A few days ago another open source church worship project called ExpoSong had to shut down. It seems to me that they had a very small development team and were unable to continue developing their software. ExpoSong's last release was over 2 years ago, in December 2011, and I can only presume they took a rain check as 2014 came round and decided to officially stop the project rather than leave it hanging.
It's very sad when an open source project has to shut down, but I can completely understand their position. Without time or resources to continue development, it is better to officially stop development rather than leave it open in the dwindling hopes that someone may have the time to continue at a later stage.
For those of you who have come from ExpoSong, I have put together a step-by-step guide below to show you how to easily export all your songs from ExpoSong and import them all into OpenLP. Click the Read more link below if you can't see the guide.
We have finally had some time to sift through the responses to the survey, and below I present to you the summary of the survey. There are some pretty graphs (for those who like graphs) and we've included the percentages of multiple choice questions. Note that due to most of the questions allowing more than one answer, the sum of the percentages will exceed 100%.
And so, without further ado, here are the results:
Update: The survey has been closed. We received 381 responses, and are busy processing the responses.
Before I kick off the main gist of this post, I'd just like to announce that OpenLP 2.0.3 has finally made it to our Ubuntu PPA.
Unfortunately I was having computer hardware issues and I wasn't able to get the build process set up until a few days ago. I've remedied this problem by setting up the build process on our Continuous Integration server such that anyone can build packages for the PPA by simply clicking a button.
As per the title of this post, we have set up a survey to help us decide on what the most important features are that we need to work on. This survey is completely anonymous, but we do ask that you only fill it out once. We've also set maximum number of features to choose so that we are absolutely certain that these are the most important features. Have your say: complete the survey.
We are happy to announce another bugfix release of OpenLP 2.0: version 2.0.3 "Patched Petrus". This release fixes a regression in OpenLP 2.0.2 where services with notes could not be saved, and includes some updates to the translations. Windows and Mac OS X builds are on the download page as usual, and OpenLP will filter down to the various Linux distributions over the next week or so.
As more minor bugs are brought to our attention, we will endeavour to make future bugfix releases of OpenLP 2.0 until OpenLP 2.2 is released. If you think you have found a bug, please check the list of bugs on our Launchpad.net project page to see if yours already exists in our bug tracker: OpenLP at Launchpad.net
Speaking of OpenLP 2.2 (and on a more technical note), we have completed the migration of OpenLP from Python 2.7 to Python 3.3. This was a big step for us, as Python 3 is not backwards compatible with Python 2, and we had to make some changes to the codebase to take this into consideration.
NB: While there will be ongoing talk of OpenLP 2.2, please do not use it for church! OpenLP 2.1 (the development version of 2.2) is unstable and WILL crash in the middle of your service. OpenLP 2.1 is NOT compatible with OpenLP 2.0, you may lose some or even all of your data. As soon as the code is more stable, we will start our release cycles again with alpha and beta releases for folks to try out.
It has come to our attention recently that some folks, in order to use the goodness of LibreOffice 4.1 on Ubuntu, are using a LibreOffice PPA (personal package archive) which causes OpenLP to crash on startup. This seems to be due to a bug in the way LibreOffice is packaged in the PPA, as other Linux users on distributions such as Fedora and Arch are not encountering the problem.
Please do not install LibreOffice from the PPA, it WILL break OpenLP.
Folks, please note that OpenLP is currently not compatible with LibreOffice 4.x on Linux due to the fact that OpenLP uses Python 2.7 and LibreOffice uses Python 3.2 which are incompatible. The next version of OpenLP, version 2.2, will be compatible with LibreOffice 4.x but unfortunately there is no way to backport this compatibility.
In preparation for some changes that we have made in the next major version of OpenLP we had to make a change in the last release (2.0.2) in the way that service files are saved. With OpenLP 2.0.2 and higher, you will still be able to read your old service files, but earlier versions of OpenLP will not be able to open files created in later versions of OpenLP.
For example, OpenLP 2.0.2 will be able to open services files saved in OpenLP 2.0.1, but OpenLP 2.0.1 will not be able to open services files saved in OpenLP 2.0.2.
We're pleased to (finally) announce the latest bugfix release of OpenLP 2.0, version 2.0.2 (codename Debugged Deborah). In this release we have made over 30 tweaks, improvements and bug fixes all over OpenLP, but the areas that have seen the most work are the user interface and the song importers. This wouldn't have been possible without all the feedback and error reports we have recieved from you guys. They really do help!
Some of the bugs fixed in this release:
OpenLP does not start due to mimetypes bug
Theme in Song Editor is never reset
We should not warn when verse order is empty
Inconvenient focus in Song Editor when adding authors
Macro enabled presentations are not shown in OpenLP
Images always get black background when loaded from saved service file
"Display verses on live tool bar" ignored
Typing a path for a theme background causes a key error
Typing a path for a theme background does not set background
Adjust Line Spacing does not work
Configure shortcuts has two items called settings
Attach button on exception form does not work
Transtion + fast slide changes + ESC causes screen to open again
Delete button in Configure Formatting Tags gets focus
Importing an OSIS bible always results in English book names
Traceback in czech bible download Webbible import fails
Traceback when importing bible with disabled bible plugin in FTW
Non existing chapters result in traceback when searching webbibles
getFileNames corrupts file names that use "special chars"
Opensong Import - some lines missing
Foil Presenter Importer fails if no verses
SongShowPlus importer does not handle verse labels such as 1A
Issues importing Sunday Plus Files
OpenLP 1 database importer crashes when encountering control chars
Easy Worship importer progress bar is out
Cancelling character table dialogue in importer causes OpenLP to crash
For the full list of the changes we've made see: https://launchpad.net/openlp/+milestone/2.0.2
As usual, you can grab this release from the download page. The Mac OS X version, torrents, portable versions and various Linux packages will be updated over the next week or so.
A very big thanks to everybody who helped out, and thanks to you, our community, for your bug reports, giving support and helping others.
Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (New International Version)
As some of our users will have noted, LibreOffice 4.1 was released on the 25th of July. Included in this release are a whole lot of bug fixes and improvements, but one that stands out is an option that was added to Impress to aid in integration with OpenLP.
As of LibreOffice 4.0, the presenter console extension became part of the core of LibreOffice, and OpenLP was not able to turn this off. Tim, one of our core developers, submitted a bug to the LibreOffice bug tracker, and an Indian student named Manik Malhotra picked it up for part of his Google Summer of Code submission to LibreOffice. Many thanks to Tim for his ongoing push to make folks aware of the bug, and to Manik for writing the fix!
The Android app for OpenLP adds some nice fexibility to the operation of OpenLP. I personally use this to add songs "on the fly" from the stage on Sunday mornings. It is also useful for speakers that want to control what is being displayed and I'm sure many many other uses. We have recently had a few questions about the remote feature and the setup. You can find detailed instructions in the OpenLP documentation and also info for the Android app.
Tracking usage of OpenLP is incredibly difficult. Because it is an open source project, there are no registrations to check, you don't know how many times OpenLP has been copied and given to other people. So we don't ever have a true idea of how many churches are using OpenLP.
Tracking downloads is also quite difficult due to OpenLP being available in a number of distribution channels. We know roughly how many downloads there are of the Windows and OS X versions because most folks just download them from our SourceForge.net mirrors. There are a couple of BitTorrent downloads, which we cannot track, but it is such a small download that most folks just do a direct download.
Tracking downloads for the various Linux distributions is far tricker, as there are no download statistics available. We cannot retrieve any number from FreeBSD, Fedora, Ubuntu, Debian or Arch. Having said that, we do have a PPA (Personal Package Archive) on Launchpad.net for our Ubuntu users, and we are able to track those downloads.
So, using the data we do have available to us, we can surmise that as of the time of posting, OpenLP 2.0.1 has been downloaded 43,781 times. That's over forty thousand times! The real figure is probably a lot higher, thanks to the downloads we can't track, but this still gives us a rough idea of the impact of OpenLP.
OpenLP does exactly what it should: it displays lyrics, text, images, video, and Scripture. It works quietly behind the scenes without being a distraction during worship. This software is worth hundreds of dollars, but is, quite incredibly, free