Sunday, August 15, 2010

Granule Tutorial #1 Creating a Deck of cards

This is an introductory video tutorial that covers creating a new Deck of cards with Granule v1.4.


Start the application, select Deck from the main menu and then click on {New}.
The untitled1 deck is created.

TIP: You always always want to save your new deck to a file right away. For that, select Untitled1 and right click to bring the popup menu and click on {Save}.

The 'Save Deck As' dialog has 'Browse for other folders' expansion button, that lets you to select a folder on your harddrive to save your deck of cards.

My default folder is c:\MyStuff\English\Words. Let's change to deck name to GRE-05. Note that the deck file extension is .dkf and this is how Granule recognizes its deck files internally. Click on {Save} button to save an empty deck to a disk file.

Granule (user interface) is optimized for day-to-day workflow. This way all things that you do infrequently are hidden away from you and all things that you do daily are right under your fingertips. Since studying deck is a day-to-day activity, when we select the deck from the list and double-click on it, we are presented with DeckPlayer window where all the learning occurs.

Our deck, however, is empty, and first, we need to populate it with some words.
Remeber that infrequent activities are hidden away from you not to get in the way of your learning process.

To add a new card, we click on the menu button and select 'Edit Deck' from it.

This takes us to the 'Deck View' window where you manage cards of your deck.

To add a new card, click on 'Plus sign' icon.

The 'Card View' dialog allows you to add new cards. Let's quickly go over facets of this dialog to familiarize ourselves with all of the available controls.  The Front field is where you add the front text of your card.

The Back is for the answer and the Example field is where we would want to write the sample sentence to illustrate the usage of the word.

In addition, you might add a picture with IMG to the front and to the back of the card. The pictures we are going to cover later on in another tutorial.  { fill up the card }

Now, we have a few options: We can add just one card and press {OK} or Alt-Enter on your keyboard. Or we can stay here and add more cards with a click on {Add} or Alt-N on your keyboard OR we can bail out by clicking on {Cancel} button.

The text can be exhanced with Pango markup which is a subset of HTML.
You can learn more about markup language by consulting the Help button.

The row of buttons above are the shortcuts for markup syntax and some additional operations. You can paste from the clipboard, undo the markup, change text style, add a reference to your text and normalize text by removing extra whitespaces and newlines.

{ enter additional cards }

Now, you can go ahead and save your Deck to a file. This helps to protect your work if application hangs or crashes unexpectedly (which is a very remote possibility).

The deck also has a set of preferences associated with it.  If we click on the 'Preferences' icon we are presented with 'Deck Preferences' dialog.

Here you can specify the authorship and give a short description of your deck.

The Sound section lets you specify where your sound bits are stored.
You want to keep it simple and store your sounds relative to where you have your Deck stored on the harddrive.

You can also change the appearance by twiking fonts and text alignments of each individual text field. When your are done with your settings, click {Apply} button. And now, we have a deck to study.

This is the end of the tutorial.

Thanks for your interest. Good bye.