Reflections and Projections

OpenLP now Available for Arch Linux

OpenLP is now available in the Arch User Repository (AUR). If you are an Arch user I'm sure you are familiar with the AUR, but just in case check out the wiki on the AUR. If you are using Yaourt to install from the AUR a simple 'yaourt -S openlp' will install OpenLP 1.9.3 (Alpha 3). I have used OpenLP some on Arch Linux and I am extremely impressed even using a fairly heavey desktop like KDE, Arch and OpenLP fly.

We would like to think "floft" for making this happen for OpenLP. floft, we would love for you to contact us so we could give you more formal recognition for this great contribution to the OpenLP community.

Support Tracker back up and running

I've just finished setting up a new support tracker so that those folks who want to send e-mails to "support (at) openlp.org" can do so. Unfortunately I noticed as I was setting it up, that people have been sending mail to that address, but due to our old support tracking software falling over, we didn't see those e-mails. Hopefully now this should be fixed.

Please remember, however, that the fastest and easiest way to get support is via the Live IRC Chat page.

OpenLP featured on the Geeks and God podcast!

I'm really excited to let everyone know that recently I was interviewed by Mark Shropshire of the Geeks and God podcast for their October podcast! If you want to hear my funny voice and weird accent, go right along to Episode 135 and listen the interview.

OpenLP 2 Alpha 3 Released! (v1.9.3 - "Dashing Daniel")

We are pleased to announce the release of the third alpha version of OpenLP!

It has been three months since our last alpha release, and the developers have been working hard to fix bugs and add new features. We're getting ever closer to a complete application, and there are already enough finished features that some Churches are using the alpha releases in their Sunday Services. We hope more people will be willing to give this new version a try. Read on for more details about this release.

*Note, if upgrading from 1.9.2 you will need to convert your song database, or OpenLP will fail to start.*

The complete list of features can be seen on the Version 2.0 Features page of the developers' wiki. Some of the new features we have been working on for this release are:

  • More song imports have been added, including openlp.org 1.x and OpenLP 2.0, OpenSong, CCLI, Words of Worship and EasyWorship.
  • The display code has been rewritten, and as a result video backgrounds are possible as well as text formatting.
  • A lot of effort has been put into internationalization. Some additional languages are now available, although some of those available within OpenLP are incomplete. If you would like to help translate your language, more information is on our wiki.
  • Spell checking within the song editor.

Important Note

If you have been running a previous release, then you will need to be aware of a few changes:

  1. The songs database has been changed and will cause OpenLP to crash. Details to upgrade this are in a previous blog post
  2. Due to the display code changes, your themes may no longer work the same. You will need to review your themes to check they are OK.
  3. In addition, the theme indent and the transparent background options have been removed.
  4. Presentations may need to be reloaded to rebuild their thumbnail cache
  5. The user interface has changed in places, so take the time to familiarize yourself with the new layout

Version 1.x Users

If you are upgrading from v1, it is now possible to import your song database direct from the Song Import menu option. At the file open dialog, enter:

%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Application Data\openlp.org\Data\songs.olp

Testing

This version is still in alpha. Although quite stable now, it is still incomplete and not completely tested. Some bugs may exist and some features may be missing or not working as expected. We would very much like you to report any problems you find at Launchpad.net

Any questions, please *first* check the Frequently Asked Questions, and then, if you cannot find a suitable answer to your question, contact us on IRC via the Contact Us menu on the left. (Ask a question in IRC that is already answered in the FAQ at your peril - the developers don't like repeating themselves! :)

We are now starting work on our next alpha, which we're hoping will be our last before we go beta, and are aiming for a Christmas release. Check our Milestone page to follow progress. Please remember that dates/milestones may change as the developers work in their spare time.

Download

To download this version, please go to the Development Release section of the Download page.

If the 1.9.3 version for your system is not there yet, please check back in a day or two as the packagers work to complete their builds.

Finally, a big thank you to the developers, testers and translators for the work that has gone into this release.

Version 1.2.6 available for download

Version 1.2.6 is a small bug fix release to enhance the Powerpoint handling capability with MS Office version 2007. This should make some of you out there still running version 1 a bit happier :)

Translating OpenLP 2.0

It's been very quiet on the translation front for a while now, but rest assured, we've been working hard behind the scenes to get OpenLP's internationlisation abilities top notch. We now have the most of the strings in OpenLP updated and included in the translation files.

Translators are welcome to start working on the translation for their language! The next planned release, Alpha 3 aka "Dashing Daniel", is just around the corner (only 9 days till release), and while that doesn't give us much time, we can at least make a start. The translations will be included in this release. Lets GO!

Important Note: There is a string openlp/core/utils/languagemanager.py, "English". This string is meant to be your language's name, in your language. For example, in the German translation file, you would translate this string to "Deutsch".

If you'd like to join the translation team, please see the Getting Started page on the wiki.

500 Facebook fans!

With OpenLP version 2.0 development heading fast to another alpha release, the popularity of OpenLP seems to also be rising. Granted, using Facebook as a popularity meter may not be the best way to tell, but seems pretty good to us. One of the most notable changes that has happened recently has been major changes to the output display. With the next release you should see working text over video, text enhancements (bold text, text colors, etc) and spell checking. I really look forward to the spell checking because there is something pretty embarrassing about looking up from the stage on Sunday morning realizing that you misspelled something.

The songs plug in has also seen some improvements. Alternate song titles are now working and also the ability to link media files to songs. Personally I have also been playing around with the remote plug in. It has a lot of uses but one that I have seen is using it for nursery workers to flash something on screen when they may need a little parental help.

OpenLP from a user's standpoint has really come a long way in the last few months. I came to OpenLP from using a rather expensive “boxed” software solution and OpenLP is set to absolutely blow it out of the water for features and not to mention price. Then combine that with the relatively low system requirements versus the others, and its simply amazing what OpenLP is set to accomplish.

We can always use testers, especially as OpenLP nears completion. Please check out the download section of the site to download the latest alpha release. For more information on 2.0 check out the OpenLP 2.0 specific section of the forum and always feel free to hangout with many developers and users in chat on #openlp.org on freenode or check out the webchat option.

Fedora Weekly Build

For anyone who wants to keep up to date with regular builds I will be updating my personal repository which is compatible with Package Manager.  The repos definition can be found at http://repos.fedorapeople.org/repos/trb143/OpenLP/.

To obtain this version instead of the normal Fedora updates you will need to use "--disablerepo=updates"

Add this and you will get regular updates outside the normal build cycles.

Bugs for these builds should be logged on Launchpad or IRC not bugzilla.

w00t! Revision 1000!

I'm proud to announce that OpenLP 2.0 reached revision 1000 on Sunday evening. That means that there are over 1000 features, improvements or bugfixes in OpenLP 2.0.

One of the latest new features that was added to OpenLP is a Song Import Wizard. Those who downloaded and installed Alpha 2 "Hairy Habakkak" would have noticed that there was a Song Import Wizard in there, but it didn't seem to work. This is because it was simply a shell, and had no actual functionality. I'm glad to say that this has been changed, and in Alpha 3 "Dashing Daniel" the Song Import Wizard will work.

As usual, those folks running Ubuntu or one of it's derivatives can get revision 1000 out of our developer PPA, and those who are brave enough to download the source code and get it up and running too. For once, Windows users can also try out revision 1000 via a special Windows build. Please note that this will overwrite your existing installation of OpenLP 2.0, so make sure you make backups first.

New Output Display for 2.x

Following 2 months of work, the display and text rendering code has been replaced. Due to the magnitude of the change there may still be bugs, so please report them in the usual way.

These changed allow a number of significant new features to become available:

  • Text over video now works correctly.
  • Changeable image and video backgrounds now have a proper start and finish.
  • Text enhancements are now available like colours and styles (bold, italic, etc).
  • Spell checker for songs and custom slides.

Unfortunately we've had to remove two theme features as they are no longer possible: transparent backgrounds, which was an early attempt to implement text over video, and indentation for line wrapping. Any transparent themes will automatically be converted to a black background.

Also note that themes may now display slightly differently as we are using a different display technology.

To access the new text enhancements, edit either a song or a custom slide and you'll see a new menu has been added to the right-click context menu of the edit box. This will allow tags to be inserted as a pair or wrapped round selected text. We will no doubt implement a nice WYSIWYG editor in a future release. Eventually we'll even allow the user to define their own tags, so that they can add styles to their slides.

From a developer's point of view to code is now much simpler and easier to maintain going forward. The new code is based on a web browser so HTML tags now can be added to text for display. Tags are implemented using a non-HTML tagging mechanism, so that it is easier to work with the tags and the text.

As an additional bonus, I have added a spellcheck to the songs and custom editors.  It makes use of the PyEnchant libraries, so Linux users will need to add "python-enchant" (Fedora and Ubuntu) from their code repositories, and Windows users will have to download the library from http://www.rfk.id.au/software/pyenchant/download.html. The builds will include this library automatically.

The screenshot you see here of the development team's favourite song is an example of what we can achieve.