Reflections and Projections

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.

Alert Framework

Over the last few weeks the alerts framework has been extended, adding new requested features.

These features include.

  • The ability to change the alert Font size.  The Background will resize to fit.
  • The ability to place the alerts at the Top or Bottom of the screen
  • The ability to store all alerts issued.
  • The ability to add / amend / delete from the alerts history.
  • The ability to select and resubmit an existing alert.  This does not re-save it unless the text has been changed.

SongUsage Plugin

In version 2 of there is a pluging called "SongUsage" which records all Live songs and when they were used.  This is to help with the production of yearly usage returns.

The Plugin geneates a CSV file which can be procesed using OpenOffice.

This can replace the existing utility which extracts the data from the service files.

OpenOffice.org Impress & OpenLP - destined to be together!

As you can see our OpenOffice.org Impress integration seems to be working pretty well. This was just a small test I did this morning to see how well it worked, and I was pleasantly surprised. Well done to gushie for all his hard work on getting this working!

200 and Counting!

The milestones for OpenLP keep on coming. Today we reached 200 Facebook fans! Excitement is building for the release of version 2.0, and version 1 has been receiving some nice improvements over the last few months. There have also been some comments about users leaving high priced software and coming to OpenLP. With the economic situation today more and more churches are turning to OpenLP because of cost. After turning to OpenLP many are being pleasantly surprised at how well it competes and in many cases performs better than its high priced alternatives. With the buzz ever increasing we look forward to the next 100 fans and enabling more churches to enhance their worship and their ministries.

If you're not already a fan, why don't you head over to ourFacebook Page and become a fan! Don't forget to follow OpenLP on Twitter, and add the RSS feed to your aggregator! We also have a group on Facebook, and a group on LinkedIn.

Revision 700 and the Better Bible Plugin

Well folks, we've reached another milestone with OpenLP 2.0 - revision 700. And not only have we reached a big revision, the Bibles plugin is now better than before!

The importer has been reworked, both interface-wise and code-wise. It features a Wizard style interface, well known in computer interfaces these days, making it faster and easier to use the importer. The code has been changed fairly dramatically now as well, to facilitate a pluggable import system, where developers can easily add new importers with little hacking.

General searching has also been improved. We've reduced the number of times verses are pulled from the database, opting for an all-in-one-go approach, which should speed up the displaying of Bible verses, especially when displaying dual verses.

There are a few other fixes hidden in there too, but the work on the Bibles plugin is the most prominent feature of this revision.