Flashy is an open-source, multi-dimensional flashcard application. I started working on Flashy a few years ago while I was studying Chinese. A big part of learning Chinese, especially the characters, is memorization. I built Flashy because I couldn’t find an app that supports “multi-dimensional” flashcards.

The codebase has been dormant for a long time. The server that was hosting the live version of the application was in a very poor state. This weekend I refactored the application and I am happy to announce that Flashy is back online.

WTF is a Multi-dimensional Flashcard?

Before computers, when you wanted to memorize something, you would grab an index card and write something on each side. When it comes to memorization, this is effective for 99% of all use cases. However, what if you wanted to learn three (or more) variations of something at the same time? With index cards, you would probably make multiple versions of a card that compare each variation.

Luckily, computers can operate with more than two dimensions. Unfortunately, I was unable to find any flashcard applications that supported more than two dimensions. All existing apps use the index card metaphor. This requires duplication of work to make a set of cards with many dimensions.

For Chinese, Flashy makes it easy to learn the character, meaning, and pronunciation of a word or phrase. The diagram below shows how this works.

Diagram showing how Flashy converts three items into six card pairs

The Road Ahead

Although the application is functional, there is a growing list of bugs and quirks. I hope to resolve these over the next few weeks in preparation for shipping the first release.

In the meantime, you can try Flashy today. I would love to hear what you think.