Hi y’all and especially @Neicudi,
so, I started using Kitsun recently and really like it. Works much better for me than Anki, I love the community decks, the openness about suggestions from the community and so on and so forth.
One thing that really worries me and almost made me not even do the trial: there is no export function.
I do plan to buy the lifetime subscription and use this platform for years to come.
Let me try to explain why I still think an export function, including community decks, is very important.
For learning, it’s inherent that users invest A LOT of time in the platform and the decks (even when “only” using community decks). Without an export function users are completely dependent on the platform.
I read in another thread that you intend to keep the site running even when you’re the only person left using it. I believe you, but I still think users should be able to take their progress with them.
- What if they don’t like where the service is going?
- Users shouldn’t have to rely to on someone else’s backups they don’t know anything about.
- What if you are offered enough money to sell the platform and it changes dramatically?
- What happens to the service in case you can’t work on it anymore? Unforeseen life changes or accidents do happen.
Reuse, remix, contribute
I totally get that you want to protect the content people put a lot of work into and don’t want a trillion copies of decks in your database with non or only minor changes.
I still think users should be able to export community decks:
- Most community decks are based on other decks or books anyway. Here’s my open source heart coming through. I think it’s fair to give back to the community and enable people to reuse and remix.
- If anyone want’s to go in a completely different direction with a deck they should be able to do so. It’s a total waste of time to do everything from scratch when there is a perfectly fine base to start on.
- What happens if a deck creator abandons a deck? Probably you could assign it to someone else manually. But is that ok, in case the original author comes back some day? Are there any thoughts or rules about that already? Wouldn’t an official “copy and continue” feature be cleaner? Maybe manually requested and approved so it doesn’t get out of hand. Ideally offer users of the deck to switch to the new one while keeping their progress.
- If a content creator is actively working on and maintaining a deck I think it doesn’t make any difference for their patreon or whatever they set up. People who want to give back or contribute generally want to reward the effort and are glad they don’t have to do it themselves. At least I feel even more compelled to contribute if the content is accessible and doesn’t prevent me from using it any way I want.
- If I really want to get the data out of here, you know I can just scrape it. By providing an export function the database access happens on your own terms. Maybe users could request an export in the settings and you can just run it within 2 days when load on the server is low. Or regularly generate a zip-file of decks automatically if there were changes so the user progress is just a small json/csv/whatever file to export right away.
- There’s no need to provide a one-button solution for copying a community deck into a user’s personal decks if that’s what worries you. Yet I’d rather see you encouraging users to adhere to best practices (e.g. contributing and suggesting changes instead of just copying decks) by nudging, UI design, moderating and communicating than by completely forbidding things.
- It’s probably not easy and needs to be thought about thoroughly to make it work, but it would be awesome if users could add their own stuff to community decks. Like layouts or additional fields while still using the original fields. Possibly even make those optionally available to the community. That may further prevent unnecessary copying and split the maintenance effort between the deck creator and contributors.
I know this was a lot of text, thank you for taking your time to read it all.
Let me add that I really love Kitsun and that I don’t want to be negative, but contribute ideas about how to make it even better. I’m happy to discuss and brainstorm ideas and features.