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New online I Ching reading - requests? suggestions?

hilary

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Would it also be handy to have entering something like "43.5 > 34" in a field (or two fields), to display the corresponding I Ching text?
I think what you have at http://eclecticenergies.com/iching/lines.php is ideal for people who want to cast separately and look the text up online. If there actually is anyone who wants to do that... it seems an odd thing to do... does that page get any use, do you know?
Ok, I see.
I'm pondering how to make saved readings easy to use. If you save them as PDF's, perhaps there could be some information from the reading in the file name, like the question, or the hexagrams, to make it easier to find something in previously stored readings.

The text would contain your question, the date and time, and of course the text and hexagrams of the reading. Anything else?
Shouldn't think so - remember we are flying low and keeping this simple. I like the idea of information in the file name - 'I Ching' and maybe the question and/or date - how much can you put in before it's too long, though?

Actually what I'd find most useful would be to have the option of copying the whole thing - question, date, texts - to paste it into a journal and keep writing. But that's if I actually used an online reading, which I don't, so don't bother with that unless it's easy.

anemos said:
maybe you could use some elements from the cover of your book.
Neat idea, except I don't actually own the design.
 

Trojina

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Slightly off topic...but almost not...but i was wondering what happened to the I Ching bracelet made of gem stones idea ? Were they ever produced because I seem to remember a photo of one and then after that no more was heard about it ?
 

Trojina

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if online casting tool is too complex there could always be a link there for the "anytime anyplace anywhere" casting bracelet...except you'd probably need a factory to meet demand
 

hilary

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The woman (potentially) making the bracelets seemed to lose interest and stopped responding. Mind you, I was being slow as a wet week, so she can hardly be blamed. I could always have a go at reviving that some time. I use beads in preference to an online method because it's so much quicker and easier, as well as more tangible.
 

ewald

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Actually what I'd find most useful would be to have the option of copying the whole thing - question, date, texts - to paste it into a journal and keep writing. But that's if I actually used an online reading, which I don't, so don't bother with that unless it's easy.
This is only easy for Internet Explorer. For other browsers it can be done, but requires some tricks, and can give problems.
 

Trojina

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The woman (potentially) making the bracelets seemed to lose interest and stopped responding. Mind you, I was being slow as a wet week, so she can hardly be blamed. I could always have a go at reviving that some time. I use beads in preference to an online method because it's so much quicker and easier, as well as more tangible.
well if you do I'll have one
 

chingching

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I think if you want to help beginners that on the screen that displays their reading there should be a link to post in the forum and a radio button to choose which forum, shared reading ex.div etc. and when they get to the post page it has the reading text included, and that should include the question they asked.

so then the user should have to type in their question as well, like LiSe's site. By default the subject line of the post should come up in the communities form of annotation, ie. 51.4 > 24

I also like the idea of displaying all the lines, also how LiSe has a line to each lines zhi gua or how through ewald interactive hex forming you can see what each line changes to, helps when looking for steps and fan yao's which anyone who stays in here long enough will eventually become curious about.
 

hilary

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This is only easy for Internet Explorer. For other browsers it can be done, but requires some tricks, and can give problems.
Well, then, not to worry.
well if you do I'll have one
OK!
I think if you want to help beginners that on the screen that displays their reading there should be a link to post in the forum and a radio button to choose which forum, shared reading ex.div etc. and when they get to the post page it has the reading text included, and that should include the question they asked.

so then the user should have to type in their question as well, like LiSe's site. By default the subject line of the post should come up in the communities form of annotation, ie. 51.4 > 24

I also like the idea of displaying all the lines, also how LiSe has a line to each lines zhi gua or how through ewald interactive hex forming you can see what each line changes to, helps when looking for steps and fan yao's which anyone who stays in here long enough will eventually become curious about.
These are excellent ideas for closer integration with the forum. I'm going to guess, though, that actually copying the text over to the forum would run into the same problems as my lesser 'copy to clipboard' suggestion. We may have to settle for a link to the 'create new post' page for SR along with advice on what to include.

I think we'll have the new reading displaying only relevant lines, and keep a link somewhere to the old one that displays the lot.

Zhi gua links... don't know. Only if there is some way to do it while still making it hard for people to download the whole of my text for free, which I'd really rather they didn't do...
 

ewald

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I would indeed expect some trouble when trying to get text directly from the online reading to the forum.
 

rodaki

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I think that most people like what we get used to, and I'm sure people here feel pretty good about the page as it is already . . Having said that, mostly in terms of visual aspects (not that I'm an expert but I know what works for me) I'd suggest keeping all the hexagrams' texts but having them in a unified page to scroll all together in one go. Hexagram symbols could be shown side by side then texts unfold in one column, perhaps with underlined/red the parts that relate to the particular casting. I like to see the hexagram appearing on screen in stages but after a single hit of the button but I like not having to write my question down . .

What else . . uhm, 'help with reading' button could take you straight to the hexagram index and something like 'learn the basics' button replace the current 'help' button. Also, both of these could go on the side of the hexagrams' text or under. I'd personally love also a link to a page listing all online translations but only if there is already a page like that somewhere on Clarity . . Lastly, it'd be nice if a 'New Reading' page is intercepted between readings, since I think that would create a clean slate so to speak, instead of piling reading upon reading -altho that possibly means less frantically made readings (don't we all do them?), which might mean less clicks on the website stats? But perhaps more of those better-thought-out, quality readings . .

That's as much as I can think of, not sure how easy or feasible these would be to implement though, just some things I have thought all this time I've been using the page . .
(oh, and since I didn't have the time to read everything mentioned already, I might be repeating some . .)
 

chingching

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maybe next to the line you can just have in text, no link, the name and number of the zhi gua. So they/we can look it up in forum archives or elsewhere on the net, but not have access to your full text. ?

ewald, yeah I gathered it might be too difficult, but actually if you programmed the whole thing as a wordpress plugin it would integrate with forum easily. hilary is this forum wordpress?
 

ewald

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The forum is not Wordpress. I think only the Answers blog is.
 

Trojina

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I think that most people like what we get used to, and I'm sure people here feel pretty good about the page as it is already . . Having said that, mostly in terms of visual aspects (not that I'm an expert but I know what works for me) I'd suggest keeping all the hexagrams' texts but having them in a unified page to scroll all together in one go. Hexagram symbols could be shown side by side then texts unfold in one column, perhaps with underlined/red the parts that relate to the particular casting. I like to see the hexagram appearing on screen in stages but after a single hit of the button but I like not having to write my question down . .

What else . . uhm, 'help with reading' button could take you straight to the hexagram index and something like 'learn the basics' button replace the current 'help' button. Also, both of these could go on the side of the hexagrams' text or under. I'd personally love also a link to a page listing all online translations but only if there is already a page like that somewhere on Clarity . . Lastly, it'd be nice if a 'New Reading' page is intercepted between readings, since I think that would create a clean slate so to speak, instead of piling reading upon reading -altho that possibly means less frantically made readings (don't we all do them?), which might mean less clicks on the website stats? But perhaps more of those better-thought-out, quality readings . .

That's as much as I can think of, not sure how easy or feasible these would be to implement though, just some things I have thought all this time I've been using the page . .
(oh, and since I didn't have the time to read everything mentioned already, I might be repeating some . .)
I'm worried reading through some previous posts that some of us are going to need private coaching to use this modernised system if it gets any more complex...I think i will anyway :mischief:

This, in bold, is a brilliant idea though...and it is important when designing this to actually know how people use SR in conjunction with the online casting facility. You don't see this unless you actually spend some time there.

The hexagram index feature is incredibly useful but I wonder how many newbies can actually find it. If they could link to it immediately they wouldn't need to post so many repetitive questions or very basic questions on SR and then more time could be given to actually sharing readings in SR. Currently a fair amount of time is spent in explaining basics which isn't necessary given all the pre existing info on the site
 

hilary

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I wouldn't actually put money on providing more easily-accessible information meaning fewer repetitive questions or less explaining of basics. Most people just like talking to people more than they like looking stuff up. I think you can go to more or less any forum on any topic and find a sticky saying, 'Please use the forum search to check if your question has already been asked!'

But it's still a very good idea anyway.

What we have so far...

Make it useful for experienced people by providing context

  • Provide links to, or at least mentions of, zhi gua (maybe... still not sure...)
  • Provide links to online translations (I imagine we can do that - just add a list of links to the text for each hexagram as a whole. Could link to articles about them, too. Oh, and if we link to LiSe then presto, there are your zhi gua links!)
  • Display all the line texts, not just the changing ones

This last one is tricky, because a big part of making it more user-friendly for beginners is not displaying all the line texts. How to compromise?

Simplest: keep a link to the old reading.

Next simplest: provide links to LiSe (and is there anyone else who has a respectable online translation where you can link directly to each hexagram? bearing in mind that linking to an online Wilhelm/Baynes would not be kind?) so you can click through and read the lot.

More complicated: display all the lines but highlight the ones that are changing and grey out the others, making it completely clear which to read. This would be a big departure from the code Ewald already has, though, so I don't know for sure if I can afford to hire him for long enough to create it...

Making it user-friendly

  • Have a prominent link to the reading in the main site navigation.
  • Make it readily printable. Maybe savable as a pdf.
  • Make it usable on smartphones. Another good point. I don't have one, so I keep forgetting how important this is nowadays.
  • Allow the user to enter a question and make that appear at the top of the reading results page. But don't make this compulsory.
  • A clear page between readings - that'll happen automatically, because the reading results are displayed on a new page.
  • Provide a 'learn the basics' link - yes, good idea. I think "but there is a 'learn' tab!" - but that's too far and too many clicks away. I wonder if it'd be a good idea to try to distill the real essentials down to the contents of a lightbox that would appear over the top of the reading page, so you could close it and go back to your reading...

Forum integration
The idea of something that copies your reading into a 'new thread' page is neat... but not very feasible, sorry. I'm sure Ewald could make it happen, but I seriously doubt I could afford to pay him for it ;) .

So what can we do instead to get the same sort of effect?

Give each reading a unique url so you can post a link to it.

Include at the end of each reading: 'To share your reading with the I Ching Community, go here [link to the Shared Readings 'new thread' page] and explain to people what you were asking about, and post your question, '[copy of question]' and Yi's answer, [62.2 to 32].' (Ewald, I'm guessing this is do-able, writing these things to the page the program generates, am I right?)

Include a direct link to the hexagram index - yes, we thought of that! Great minds think alike, and so do we. It should be possible to have a link directly to the hexagram search results page for your particular reading. (Very handy to have the same person design both...)

And other things...

Cast line by line, or all in one go? Different people have different preferences... well, I shall use my casting vote and go for one line at a time. I think slower is better just in general, and there's something valuable about the experience of watching a hexagram build and starting to relate to the inner trigram before you see the whole hexagram, and also this can be helpful to beginners as a visual reminder that line 1 is the bottom, and hexagrams 'grow'.

Visual appearance
Just two suggestions: something related to the book cover, or animated juggling rats. OK, juggling rats it is. Take your time over that part, Ewald, and send the bill directly to Trojan. (Unless anyone has alternative suggestions for what to click to generate a line?)
 

anemos

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Visual appearance
Just two suggestions: something related to the book cover, or animated juggling rats. OK, juggling rats it is. Take your time over that part, Ewald, and send the bill directly to Trojan. (Unless anyone has alternative suggestions for what to click to generate a line?)
The question is how far are you willing to go. Create an "environment" that supports the "ritual" of tossing or something more simpler ?

I liked the feeling of the option with the ball of marbles you had in the past.

as for the tab maybe something like




or the


or .... the logo of this site ??


$ 50 ... pm-ing to you my pay pal account :D
 

Trojina

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Just a rat holding a plain button then, that would do. Or you click the buttons on his jacket to get the hexagram.

I was hoping we wouldn't have the one line at a time deal...but I can't complain I suppose as I don't use the online reading for anything of much concern to me...only little trivial questions. I always seem to need to do a hand cast if I really need to know something.

Lately I found the online reading quite fun (and often accurate) for small things I couldn't be bothered shaking coins over.....and now, just as I made friends with it its all changing ! :cloud: huh !
 

Trojina

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I guess you can't please everyone. I didn't like that ball of marbles...it gave me too much choice and the point of the online cast is that it takes it all wonderfully out of your control so to me all ritual in online casting seems quite superfluous.

Its a whole different thing. No point trying to make one thing into another thing...

If I want ritual I'll make it easily without the computer. The computer can't simulate it for me with bowls of marbles.


still if we have to have it I'll stick with the rat, more authentic
 

pocossin

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Another small point, control codes intrude into the text of 64. Also, I wonder about how the hexagrams are selected. Hexagram 2 seems to be much more likely to occur than Hexagram 1. Did Margaret Pearson help with the coding? :)
 

hilary

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It's yarrow odds, so you'll see more of 2 as relating hexagram than anything else. And I will go look at 64 as well (having deduplicated 51).
 

ewald

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It looks to me that I can do everything Hilary has mentioned in her post.

I could perhaps do a checkbox "display hexagram lines not in the reading as well", and have those line texts still be gray, instead of black, if the checkbox is checked.

The disadvantage of having a Yin-Yang symbol for the casting button, is, that it is not clearly a button. That problem could perhaps be solved by putting a text "Cast" over it.
The first image that anemos posted might have copyright issues. I take it that the normal, black and white, Yin-Yang symbol is in the public domain.
 

hilary

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I like the checkbox idea!

Not so keen on the yin/yang symbol for the casting button, though, as it's such a giant anachronism. A plain button would be fine for now - after all, it's easy to change later.
 

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i've been experimenting with online casting for quite some time now and what i found out is that yarrow stalks method (like in LiSe's site) is more accurate most of the times.
I never tried yarrow stalks with actual sticks but for me virtual method sometimes is more accurate than traditional coins.
 

hilary

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If it's the yarrow odds you're looking for (increased likelihood of yang changing to yin rather than vice versa) then yes - the existing reading has this, and we'll have it in the new one too. I don't know if these odds are more authentic or more accurate, but I'm used to them!
 

gato

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no, i'm not talking about statistics , distribution theory or odds, i'm talking about results ( ranging from weather forecast to loto numbers, hard facts which cannot be contradicted )
 

hilary

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I understand that, but overall here we're talking about method of casting. Three things differentiate those: physical means used, statistical odds of getting different kinds of line, and the mind of the caster. And since we're talking about an online reading, it's only the odds we can tweak.
 
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I know this may sound over the top, but just to be creative wouldn't be cool to have the operation done in a flash setting. Say someone wants to have a reading, they click on a button and it takes them to a scene showing a husband and wife walking up to a hut to meet the village seer. The first brief scene would be a side shot of the two walking through the village. The next would be from behind the couple showing them approaching the hut. Outside of the hut, on each side of the entryway there are a couple of statutes - one dragon and one tiger. The next scene would be of the two walking up to the already seated seer and then sitting down for consultation. Next, you are prompted either option of asking a question by filling out the question slot or just meditate upon the matter and then hit the button for a hexagram. Then the flash would show the seer performing a yarrow stalk rite. As this is being done, your hexagram would show up in an area of the screen being built up from bottom to top. The lines would have a brush-mark look to them. When everything is done, you click a button to take you to your reading. I know this would be impractical, but I just got hit with a creative bug :).
 

buzzurro

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I think what you have at http://eclecticenergies.com/iching/lines.php is ideal for people who want to cast separately and look the text up online. If there actually is anyone who wants to do that... it seems an odd thing to do... does that page get any use, do you know?
As a matter of fact I never used this page, but it's very very cool! I should keep in mind, from now on, instead of perusing Ewald's e-book... :rolleyes:
I understand that, but overall here we're talking about method of casting. Three things differentiate those: physical means used, statistical odds of getting different kinds of line, and the mind of the caster. And since we're talking about an online reading, it's only the odds we can tweak.
I remember that when I was an absolute beginner I used to consult a certain online reading (can't remember the site right now! :eek:) which permits to choose between coins and yarrow odds. Although I hadn't the faintest idea what it meant, it seemed to me a cool feature. Nowadays I could go as far as suggesting three, or maybe even more options (coins, yarrow, marbles, possibly also yarrow with 48 stalks... :D)

Anyway, having clicked the preferred radio button, or accepted the default, then the picture on the 'cast' button would reflect the chosen method: a pretty BIG button with either 3 coins, or a bunch of yarrow...
...ok, not a great idea, but that's what I think...
Warm greetings to all
:bows:
 

cris

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My favourite online reading site is Clarity. I would in fact go so far as to say it is my favourite casting method AT ALL. I like it exactly as is - one button pressed, and the reading is done. It's proved to be so accurate in so many cases for me. I wouldn't change it. Is there any chance the current features could be kept, with the addition of alternative options?

Oh, and Ewald - love your site! I like the fact that readings can be cast but also entered in coins, lines and hex numbers. I consult it for every casting I toss, and often find the commentary enlightening.
 

hilary

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I know this may sound over the top, but just to be creative wouldn't be cool to have the operation done in a flash setting. Say someone wants to have a reading, they click on a button and it takes them to a scene showing a husband and wife walking up to a hut to meet the village seer. The first brief scene would be a side shot of the two walking through the village. The next would be from behind the couple showing them approaching the hut. Outside of the hut, on each side of the entryway there are a couple of statutes - one dragon and one tiger. The next scene would be of the two walking up to the already seated seer and then sitting down for consultation. Next, you are prompted either option of asking a question by filling out the question slot or just meditate upon the matter and then hit the button for a hexagram. Then the flash would show the seer performing a yarrow stalk rite. As this is being done, your hexagram would show up in an area of the screen being built up from bottom to top. The lines would have a brush-mark look to them. When everything is done, you click a button to take you to your reading. I know this would be impractical, but I just got hit with a creative bug :).
Alas, it would be impractical, but I do like your creative bug. Maybe one day you can get this made yourself... it might go nicely in desktop software, rather than trying to do it in Flash (which doesn't work on smartphones or tablets).
As a matter of fact I never used this page, but it's very very cool! I should keep in mind, from now on, instead of perusing Ewald's e-book... :rolleyes:
Or you could do both...
I remember that when I was an absolute beginner I used to consult a certain online reading (can't remember the site right now! :eek:) which permits to choose between coins and yarrow odds. Although I hadn't the faintest idea what it meant, it seemed to me a cool feature. Nowadays I could go as far as suggesting three, or maybe even more options (coins, yarrow, marbles, possibly also yarrow with 48 stalks... :D)
And maybe 6 coins, too, where you have 5 coins the same and one different, so you always have one and only one changing line. Or maybe not.

You can get a choice of yarrow or 3 coins chez LiSe... but then, come to think of it, you'd already know that, wouldn't you? ;)


My favourite online reading site is Clarity. I would in fact go so far as to say it is my favourite casting method AT ALL. I like it exactly as is - one button pressed, and the reading is done. It's proved to be so accurate in so many cases for me. I wouldn't change it. Is there any chance the current features could be kept, with the addition of alternative options?

Oh, and Ewald - love your site! I like the fact that readings can be cast but also entered in coins, lines and hex numbers. I consult it for every casting I toss, and often find the commentary enlightening.
Bamboo said she particularly likes the consultation here 'as is', too. I'll leave it in place just for you :) .
 

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