A Flashcard deluxe flashcard processor
A Flashcards Deluxe cards processor
Flashcards Deluxe is an app for Android and iOs devices that helps in the memorization process using a well known technique called flash cards. It is a very nice app with a lot of features that enrich the studying process.
The problem I found with the app is the method of creating and uploading the cards into the devices was a little bit annoying. As I needed to create a large number of cards of multiple disciplines and some included math symbols and other images, I decided to automate the building of the card decks.
This is done using the well known format YaML that contains the list of cards each one with two key value entry one with the question and another one with the answer.
The program works syncronizing two directories, one with the cards source and another one inside a cloud storage system directory called Flashcards deluxe where the cards definition are stored ready to be picked from the app.
This program runs on Python 2.7 and has been tested in Linux and Mac OS, the python dependencies are listed in the requirements.txt. It requires of a Latex compatible TeX distribution to build the mathematical expressions.
The program can be installed in *nix systems running the setup.py install command as root.
Configuring the app
The key words used in the definition files for question and answer can be changed with a configuration file stored in the users ~/.config/jmflashcards/config.yaml directory, so it can be used in multiple languajes, the location of the input and output directories can be set from there too. The file is in YaML key-value format and the entries accepted are:
- input_dir: root of the cards tree.
- outpu_dir: directory where the cards are placed to be picked by the mobile app.
- question_keys: This is a YaML list of valid keys to be used to identify the front side of the card.
- answer_keys: This is a YaML list of valid keys to be used to identify the back side of the card.
Creating the repository
The repository is a tree of directories having the root in the input directory. Each leaf directory defines a flashcard with its name and it must contain at least one file called flashcards.yaml where the cards are defined. There can be other files with images and sounds that can be referenced in the definition file.
The syntax of the file is simple, a list of question: and answer: pairs or whatever you have chosen to name the cards. Then
- If you start writting text after the colon it is a text entry that can be formated using the Flashcards deluxe syntax. The text can be extended to mutiple lines using the YaML syntax.
- If you want to include an image or sound you have to put the ~ after de colon followed with the name of the image file stored within the definition directory.
- If you want to include a mathematical expression start with a $ simbol and then the expression using te latex syntax.
The app is ran with the command jmflashcards and crawls the definition tree processing each one of the files, to see if it has to render the card it compares the timestamps of the original card and the renderd one and if the first is newer it overwrites the old one.
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