants a response from lingq. The annoyance of saving every other click is a daily one and it grows with time. Can you please respond?

While we are at it, users should be able to decide how long their lessons should be. This 2000 word limit imposed on everyone is irritating.

Lingq has got a lot of potential, but it is constantly hindered by bugs (some are reappearing when they were supposed to have been fixed for good a while back) which slow down its development.

It is hard to be working on implementing new features when we are still having basic problems with the reader for example. (text still appearing twice when in double column mode, percentage of unknown words still displayed even after the lesson has been completed and no new words are featuring in the vocab tab, bug that makes it impossible to create bilingual hints still not fixed to this day…)

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I guess they are busy hiring freelancers for adding other languages :wink:

I am sorry but I don’t really see any issues there. On the edit lesson page, there is no a save button and each change users make are saved automatically. I’ve edited tons of lessons on my end and wasn’t annoyed with how it works. All changes made take less than second to save and then you can make additional edits if needed.
Edit Lesson feature is mostly meant for fixing typos and making small changes in sentences, that is why most of users do on the Edit Lesson page, they don’t go through all sentences.

There’s always room for improvement of course, and we’ll see what we can do to make editing even simpler, but I don’t think that any change will be made in the near future.

@SeoulMate There’s a reason why this limit exist. Some extremely long lessons were causing performance issues. This limit for change for now.

Zoran, I am fully aware of why this limit was introduced. But that was back in 2014 and technology has moved on considerably since then. Surely the system should be able to handle longer lessons now. Granted, you might not want to revert back to 10000, but 5000? Having book chapters split in many different parts is not ideal. And Mark had said before they would look into this again.

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I have two use cases that show that I go through all the sentences with a reason.

  1. I use generate time stamps and adapt the timings to my liking for files that have transcripts but no timings.

  2. I join sentences that are broken up due to being subtitles in a movie or youtube video.

The annoyance is the constant blocking of my next action. It is not any kind of unnoticeable delay like you describe it. The blocking of my actions is extremely annoying. And unnecessary. Whether I am adapting time stamps, or joining and splitting lines, the “automatic save” is a barrier to productively working with the tool. My personal performance drops significantly because of the blocks.

My suggestion is to make the “automatic save” optional and add a “manual save”, like a save button with a save shortcut (ctrl-s) like most other tools have.

Finally and it surprises me that I need to say this. It is irrelevant, whether you as a system maintainer are bothered by it or not. I am a user, halfway across the globe. Response times are very different here. That should matter more than your on site experience and your personal preferences or views.

Your statements “I am sorry but I don’t really see any issues there.” and “I … wasn’t annoyed with how it works.” make me wonder: is it all about how you experience it?

Bad design we can correct (in cooperation). Lack of interest, compassion or insight is a lost cause.

The question is: are we working together? Or are we fighting each other?

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