The past three weeks I have been working on this new pet project of mine. It is a continuation of my earlier Chinese Learning dictionary application. Improvements have been made in the search engines, visual appearance and additional features added to render it more useful.
It uses a relatively new technology from Microsoft, called WPF (Windows Presentation Foundation), and allows me to add lots of special effects like those found in Adobe Flash, and improve the general appearance of the windows applications. I got carried over in the use of the new technology, and the initial version has rotating cubes, fading pictures etc. However, after several revisions, I have removed all those nice visuals. Only a still image is retained for visual effect.
Another drawback is that I could no longer rely on the older Microsoft .NET Framework 2 development platform. It has to be version 3.5 or 4. I have opted for 4. Thus users will need to download and install the .NET 4 Framework. Set-up and installation will take much longer, of around 10 minutes for computer with fast broadband connection. The setup application would assist and direct the download from Microsoft server.
Another significant change is that users won’t have to do much configuration like before. There is no need to copy the dictionary data file to a specific folder. Users do however have the option of doing that, in order to use the latest dictionary files. The application will automatically searches for the presence of the dictionary data file in the specific folder first.
This is how the application would appear initially: