Reflections and Projections

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 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.

Version 1.2.5 is available for download

This is a fairly minor update release with the following changes:

  • Prevent the creation of the ".lit" file in the openlp.exe directory which causes Windows 7 issues
  • Correction made to the bundled PPT presentation
  • Correction made to display configured Bible permission.
  • Audio component updated due to bugfixes

PC-BSD users rejoice!

I'm very happy to tell everyone who uses PC-BSD and is looking for free church presentation software for PC-BSD that OpenLP is now available for that platform as well. Kris Moore of PC-BSD has kindly packaged OpenLP for us, and you can find the package on Many thanks to Kris for helping get OpenLP onto another platform!

**FLAG DAY** Database schema changes in trunk revision 956

Revision 956 commits code to change the database schema for the way song information is stored.  This is to fix a previous oversight with alternative titles (they work and are stored correctly now) and to add the ability to link media files to songs.

When updating to this or any later revision your old database will crash OpenLP.  To prevent this from happening:

  • Move or rename your existing database (in ~/.openlp/data/songs or ~/.local/share/openlp/songs on Linux or %APPDATA%\openlp\data\songs on Windows)
  • Open OpenLP to automatically create a database with the new schema
  • Import your old data by selecting  File -> Import -> OpenLP v2 Songs from the menu in the top left of OpenLP
  • Find your old database and click Open
  • Your data will be imported.  This may take a while with no visible progress feedback.
  • When the import is finished a message box will say this is the case.

Being able to play tracks with songs is one of the few remaining version 1 features left to implement in version 2 and this change allows us to start building that feature.

OpenSong import for v2.0

Finally - I found time to write some code!  We can now import OpenSong format songs to the development version of OpenLP2 (as of revision 951)

It will import from straight text files, or from ZIP files containing loads of OpenSong files.  Note that, unfortunately, there's something weird about importing files with non-ascii characters in their filenames from zipfiles which I haven't got to the bottom of yet.  This causes the importer to die horribly with unicode errors.. so that's next on the list to fix!

Anyway, testers - have at it!

OpenLP 2.0 Release Cycle

As some folks might have noticed, we released OpenLP 1.9.2 "Hairy Habakkak" (aka Alpha 2) about three months after we released our first alpha release. The more adventurous folk might have even noticed that on the developers' wiki, the rest of the releases are all aimed to be about 3 months apart.

While we aren't 100% set to those timelines, we have mostly decided to get a new release out every 3 months, for a few reasons:

  1. Firstly, to show people that we're actively working on version 2.0. I think a lot of folk wondered about it, since we were making a lot of noise, but no one had seen anything yet.
  2. Secondly, to widen our testing. The more folks who test OpenLP and find bugs, the less bugs there will be in the final version.
  3. Thirdly, to give ourselves a deadline. This helps us as developers to have a goal to aim for, and motivate us to accomplish certain tasks by the release date.

With this all in mind, we'll be having a developer's meeting at the end of August, to asses our progress and see if we want to make a release happen at the end of September, and what will be included in that release out of all the features we planned to develop. These developer meetings are open to anyone who wants to attend, are usually announced on the developer mailing list, and held in our IRC channel.

You can read up on our proposed releases on our developer wiki. Please note that these are NOT finalised, they simply serve as a guide for what we want to achieve.

Alpha 2 Released - OpenLP 1.9.2 "Hairy Habakkuk"

This morning we are pleased to announce the release of OpenLP 2.0 Alpha 2!

Please remember to read through the Frequently Asked Questions before using OpenLP - it answers many questions you might have about the new version. The download page will be updated later today.

This release brings a number of improvements and bug fixes since release 1 as well as a lot on new features.  Since Alpha 1 there have been two major changes which will effect those upgrading.

  • Alpha 1 Saved Service files are not compatible with the new version
  • All configuration settings will have been lost and will need to be set up agan. Themes are not effected by this.

New Features since Alpha 1

  • Web Interface to allow remote access.
  • Basic Song book imports have been developed and will be improved in later releases,  (Requires OpenOffice)
  • Many UI changes and improvements.
  • Themes now can control their line spacing.
  • UI is now translatable, thanks to the hard work from Christian Richter, Meinert Jordan and Frode Woldsund.

Download and enjoy!

350 Fans and counting!

OpenLP has hit yet another milestone, 350 Facebook Fans. While not scientific, it appears that OpenLP's popularity is ever increasing as the developers continue chugging along with version 2. There are constant improvements being made, feature request being filled, and I think the developers even find time to sleep and have a life on occasion.

As you can see OpenLP 2 is running very nicely on Ubuntu.

Please be advised that version 2.0 is still in the alpha stage. It will likely crash and do strange things without warning, so we can use all the testers that have the time to try things out. If you are interested in trying out OpenLP 2.0 check out the FAQ . It would not be advised to depend on version 2.0 for your every day needs just yet.

Please try OpenLP 2.0 out and help us make it the best release possible. Also, feel free to join us in chat anytime.

Web control, text over video plus more - Latest v2 update

Being a rainy public holiday here in the UK, I decided it would be a good time to update you all on v2, since we've now sailed past revision 800 and there have been a number of changes since the last update.

I've been continuing to work on Song Imports and have now added the ability to import Word/Writer and Powerpoint/Impress documents via an interface with The import itself is fairly basic and makes some assumptions on the format of the file, but will hopefully save some typing in many cases. I've also worked on the remote interface and now made it possible to control OpenLP with a web browser. This will require the remote plugin to be enabled and then connecting to http://localhost:4316. It's very basic at the moment, and it doesn't have any inbuilt security so if your church computer is on the internet or public network then you will need to consider the risks.

Tim has been battling with text over video and has got it working on some systems, although not on all - but we're hoping to find a solution for all platforms soon. He has also given us line spacing adjustments, the ability to override the output resolution if preparing a service for a computer with a different setup, the show desktop and theme output buttons are now working, some nice drag and drop improvements and an improved Nursery Alert system.

Meanwhile Jon has been working on saving the application layout so everything looks the same as when you last ran it, a recent file list and a fair bit of cleaning up after the mess some of us other devs leave behind :)

Raoul has made some improvements to the song editor to allow author names to be typed in and auto-completed, which is easier than choosing from a big list. Finally, in development are also some internationalisation fixes, song import wizard improvements and one developer has also been experimenting with spell-check, but we'll have to wait and see if this makes it into the final version.

Alpha 2 is still a fair way off, but as you can see there are going to be a good number of improvements. If you want to see what we're hoping to achieve, then please check out our Milestone page