Fridge Haiku – Desktop Poet

Desktop Poet is a fun little program from Mariner Software. It replicates those little packs of magnetic words you find in bookshops that allow you to compose poetry on your fridge. This program allows you to do the same on your computer. And as such is much more convenient.

As words can be imported from simple text files I thought it might be interesting to use it to play at making sentences to improve my Japanese grammar and reading. Haiku or any poetry might be a bit advanced.

Another feature is that a single tile can contain multiple words. For instance in English you can chose between “run”, “runs”, “running”, “ran” and “runner” on a single tile. In my Japanese version this allows me to have the kanji, furigana, and a verbs root on a tile. I decided to split out the inflections so I didn’t have to write so much mainly but it’s also good for playing with grammar. It could allow for English meanings but I decided to leave them out and try to work with words I know already.

On the word lists I’m working on, you can automatically look up a word on Denshi Jisho if you have an Internet connection.
I hope to be able to figure out how to easily change the colour of groups of words depending on their function. At the moment when you merge a set of words into the program you can set the colour of the tiles.

Desktop Poet is available for both Mac and Windows and the download version is a mere $15 (about £8)

Hopefully I’ll soon have some word lists here for you to download.

Originaily this software was published by Stick Software where it was called Issa after the Haiku poet Kobayashi Issa. So maybe it’s fitting to use it to learn Japanese.

It’s not yet the perfect program so I had these few thoughts which I shared with Mariner in the hopes that 1.1 will be better

Desktop Poet 1.0.1 Mac — feedback & feature requests

I recently bought Desktop poet and have been playing with it.
I have a couple of thoughts.

The option to run it in a normal window would be extremely useful. The “virtual fridge” is cumbersome to move around and resize. Also a normal window could have a toolbar which would be useful. Multiple instances of the window would be good. A workspace could be saved like a standard document. with different backgrounds and type settings for different types of project.

A workspace / container space(s) separation would also be useful.
The containers could be for different wordlists.
A drawer metaphor might work. Allowing words from separate lists to be accessed separately.

An ability to show/hide tiles or groups of tiles while working could also be useful.

In the new tile dialog It would be good to be able to input a complete list rather than just a single word or phrase. Maybe if it accepted the same strings as when writing a wordlist in a texteditor.

The ability to define the colour of tiles for a wordlist in the metadata of the wordlist for example:
@tilecolor red.
@tilecolor #3300FF
I’m quite interested in Desktop poet as a learning tool and the ability to colour code parts of speech would be useful. (It can be done after the fact in the program but I’d like it on import)

A wider range of colours through a colour picker would be good.

Changing the background via a contextual menu would be nice too.

The HTML export is very crude. integrate some style sheets. This could also be user expandable like wordlists.

An iTouch version of Desktop Poet might work as well don’t you think?

Thank you for reading. I appreciate how hard it can be to program. If I had the skill I’d give it a go myself to get the sort of program I’d like.

09. March 2008 by ロバート
Categories: 02 reading • 読む事 | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

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