Reflections and Projections

Fedora Packaging

OpenLP has now been sponsored by Fedora and the Alpha 1 release is now available in the testing repository under the tag OpenLP-1.9.1.1-1.fc12.

If you are use Fedora give it a go and provide feed back.

Post Alpha 1 changes - so far!

Following the success of alpha1 and comments in testing, a number of improvements have been added:

  • Images and bible verses can be added to existing service manager items (of the same type) by using the context menu within the plugin.
  • It is now possible to re-order and delete images within an Image service item.
  • In the latest release it is possible to add multiple songs, presentations, media and custom items to the service manager.  This can be achieved either by drag and drop or the context menu.
  • In single screen mode it is possible to turn off the main display. This would be useful setting up a service on a single screen machine.

Please note that services saved in alpha1 will not be able to be loaded by a post alpha1 build.  This is due to internal changes in the storage of the data.  I hoped that post alpha2 the format will be backward compatible.

Two Quick Converters

A while ago I wrote two scripts as part of the OpenLP 2.0 rewrite, to convert the openlp.org 1.0 songs database and bible files to OpenLP 2.0 format. Unfortunately these scripts were Linux/Unix-only until recently, because I couldn't get the SQLite 2.8 module for Python compiled on Windows.

However, Jonathan Corwin did some digging, and found out how to do it, and so I've compiled those two scripts into two stand-alone command line executables for Windows. We'll eventually include both songs and Bible imports in OpenLP 2.0, but for the moment, you can use these two command line apps to convert your databases for you.

Songs: openlp-1to2-converter.exe

Bibles: bible-1to2-converter.exe

How to use them:

Both scripts support a "--help" parameter, which provides you with the usage of the script, and extra parameters that you can pass to the scripts.

C:\> openlp-1to2-converter.exe --helpUsage: openlp-1to2-converter.exe [options] OLDDATABASE NEWDATABASEOptions: -h, --help       show this help message and exit -o, --overwrite  Overwrite database file if it already exists. -v, --verbose    Outputs additional progress data. -d, --debug      Outputs raw SQL statements (overrides verbose).

Note that the songs database is "songs.sqlite" and is found in C:/Documents and Settings/<username>/Application Data/openlp/data/songs on Windows XP. Bibles are "Version_Name.sqlite" and found in C:/Documents and Settings/<username>/Application Data/openlp/data/bibles.

Song imports

Well 2.0alpha1 has been out in the wild for just over a week now, and we're both relieved and delighted that the response has been positive! According to the stats, just over 400 of you have been brave enough to download it and give it a try, and we've been been bumped up to 246 in the SourceForge rankings which I think is pretty good for a niche application, out of 266090 registered projects.

If you haven't tried the alpha yet, I'd urge you to please take a look. We'll be interested in your comments, both good and bad as to the progress we've made so far.

You'll be pleased to know that the developers have decided not to take a post-alpha nap, but are instead working as hard as ever towards the alpha-2 release. One of the things we're going to be focusing on is song imports. We all know how tiresome it is to type in the lyrics to the songs, and so we're trying to make your lives easier in this respect.

Raoul is working hard making the existing Song Import menu options functional and pretty, Tim continues to work hard to support the underlying infrastructure, whilst I've been looking at incorporating some of my external v1 utilities into v2. I've already managed to complete the Songs of Fellowship import, and some will be pleased to know that this now uses OpenOffice.org Writer, rather than Microsoft Word. Next I'm going to be looking at a few online options, to get the lyrics from sites such as nethymnal.org, kingswaysongs.co.uk and pwarchive.org. If you're aware of any other sites which offer Christian lyric downloads without requiring registration, then please let me know. On the horizon is a general purpose PowerPoint/Impress/Word/Writer text import.

We've also got newer members of the team working hard to document the database formats used by other worship presentation software in the hope we can also support imports from these. We've even got a couple of guys taking the time to learn to program in Python, so they can contribute import code to the project, which is great!

CCLI import is a bit lower down the priority list, since our CCLI guru (Derek) is still working hard fixing a few things in v1.2.4. However we're hoping that you'll soon stop reporting bugs in that version, so Derek can join in the 2.0 fun with the rest of the team :)

Anyway please continue to report your feature requests, bugs and comments. Even if we don't respond or implement it all (we're busy people!) we do read everything you've got to say.

OpenLP 2.0 Alpha 1 released!

Hi folks,

It is with great pleasure that I announce the first alpha version of OpenLP 2.0! We've been working on this for a long time (since September 2008 if I have my dates correct) and decided to give everyone a taste of what we've been working on.

As we've mentioned before, OpenLP 2.0 is cross-platform. This means that it runs on Windows, Linux, Mac OS X, and even FreeBSD! However, since OpenLP 2.0 is a complete rewrite, and this particular release is an Alpha, there are a few things to be aware of...

From our FAQ: What is an alpha release?

An alpha release is a very early incomplete release. It has missing features, and bugs and is likely to crash or do unexpected things. It is intended for those who aren't scared of program crashes and want to help test the software. It is also for those who are interested in seeing the new features.

What new features will I find in 2.0?

Since 2.0 is a rewrite from the ground up, you won't find a great deal of new features since initially we want to ensure all the v1.2 features are included. However the developers have managed to sneak a few in. Take a look at the Complete list.

Is there a manual or any documentation for 2.0?

No, we don't have any documentation yet. If you need help, just ask in the forums or use the live chat feature. If you would like to help write some documentation, please let us know - we are always happy for new volunteers to join the team and contribute to the project.

I've started OpenLP, but I can't see the songs or bibles section in the Media Manager

On some systems, the media manager plugins default to a deactivated state. This is something we will address in a future release, but for now you will need to turn them on manually.

More Questions?

It is recommended that you read the rest of the Frequently Asked Questions before using OpenLP 2.0 Alpha 1, as it contains some very important information.

Download

This is the part you've been waiting for!

Windows XP/Vista/7:
OpenLP-1.9.1-setup.exe (14.4MB)
Mac OS X (10.4 and higher):
OpenLP-1.9.1.dmg (35.2MB)
Ubuntu/Kubuntu/Xubuntu (Karmic/9.10 and higher):
We have a PPA (Personal Package Archive) which you can add to your package management software to download and keep up to date.
Fedora:
We are busy working on getting an OpenLP 2.0 package for Fedora.
FreeBSD:
We are busy working on getting OpenLP 2.0 into the ports system.
Source Code:
OpenLP-1.9.1.tar.gz (1.9MB)

Do you like OpenLP?

If you really like OpenLP, look at the following ways of helping promote OpenLP and also keeping track of the development of version 2.0:

  • Are you on facebook? Then become a fan and "Like" the posts.
  • Are you on twitter? Then follow openlp, and retweet the announcements.
  • Give us a thumbs up on the SourceForge project page.
  • If you have a website or blog, then link to our site http://openlp.org/ with a few words saying what the software is and why you like it.
  • Add a placemark on our Worldwide Usage map, so others in your locality can see someone close by is using it.
  • If you are a member of any Christian Forums or websites, and their rules allow it, then perhaps review the software or ask others to review it.

New 2.0 Forums

As you may well have seen, the release date for the first 2.0 alpha has been set, and the developers are working hard to ensure the deadline is met!

Up until now we've been asking testers to post bug reports or feedback on the mailing list or IRC. However as the 2.0 feature set has become more complete and stable, more people are trying it out and posting their feedback in the forums. We've attempted to point them in the right direction, but have now come to the conclusion that we're not got going to be able to hold back the tide once the alpha is released.

Therefore new 2.0 specific forums have been created, to help separate v1.2 posts from v2.0 ones.

If you just want to discuss how great *cough* 2.0 is, need a bit of help getting it to do what you want or other general 2.0 chat, then you can use the General Discussion forum. Just don't ask us when the final version will be released, we don't know :)

If you have hit a problem with 2.0 that we don't already know about then you can post the problem in the Bug reports forum. Remember to tell us which operating system you are running, and offer as much information as you can regarding the steps leading up to the problem.

And finally if you have need of a specific feature in 2.0, and it hasn't already been suggested then post the request in the Feature requests forum. However remember that the developers are still busy getting the basic 1.2 feature set finished, and there is already a long list of additional things we'd like to do. So we might not get everything in 2.0, but we'll do what we can!

We look forward to hearing from you!

Upcoming ALPHA Release of OpenLP 2.0

Hi folks,

It is with great pleasure I announce the release date for the first ALPHA version of OpenLP 2.0: Sunday 28 March 2010.

What is an alpha release? Well, it's a release to say, "hey, we're not yet done, but you can look at what we've done so far!" Some features are missing, some are incomplete, and some are buggy, but you can look around and play around!

It has taken us a year and a half to get to this point, an initial release of OpenLP 2.0, but this is because we have been rewriting OpenLP from the ground up. There is not one single small piece of code from version 1.x in version 2.0. Rewriting OpenLP from scratch has given us a chance to fix design mistakes in 1.x, add more flexibility, and give you much much more in version 2.0 than we could have ever given you in 1.x.

I'd like to extend a huge thanks to my fellow developers, testers and other members of the community for their help, encouragement, and commitment to a brand new version of OpenLP!

Calling all translators!

So you've been hearing all this noise about OpenLP 2.0 coming out, you've seen screenshots, and you're wondering if this new version will be available in your language. Perhaps you're wanting to contribute, but you're not a "computer person"?

Well, with OpenLP 2.0, we'd like to be more open, and that includes translations. If you speak a language other than English, and you want to help translate OpenLP 2.0 into your language, please take a look at the Translations section of the developer wiki.

Note: We're still in the process of setting up the translation tools, but we will feature an online tool, so you don't need to install anything on your computer, nor do you need to be able to do anything terribly technical.

Service Item Notes

The latest version (723) now has the ability to store Notes against a service item.

Right click one the item title and select "Notes" .

OpenLP and PowerPoint viewer

Raoul posted a screenshot of OpenLP 2.0 and OpenOffice Impress a few days ago, and for an open source application, this is a great pairing. In addition I've also been working on getting PowerPoint Viewer support working in Windows...

"Why?" You may ask. Well there are times when a visiting preacher pops in 5 minutes before the service with his PowerPoint created presentation, and you find that he's using LatestWhizzyUnnecessaryFeature(tm) which just doesn't format correctly in Impress and you don't have time to fix it. Since PowerPoint costs money better spent elsewhere, and native PowerPoint viewer doesn't support dual screen, this hasn't left many options.

So I spent some time trying to automate PowerPoint viewer. This will only work on Windows of course, and since the viewer isn't designed to be automated, it may have the occassional quirk. However I have managed to get basic support working in 2.0 as you probably can't see too well in the small low quality screenshot above!

Also a useful tip for Windows 7 dual screen users. Sometimes you may want to display something on the projector which OpenLP doesn't yet support, maybe a webpage. However dragging it across the screen in full view of the congregation isn't very professional and is a bit hit and miss. I've discovered that Windows 7 has a new key combination to assist with this. If you press the Windows key, the shift key and the right cursor key all at the same time, this will move the current window to the other screen/projector. If you then press Windows key and up arrow, this will maximise the window... although some apps also support "F11" for fullscreen.