Yomichan is no longer maintained?

Last week, it was announced that Yomichan will no longer be maintained. I never personally used it but I intended to get into it just last week as well. I see many people using and liking it, so it’s probably a pity that it is being discontinued.

I was wondering what this means for using it properly. Is this open source and will be maintained elsewhere or will there be a breaking change around the corner with Firefox or Chromium or Anki and it won’t work anymore?

It seems fairly involved to get into it and learn how to handle it and it seems inefficient to attempt that if it is no longer maintained without people that will do bug fixes in the future. Are there alternatives or should I still get Yomichan?

13 Likes

It is open source, but unless someone forks it and maintains the fork it will no longer be maintained. That’s the nature of open source, unfortunately, but also expectedly - you’re relying on people being willing to maintain what you use, and if they decide not to anymore, that’s their right. You get exactly what you pay for in terms of guarantees - which is to say, none at all.

What that means in practice is basically that Yomichan will keep working until it doesn’t. Maybe Firefox releases an update next month that breaks it. Maybe there won’t be any issues for the next ten years. You can’t know in advance, but when it breaks, it breaks.

That said, it’s still a good plugin. I’m not sure why you think it’s involved to get into, it’s fairly plug and play, you just install the plugin, install some dictionaries, and use it.

15 Likes

That is a pity. That is probably one of the most helpful things I’ve used. Make hundreds of check ups a day, and have for the past two years.

6 Likes

It’s actually not that hard to install and get to use, I hope it doesn’t break anytime soon. Hopefully someone will maintain it though. I don’t know what I’d do without it to be honest

1 Like

The code is open-sourced here – GitHub - FooSoft/yomichan: Japanese pop-up dictionary extension for Chrome and Firefox., but I am not certain that I can fix bugs even if it happens.

JJ dictionaries can installed, but have to be found elsewhere. I hoped for a better Kanji dictionary, though. I have to use mobile app instead to navigate Kanji; otherwise websites like Jisho or Wiktionary.

2 Likes

It feels a bit like on stackexchange, when I say that I found something difficult and people tell me that “no, no, you’re mistaken, it’s actually not difficult” and I think thanks for all the :fish:. I tried to establish a connection with Anki and it didn’t work. Maybe I’m dumb about it …

In any case, I guess I will refrain from using it at least for the time being.

2 Likes

I understand what you mean, i find anki difficult to use too and i initially thought yomi chan would be a long process but it actually was pretty easy. Maybe you can check a youtube video or something, see if it’s in your realm

1 Like

Ah, I was thinking only about the dictionary side of it. I can’t say I’ve used the Anki integration so I can’t be of much help there, sorry.

5 Likes

Such is open source, but at least it means you can get as much as you put in in terms of out output if want to make it work for you too; perfectly balanced, as all things should be.

2 Likes

The setup took me a while too. I was following this guide to mine anime cards. I did finally get it set up but it took me several tries and I still do some parts manually. I don’t use Yomichan’s mouse-over functionality very often. I just like using it to make flash cards. But as far as I know, everything it does, you could do yourself in theory. It’d just take a lot longer.

4 Likes

I had Japanese.io for a while, which has both free features and premium features (which include an expanded library of Japanese works to read EDIT: my bad, it doesn’t; it’s more audiobooks and extra features like OCR – check the link for the full details, since my memory’s obviously wrong). I hardly used it because I’m on a Mac, so tapping to look things up with gestures is possible and convenient (and I generally prefer the definitions from the dictionaries I own). However, from what I could see, it looked pretty good, and you can (if you want) export stuff to Anki, if I’m not wrong. (I don’t use SRS, but I know it’s an important tool for many people, so I’m just highlighting that fact.)

Yomichan might still be better, but since Japanese.io is available for free, looks pretty polished and is ultimately funded by an optional paid plan (i.e. maintenance is not likely to go down any time soon), I figured I’d just bring it up. Still, feel free to say so if there’s something it lacks that would be a basic feature on Yomichan – I’ve never used Yomichan, so I don’t know what the difference is.

3 Likes

thanks for posting here, I had no ideia about it being discontinued :smiling_face_with_tear:

I use it everyday for nhk easy news and watching anime with jp subtitles and alass script, very handy for me.

4 Likes

Damn, I use Yomichan all the time. Might look into forking it tbh, just to keep it ticking over, probably not to add features.

5 Likes

This is a real bummer, yomichan has been a lifesaver for me when reading stuff online and when playing visual novels. The anki integration is cool, but is more of an extra thing than a core feature.

Then main thing I really liked was just using it as a pop-up dictionary (with dictionaries you pick, JE or JJ, plus some kanji ones), which a few other services can also do as well. If you want a polished alternative that has all the bells and whistles (especially the anki connection), I’ve seen some people recommend migaku.

That’s a paid service though, so I’ll probably keep using yomichan until it eventually stops functioning or someone decides to maintain a new fork

1 Like

I don’t fully understand. I’ve always thought the appeal of Yomichan is its Anki integration but it seems from what people say it is more about the pop-up dictionary? If that is the case, aren’t there suitable alternatives? I’ve been using an addon called 10ten for a while and am very happy with it.

4 Likes

is it the same as yomichan pressing shift to appear the pop window?

It’s mostly the pop-up dictionary I personally use it for, yes. I don’t really use Anki to begin with. Yomichan just makes reading stuff on the Internet a lot easier because I don’t have to switch back and forth between tabs to look up words I don’t know, but can instead just hold shift and get JP→JP definitions with JP→EN as a backup (and even do so within the pop-up dictionary if it includes a term I’m not familiar with).

Does 10ten also include monolingual dictionaries that you know of? I’ve also seen rikaikun as an alternative but that seems to only be JP→EN.

2 Likes

:exploding_head:

On a more serious note, Yomichan is mostly in JS/HTML so anyone with a bit of know-how in both + knowing how Mozilla’s plugin APIs work should be able to maintain it.

The fact that it won’t be actively maintained is not the end of the world or a reason for people to suddenly drop it completely. It’s mostly just this

In order words, we can keep using it, but when it stops working, we’ll know why.

EDIT: I starred the project and might look into it later, but no promises. Could use some JS experience, to be honest.

7 Likes

Japanese.io is pretty good for reading texts and manga, but (in my opinion) it is a bit limited as a vocab mining tool.

What I really like about it is that it tracks what you clicked, so you can see what the most frequently looked up words in a given day, week or month are, but unfortunately there is no ‘all time’ option. I feel like it would be beneficial to have a larger sample size than just a month’s worth of lookups (which in my case doesn’t represent that much reading, unfortunately).

And then there is the option to create a vocab list (based on a text you upload) containing only the words you don’t know yet. Unfortunately you can’t sort this vocab list by frequency, nor can you export it.

It’s so tantalising! It has all these great features, but I can’t really use them because they only let you access superficial functionality, instead of giving you more control.

1 Like

One of the GitHub users mentioned in the blog post has been making most of the changes over the last couple years anyway. Hopefully that individual forks it and continues working on it, though if that was the plan I would have expected that conversation/decision to have happened before the announcement, so who knows.

6 Likes