Obviously I mean “the system as it exists right now” only adds a specific amount of time to each item once you complete it based on its current level.
I wasn’t saying the idea of algorithmically “smoothing” the distribution was impossible.
Personally I would find it jarring to not be able to predict how long an item would take to come back for review, but I’m used to the system as it is. I maintained max speed for about half of the levels the first time I went through WK.
I have the timeline script installed, so I guess I haven’t felt that it was unpredictable for some time. You do an item, you know the precise hour when it will return. If you have the timeline installed, you can see where it will appear as well.
Lumpiness is always going to happen to some extent, unless someone literally stays on WaniKani 24 hours a day (or 16 hours a day or 8 hours a day, with your proposed algorithm, whatever it would be for a given person). If you have any times when you can’t do reviews, they will start to build up in the queue and then you’ve got a big lump to do. That would happen occasionally even if you had an algorithm trying to space them out for you. It might happen less, sure.
It seems like a lot of your frustration stems from not understanding how the system works. Once you know how it works, you know exactly why you have (or don’t have) reviews at a given time.
I’ll try to explain how it works briefly: For each level, you need to get 90% of the kanji to Guru. Some of the kanji you need to Guru are blocked by radicals that you need to Guru first. So the fastest way through a level is to Guru the new radicals ASAP, and then Guru the kanji that use those radicals ASAP (assuming that by then, you’ll have Guru’d most/all of the kanji that were available at the start of the level).
Getting an item to Guru means reviewing it after 4, 8, 24, and 48 hours. You can try to time your reviews to get to the items on your “critical path” as soon as they come up. I find that it works best to learn items in the morning, so I can do the 4- and 8- hour reviews in the same day, or in the early evening so I can do the 4-hour review at night, and the 8-hour review the following morning.
Sometimes it happens that you fail a few too many reviews late in a level, and have to wait up to three days (for the 24-hour and 48-hour reviews) to get another crack at those items. It’s a bummer, but that’s life. After level 20 or so, such delays will feel like a break.
I’d recommend the Ultimate Timeline and Dashboard Progress Plus scripts. These will help you understand exactly what you need to do to finish your current level, and when your reviews are coming up:
Yeah, I saw. Frankly, I think such a change is overkill and wouldn’t be helpful to most people. Making it a user option is fine for not confusing people that would rather keep the simpler approach, but unless a large percentage of the user base (or potential user base) would benefit from this new approach, it’s not worth doing. I obviously don’t have any insight in WaniKani’s business, but my guess is that it wouldn’t have a good ROI.
Oh, and one more thing. Even though I don’t agree with the suggestion, there’s no reason you shouldn’t be allowed to make that suggestion of course. So it’s worth mentioning that the WaniKani staff barely checks the forums for feedback. Your suggestion is much more likely to be seen if you send them an email.