New cards with 2 buttons instead of 3

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25 Apr, 2013 12:07 AM

I have a blank.

I know that:
1. Review cards have 4 buttons: Again | Hard | Good | Easy
2. New cards have 3 buttons: Again (1min) | Good (10 min) | Easy (4 days)

Why some new cards have only 2 buttons: Again (10 min) | Good (2 days)
That confuses me. Why do the number of buttons change on new cards?

I re-read the study chapter, but it does not say explicitly: "in this case you are presented with 3 buttons, and in that case you will presented with only 2 buttons because...".

I may have hit that a long time ago, but I don't remember. Thank you

  1. 1 Posted by Soren Bjornstad on 25 Apr, 2013 03:03 AM

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    If you only get two buttons, that is because Good and Easy would have been
    the same.

  2. 2 Posted by nomnex on 25 Apr, 2013 04:40 AM

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    a. Is it documented somewhere?

    b. How can Good and Easy have the same value for a New card (in case of a custom ease settings maybe?)

    c. Why Again has a delay of 10 min. vs. the expected 1 min.?

    I have been wondering is it was related to (manual chap. studying) "When cards are seen for the first time, they start at step one. This means answering Good on a card for the first time will show it one more time in 10 minutes, and the initial 1 minute step will be skipped"

    But, as soon as I rate a new card for the first time, it is my understanding that the next occurrence should be marked as a learning card (second counter from the left -- red color).

    So far, I had a few "two buttons" selection on re-learned cards, but I had never experienced it with new cards.

  3. 3 Posted by itraveller on 25 Apr, 2013 08:08 AM

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    With such situation I encountered only in a filtered deck, because its counter displays all relearning cards as new (when building).
    Like it or not you can see from the card history.

    I agree with Nomnex regarding of eliminating such ambiguity, but in this case it is a side effect of a more general problem - Reset Stats of (re)learning in a filtered deck.

  4. 4 Posted by nomnex on 25 Apr, 2013 09:54 AM

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    I have edited my post above. I was mixing up some elementary definitions.

    itraveller, thanks to point that out. I was probably (I can't recall for sure) using a filtered deck to study these new cards. After reading your comment and re-trying, I effectively see that new cards in a filtered deck keep using the first due count column (blue color), even after their first rating. Gee! What a confusion this morning!

    In my print-screen above the Show review time is:
    again (<10 min) | good (2 days)

    Soren replied that "good" and "easy" were using the same interval, hence two buttons only. however, there is still something I don't understand well. When I click Again successively, the card will always displays the same (<10 min) review time. Why doesn't it revert back to (1 min.) as the fist time?

    As a side note, as much as I like the 3 buttons of the learning cards concept, and the 4 buttons of the review cards, the intermittent 3~2 buttons on the Filtered decks confuse me a bit at the moment.

  5. 5 Posted by nomnex on 26 Apr, 2013 07:26 AM

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    Oh Dear! I was mixing up the steps in minutes of the New cards with the steps in minutes of the Lapses. I had completely forgotten about this lapses tab in the deck options. The Again (<10 min.) and the two buttons now make sens. If I add the explanation of itraveller about the filtered decks, it tallies.

  6. Support Staff 6 Posted by Damien Elmes on 26 Apr, 2013 08:51 AM

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    Glad to hear you've figured things out.

  7. 7 Posted by nomnex on 27 Apr, 2013 03:49 PM

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    Thanks. I though I had, but I did not. And I don't find my answer in the manual.

    I made 2 print-screens a the same note (recognition/recall cards) I exported as .txt. I deleted the cards in Anki each time. And I re-imported the .txt file twice.

    The first print-screen is what I expect. The card is new. First learning step, 3 buttons: again (1 min), good (10 min), easy (4 days). Second learning step: 3 buttons: again (1 min), easy (1 days), easy (4 days) --> if Good = review card.

    The second print-screen is the same new card, but in filtered deck. First learning step, 3 buttons as above. Second learning step: 2 buttons [I am struggling on this].

    There must be a simple explanation about the filtered deck, but I fail to see it. And it's not what Soren explained, that "Good and Easy" have the same interval interval in this case. And it is not a failed card using the laps settings either.

    The manual says the filtered deck uses the same schedule as the home deck (the cards in the print-screens graduate the same way, indeed), but it says nowhere (or does it?) that the second learning step of a new card in a filtered deck will show only 2 buttons.

    Can you explains me the ins and outs. Thanks.

  8. 8 Posted by nomnex on 27 Apr, 2013 04:01 PM

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    Just in case, I have edited the post above. I have removed the part about the "Again interval of 10 min". That was a mistake on my end.

  9. 9 Posted by itraveller on 27 Apr, 2013 08:55 PM

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    Hi Nomnex,

    You are absolutely right. This behavior is explained by the configuration of the next function, which is responsible for the amount of buttons in the card answer:

    Source: anki/

    def answerButtons(self, card):
            if card.odue:
                # normal review in dyn deck?
                if card.odid and card.queue == 2:
                    return 4
                conf = self._lapseConf(card)
                if card.type == 0 or len(conf['delays']) > 1:
                    return 3
                return 2
            elif card.queue == 2:
                return 4
                return 3

    It is evident that the condition (len (conf ['delays'])> 1) is completely determined by a series of 'relearning' steps (conf = self._lapseConf (card)) regardless of the card state - 'learning' or 'relearning'.

    Increase the number of 'relearning' steps and you'll see that everything will return to normal. Not big deal, but really weird..

    I think this area of ​​the program currently has a number of 'dangling' questions (total Number of the buttons, the reseting statistics of (re)learning cards), therefore Damien and not rushing with a detailed description of it in the manual.

  10. Support Staff 10 Posted by Damien Elmes on 28 Apr, 2013 06:45 AM

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    I've added a note about this behaviour to the todo, as it sounds like a bug rather than something that was intended.

  11. 11 Posted by nomnex on 28 Apr, 2013 01:56 PM

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    @itraveller well I thanks you the explanation. And, effectively, as soon as change Deck options > Lapses > Steps in min. > 1 10, I have the 3 buttons (again | good | easy). As you said, everything return to normal! With the default single relearning step, new & review cards in a filtered deck display only 2 buttons (again | good).

    @Damien, in the meantime, how about having one more re-learning default step in next build, and a note about it in the manual? itraveller last comment about the additional re-learning step rang a bell. I had the same question a long time ago, and I probably got the same advice. The Google group ankisrs is defunct, but I took a print-screen of the message.

  12. 12 Posted by nomnex on 28 Apr, 2013 03:48 PM

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    I am a bit lost here.

    If 1 re-learning step (default 10 min.) = 2 buttons, e.g. "Again (10 min.) | Good (2 d)"
    If 2 re-learning step (e.g. 10 min, 4320 min) = 3 buttons, e.g. "Again (10 min.) | Good (3 d) | Easy (2 d)"

    Changing the the learning steps in a deck options, also changes, in the filtered deck, the rating of the card for the same interval (above: Good (2 d) and Easy (2 d). Won't this affect the Answer buttons graph in the statistics?

    A second re-learning step of 3 days is extreme, but it looks awkward that "rating 2" = "3 days delay", and "rating 3" = "2 days delay".

    Is everything normal and expected, or do I not understand the functioning of a filtered deck? Shouldn't even the new/learning cards display 3 buttons, and the review cards 4 buttons, as in a normal review?

  13. 13 Posted by nomnex on 28 Apr, 2013 05:39 PM

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    I find the filtered deck and lapse features very ambitious.

    Due: If the filtered deck includes cards that were due for review, they will be shown like they would have been in their original deck - they appear in the review card count at the bottom of the screen, and there are four choices for how well you remembered

    Alright, only the review cards that are due will display 4 buttons. Why not all the review cards?

    Review Ahead: Early reviews are included in the new card count rather than the review count, and will be shown according to the number of relearning steps defined in the home deck (unless you have provided custom steps)

    So, in fact, it makes not difference that a card is a New/Learning card or a Review card (not due). It really confuses me, because there is not this separation anymore between new/learning cards = 3 buttons, and review (young/mature) cards = 4 buttons, as I see them in normal study. If I understand correctly, in a filtered deck, the review cards due have 4 buttons, all the other cards (no matter if they are new/learning/review--young & mature) have 2 or 3 buttons, according to the lapses setting. Plus, they are counted as new card (blue column).

    This means that if you have customized the number of relearning steps in the home deck, the non-due card may be shown more than once

    Sorry, I don't understand the above. Relearning steps occur after I fail a card (when I push 'Again') in a normal deck. Why the relearning steps affect the rating of the cards I study in a filtered deck? For the little I have tried tonight, it seems that the rating of the new/learning cards, in a filtered deck, is based on the steps of the new cards. But, the rating of the review cards (due? no-due?) is based on the lapses setting. So, in fact, review cards in a filtered deck are like "failed card?!?" i.e. in relearning mode, at the difference that they won't be re-scheduled for the next day. Am I correct on this one?

    If you have multiple steps, Anki will only consider the first answer when deciding the next delay, and like relearning in normal decks, "Good" and "Easy" differ only in the step change and not the resulting delay

    I took a look at the Lapses chapter

    The new interval is determined when you answer "Again" to a review card, not when the card finishes its relearning steps

    Okay. I know that when I fail a card, it will have to relearn it, and after the relearning step(s), the card will be schedule for a review the day after.

    For this reason, the "Good" and "Easy" buttons during relearing do not alter the interval again - they only control which step you are on


    If there is only a single step (the default), the "Easy" button will be hidden, since it would accomplish the same thing as the "Good" button


    If you have 2 or more steps, "Easy" is not hidden, to allow you to graduate cards from the queue before all of their steps are finished

    Okay. And still, I do not make sens of it. What does the lapses setting have to do with the rating of the cards I study in a filtered deck? Care to explain?

  14. 14 Posted by nomnex on 28 Apr, 2013 06:33 PM

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    In short, I think that's that. A filtered deck rates:
    1. the new/learning cards using the new cards steps.
    2. the review (young and mature) cards as if they were failed cards (or in re-learning steps), using the lapses steps. <--this one gave me a hard time to figure.
    3. the review cards that are due as normal reviews.

    And it does that almost transparently. Do I finally understand the magic of the filtered decks?

  15. 15 Posted by nomnex on 29 Apr, 2013 11:18 PM

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    Could somebody just confirm this (or my post above):
    In a filtered deck, review cards that are not due, are like lapses cards (i.e. they use the same steps, from the moment I build or rebuild the filtered deck).
    Thank you very much.

  16. 16 Posted by nomnex on 30 Apr, 2013 01:23 AM

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    Oh, I finally got it.

    Learning cards and non-due reviews are counted in the new card count, due to how the underlying implementation works

    Maybe it's just me, but a short introduction to explain the concept, in the chapter of the filtered decks, would have helped:

    By example:

    "In a normal deck, after you have failed a review cards, the card will be shown the next time using the lapses count".

    "In a filtered deck, the review cards that are not due are shown for the first time using the lapse count, and they are displayed with 3 buttons selections: That what we called "Lapses Review" in the Anki definition"".

    I was not used to filtered decks (except using them blindly). I found the document very frustrating to explain me the difference between "lapses...." in a normal review vs. in a filtered deck. Hence some of my odd questions "why a review cards shows only 3 buttons".
    I am used to study in Anki, and I couldn't make sens that some review cards I had never failed before, were presented as if I had, after I created a filtered deck.

  17. 17 Posted by nomnex on 30 Apr, 2013 07:28 AM

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    Happily closing this, as it's explain in the manual, but not in a manner (wording) I could make sens of it, before to have understood it.

    Reviewing Ahead

    If your search included cards that are not due, Anki will show the reviews ahead of time.

    Early reviews are included in the new card count rather than the review count, and will be shown according to the number of relearning steps defined in the home deck.

    Thanks again, itraveller, for the tip above, about the additional lapse step. And I now can finally play with my filtered decks all alone.

  18. nomnex closed this discussion on 30 Apr, 2013 07:29 AM.

  19. Support Staff 18 Posted by Damien Elmes on 17 May, 2013 01:33 AM

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    The 3->2 buttons bug should be fixed in the next release.

  20. Damien Elmes closed this discussion on 17 May, 2013 01:33 AM.

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