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What's the Spanish for "Car-Crash"?
on 31 December 2013
This is a disaster. It should be a great idea: to carry your Spanish-English dictionary wherever you go, to be able to look up any Spanish word, if you are in Argentina, Spain, or Costa Rica. The trouble is that the search engine is abysmally designed.
I wanted to know the difference between "ajo" and "ajillo". The Kindle chugged away for ages, producing dozens of hits on "abajo" and "trabajo", before finally displaying "ajo" (and you have to be be quite alert, to spot where the word entries occur in the dictionary).
On another occasion, I searched for a word beginning with "ocu-". The dictionary turned up hundreds of hits with ""docu-", before running out of juice, well before getting to the letter "O" in the dictionary. I was lucky with "ajo", because it begins with "A".
It's blindingly obvious (but not to the idiots who designed this train-wreck, apparently) that this is absolutely NOT the way to design a Kindle dictionary. Anyone who consults a dictionary is looking for an exact word, or for a word beginning with a particular set of letters, NEVER for a string of letters within a word (i.e. after the first letter). If I search for "castillo", I should go directly there, rather than waiting five minutes, and, if I enter just the string "CAST-", I should see "casta" first, without excavating the entire dictionary.
Update, 2015: I haven't bought another foreign language dictionary for my Kindle since I sort of splurged on Spanish, German, Italian and French and found the problems described. I haven't noticed that the Kindle's search engine has improved in the interim. What has occurred to me is that the problem with Kindle dictionaries (not the built-in ones, but the purchased ones) and, I suppose, the Kindle's search engine in general is that they behave like traditional tape-drives, which can be accessed only sequentially. They are the basic sequential data sets, in computing terms, incredibly primitive. The only way to access them is to start at the beginning. There is no other way to use a tape-drive.
Why does Kindle architecture, or the architecture used by people providing books for Kindle, still rely on sequential access, as used by tape-drives?