I know it’s been a long time. I’m really sorry about that! I just wanted to jump on here to let people know that updates are indeed coming, though quite a bit slower than I originally predicted, which seems to almost always happen when I make a prediction that has to do with time.
Just about everything is getting redone. Back-end, front-end, content… All of my hopes and dreams put into one, behemoth update. It turns out that it had to be this big, though. All the new stuff wouldn’t work if all three didn’t get a drastic upgrade.
I’m not ready to announce or show anyone anything quite yet (sorry!), but sometime in the not-too-distant future I’ll begin posting up things for you to see and try. I’ll also be telling you how everything will be laid out in the new version, new sections, new ideas, and much more. Like I said, a lot has changed. And, of course, if you’re on a Lifetime account you’ll be getting all of these updates. There’s a lot of new content as well, so I think many of you who have been waiting around will be happy about that.
Because it’s been such a long time since the last update, I’ve lowered the price of the Lifetime subscription to $99. It’ll stay that way until the new version is out. Our plan is to eventually increase the price beyond the original $120 (you’ll understand why after you see what’s going on with the update), so this is an opportunity to get in at a discount while you’re waiting. Also, if you’ve paid for a Lifetime subscription in the last 30 days, send me an email and I’ll refund you $21.
I’m not going to put a date on when you’ll see the update, but I’ll begin to trickle out information on the updates, images, videos, and more in the coming months. Then, eventually, we may need alpha testers, and those will surely come from current Lifetime subscribers.
So that’s it for now. You’ll hear again from me “soon,” though I think you’re figuring out that Tofugu “soon” is about the same as “Valve” soon, sometimes.
Before popping off to Japan, I mentioned that after coming back (and, it turns out, after catching up on things), I would be primarily spending my time on TextFugu. Something nice like 60-70%. That time started about a week and a half ago, and I think I have a better idea of what’s going on and when it will go on. Keep in mind, this is a super rough estimate, so be nice.
Right now: Right now I’m working on the backend of things. It’s not going to be the complete rewrite from scratch I was hoping to do, but it is a huge improvement. There’ll be a new payment system, which if you’ve run into certain problems with certain payment thing (as a decent of you have), you’ll agree there needs to be improvement. Also being added is the ability to keep track of your lessons. If you stop in the middle of the lesson it will know where you stopped, and there will be quizzes as well (don’t worry, the quizzes will be great). Anyways, there’s a lot that’s getting upgraded on the backend that will affect the front end, which comes next.
Soon: After the backend changes, there will probably be some front-end design updates as well. Mainly to make room for a lot of the backend additions, but also to make room for new lesson types.
Next: After the backend is done, and after the frontend is done, it’ll be time to push the update. During all this backend / frontend / middle-end, there will be advanced lessons being worked on. When I push the update out I want to also include these. I’m hoping 20 or so lessons geared towards intermediate to advanced self-study. Maybe more, maybe less, but that’s the goal.
After: After this update goes up, then it’s time to go back to the main lessons again. The current lessons won’t work with the new fancier lessons, so things will be converted over. Right around here my vision becomes hazy, so I’ll stop there.
Things may get switched around a bit, and things may change, but that should give you an idea of where I’m headed with things. Maybe the backend / frontend changes will go live before the lessons. Maybe something else will happen before all that. The future is hard to predict, so more updates to come soon, maybe with hawt pics.
Most of us will be in Japan all of February (plus some), so I wanted to take this opportunity to let you know how support will go during that month as well as update you on the next version + edition of TextFugu.
Let’s start with the next TextFugu Version / Edition. They’re actually two separate things.
The next version of TextFugu will be an updated design. I’m making things a bit cleaner and easier to read. I’ll also be including a few new features that you’ve been asking for. Here’s a couple of spoilers:
Cleaner for reading (better on mobile too)
Viewing history (so you can remember where you are)
I think there will be one or two other things as well, including a non-Paypal payment option as well as things like quizzes to make sure you understand what you just read about. This is actually pretty close to being finished, though I want to wait for certain content changes before putting it up, since the content updates will make more sense with the updated design.
This is the content side of things. It is also where things get more complicated. With each edition I learn a lot about how you use TextFugu. I figure out the things you like and don’t like and then keep them in the back of my mind. Eventually, there gets to be so many of them that I decide it’s time to start revisions. Usually it happens more often than everyone likes (sorry!).
I’ve actually gotten a decent way into this revision but would like to get a bit more before posting it up. Most likely, similar to last time, I’ll have both the old version and the new version up at the same time for a while. This time it’s especially important because of the number of changes there will be. Don’t worry, the lessons will be fairly similar so you can still go through the current ones quite nicely (I wouldn’t recommend waiting for me, basically), but the way in which the lessons will be displayed and formatted will be quite different. The planned changes are:
I’m sure there are other things as well, but those are the big ones. So, when is this all happening? There’s good news and there’s bad news. First the bad news: Since I’ll be in Japan all of February, it’s definitely not going to happen before March. Here’s the good news: When I get back in March, TextFugu will get my full attention. The last couple months has been WaniKani, and I’m actually pretty close to “finishing” up on the main content for it which means I can circle back to TextFugu. I’ll still be working on it, but it will be more like 70% TextFugu and 30% WaniKani instead of the other way around.
So, you should start to see some of these updates in March. I think it’s going to be much closer to my vision on how I wanted TextFugu to be and I think it will become a better resource for self learners because of it. Thank you all for your patience, too. I know I have a lot on my plate and that gets frustrating for people who want updates, but hopefully March and beyond will be a great year for you :)
While we’re in Japan support should be running pretty normally, though possibly on a different time zone. We have just recently put all our support into one box, though, which means if you email firstname.lastname@example.org four or five eyes will have the chance to see it instead of just one. You can still of course email me directly at email@example.com. Anyways, support shouldn’t change much. We’ll be available to fix things even when traveling, just email the “firstname.lastname@example.org” email for the fastest response!
“Audio for the Season 8 Lessons are up for all of you who have Japanese language listening fetishes (or for those of you who just want to study Japanese better). The practice story at the end of Season 8 is coming up next, just need to wrap up a few things then get it recorded for listening pleasures.”
Happy Friday, TextFugu-ers! Season 8 is here, and it’s (amazingly) all about time. Here’s what happened:
First, I wanted to make a chapter about time. Then, I realized how large the subject was, so I thought… “okay, I’ll do a few chapters on it.” Then, I realized how large the subject was, so I thought… “okay, this is pretty much an entire season worth of lessons here.”
The thing is, most Japanese students spend years not feeling comfortable with the basics of time. Why? Probably because they don’t spend a lot of time on it and they take it all at once. I think I’ve figured out a nice way to break it down so that each chapter helps with the previous one, meaning the more you learn the more solid your previous knowledge will get. I didn’t want to do all this in a couple of chapters only to have you struggling with time for years (no pun intended) to come. Spend some time on it, it’s important. Time’s one of those things we use all the… time?
Season 8 is 11 chapters long and covers all the basics of time. It also has a practice page for each lesson, kanji, radicals, and vocab. At the very end you start out with your first work story. The idea of these is to begin transition you into the “real world.” Most chapters from here on out will end with a story you read that uses the grammar you learned that chapter. It will contain some things you know and some things you won’t know. This is to help push you towards being able to do the research on your own in order to learn certain things. I don’t want you to be helpless when I shove you mercilessly out of the nest, so to speak.
There is one problem, though! :(
The audio got corrupted and I can’t save it. So, besides some of the vocab words (which I already had audio for), the audio isn’t ready yet. I’m getting it redone next week. Also, the work-story at the end of Season 8 is still a work in progress. It’s going to happen after the audio is recorded for the regular lessons and practice (because Emi is going to record the story as well, and I need her to do the other audio first!). So, I’m sorry about the delay on the audio and the season end boss. You should be seeing both of those things next week, though.
That’s all the news for now. Hope you all have a nice… Day? Week? Year? Second? Minute?
Photo by LOLren
I’m getting to the point with Season 8 where I can estimate a “release” date. I think I’ll be done with it this week, and then next week I’ll be able to add the kanji and such being used for the S8 lessons as well as contract and add audio for the practice sentences and examples. So, Season 8 is looking like a October 26 thing, give or take a few days.
I wanted to try doing a whole season at once for this one. I think it helped to give the whole season a more connected feel since I had to plan everything out first. Also I could write the sections out of order, which I think had an affect on the chapters. I’m not sure if I’ll do it this way for Season 9, but we’ll see when we get there.
Just wanted to let you all know that the Season is coming, as I know you’ve been waiting very patiently for me to plug away at this (like you always do, thank you!).
I have some other pretty neat things going on with TextFugu right now as well, but I’ll save those things for a later day. All I can say is… can’t wait to build the backend of TextFugu from scratch so I can *finally* do the things I have envisioned for TextFugu, but never could because we were on Wordpress. More later! See you on the flip side of Season 8!
So things are moving into Season 8. That’s a nice lucky number if you ask me. In terms of what it is, I’ve been thinking about that for a bit. Season 8 is going to be a season about filling in the little holes and then putting them together. It will also be about covering the things that will eventually make you sound more fluent. It’s basically the start of the slope that will lead you to an “advanced level.” The content will still be intermediate level, technically, but this is where the climb begins.
I think when you begin to get to a higher level, too, the important stuff gets smaller. You’re not looking to bust down the piñata anymore, you’ve already done that. Now you’re picking up the candy. Once you have enough candy you can eat it (and it’ll be delicious as long as you didn’t pick up any Tootsie Rolls). The “eating” part is what I’d call “advanced.” Right now your hands are starting to get full, but there’s enough room for a little more.
Anyways, that’s what I think in my mind right now.
Also, over the next couple months as I work on Season 8 I’ll feed you little scraps and hints of the new TextFugu. I’m learning to code as I go along, so it’s nice and slow going, but it will be a much better platform, and many of the feature requests you folks ask for will also be there. Right now things are pretty limited, but I’m starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel, so to speak. Hopefully by the end of the year you’ll beging seeing the first screenshots and lessons. It should be pretty cool. I’m pretty excited about it.
So, that’s all for now. TL;dr → Season 8 lessons are going to start coming out in the next week or two and you’ll start to see whispers of a new TextFugu in the coming months, unless things go wrong, which they almsot always do ;)