Looking Ahead

With version 2 of Hoot, I've taken care of many of the items I had on this wish list, and many things not on the list. While I am open to including new features I am also cognizant of the need to limit the clutter. This is my revised list of features I am looking at including in future versions of Hoot including some new issues.

The current version of Hoot uses a Microsoft Access database as the backend, which may require a separate installation of the Access run-time. In a future version I would like to convert to (add support for) a SQLite or similar database which doesn't require a separate installation of a runtime engine. While the searches in a SQLite database would use most of the same SQL, the list processing would need to be rewritten. Access databases would still be supported, and other than the run-time installation Hoot would function the same way.

In French, the types of word studies a player would do is different and French has a different set of prefixes and suffixes. With the expanded string of extensions possible in French due to conjugation, more involved extension study may be more useful. Instead of studying words with high value tiles (JQXZ), in French you would be studying JKQWXYZ instead. J and Q are 8 points while the rest are 10 points. I would like to include the ability to identify prefix/suffix by language, include language stems for French, and support for different types of searches for French and other languages.

I am still debating how to add anagramming support to the program. Including an alphagram table is one way that Hoot might be able to execute quicker anagram searches, display of number of anagrams, and provide anagramming quizzing.

The database structure now supports categorizing word lists, but that has not been implemented. With categorized word lists you may be able to develop more detailed study plans.

The Hoot user identification only supports managing known words and the checklist. User note taking may be added to that and I am looking at whether Hoot needs to maintain more user information. I'm also considering saving searches (search type, letters, filter, userid) in the database in addition to being able to save searches to a file. But, I don't want it to become cluttered or confusing.

Lexicon and subject lists probably needs more automated support. I am considering saving the detailed information with lexicon and subject list exports, and the ability to Import lexicons from a compressed file.

It would be nice to be able to update lexicons after new words have been added, and it may not be that difficult, but since it won't often be needed I keep putting that off.

I mention all of this for two reasons, to let you know what changes I'm anticipating, and to get your feedback on what else Hoot needs to have. Of course, many of the new features were spontaneous additions. If you have an idea, contact me.