Reflections and Projections

Openlp version 2 - Bible Plugin.

The developement of the Bible plugin is nearing completion and we have mananaged to add some new features, as well as port the current functionality.

Bible Imports

Two new import methods have been added.

  • Ability to import bibles from Sword bible reader. This functionality will create a bible from a bible downloaded by the sword software. The quality of the import is only as good as the source material but it opens up access to a wide range of bibles in many languages.
  • Ability to access bibles directly from the Internet. These bibles will be downloaded on demand and cached on the local machine so they can be used whist not connected to the internet.

Bible Presentations

It is now possible to mix verses and/or versions on the same slide. For example

  • A slide could have Matthew 1:1 and Matthew 1:3 on the same slide.
  • Also a slide could have Matthew 1:1 from the NIV and The Message on the same slide.

Hopefully this will give you an idea of some of the improvements coming up.

The image below shows search results using the new Bible Plugin.

/pictures/bibles1.png

openlp.org 1.0.2 has been released!

Hi folks,

After a long time, bugfix 1.0.2 has been released. This includes a number of minor bug fixes, as well as some performance enhancements for presentations and slide changes. Please note that due to the performance enhancements to the presentations, you will need to re-import and presentations you have previously imported and use on a regular basis.

You can download openlp.org 1.0.2 from the download page, as usual.

I've got a list of all the changes below:

  • Speeded up slide changes
  • Fixed error on deleting a song from the Order of Service
  • Fixed error on deleting the last slide in a song
  • Various "List index out of bounds (1)" errors fixed
  • Fixed importing of copyright information from exported songs
  • Get openlp.org to remember the last "Save As" location
  • Fixed unexpected font size change due to resizing of live and preview panes
  • Removed "Enabled Timed Slide" button for images
  • Fixed theme fallback for completely unset themes
  • Sped up loading of presentations
  • Fixed a bug in the theme import process
  • Fixed the theme preview in the wizard to correspond with reality
  • Bibles in drop down list are now listed alphabetically (case-insensitive)
  • Fixed an issue with incorrect credit lines for Bibles straight from the Bible manager
  • Hopefully fixed install file permissions
  • Added German and Brazillian Portuguese translations.

Web-based Converter

With the development of openlp.org 2.0, and a new database format in 2.0, we are (obviously) going to be writing a converter to convert databases from 1.0 format to 2.0 format. A little bit of discussion around the converter in the IRC channel last night gave us a brilliant idea: make the converter web-based.

Having a web-based converter means that we have a central converter that we can control, and things can happen instantly and in one place. This means that the bugs you find will be fixed fairly quickly. It also means that we can add features easily, and you don't have to download yet another application or upgrade your existing application.

As of this moment, I haven't started working on the converter yet, but it will be my main priority over the next while, as we developers need it to migrate our own existing databases!

That's all for now, God bless!

No News is Good News

Hi folks,

We're still busy hacking away at openlp.org version 2.0, hence the silence from us. If you don't hear from us, it's because we're working hard!

It's coming along nicely though, we're got most of the ground work done, and we're now busy working on how to get a plugin to display an item to the screen. Thanks to some hard work for the team, most of the core plugins (the Bibles, Videos, etc) are about 75% done. The next few steps are going to be working on the openlp.org core, getting things to talk to each other nicely and writing the control component (or "widget" as Qt likes to call them).

A Breathtaking Moment

They carefully crept into the stable, so as not to wake the baby, and as they entered the stable each one gasped a little. "Here he is, this child will save us!" whispered one of the herdboys at the back of the group to another. A feeling of awe and amazement came over them, and they quietly but excitedly went over to the proud father and shook his hand, and then gave the young mother a hug.

It was a breathtaking moment, right there in the stables. This little baby, born to a poor carpenter and his young wife, would fulfill all the prophecies of countless generations and prophets. The nation had been waiting for this moment for more than 600 years.

As the angel choir withdrew into heaven, the sheepherders talked it over. "Let's get over to Bethlehem as fast as we can and see for ourselves what God has revealed to us." They left, running, and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in the manger. Seeing was believing. They told everyone they met what the angels had said about this child. All who heard the sheepherders were impressed.

Luke 2:15-18 (The Message)

May the Lord bless you this Christmas, and remind you of what Christmas is really all about.

openlp.org on Windows

So I realise that recently we've been giving a lot of love to Mac OS X and Linux with regards to openlp.org 2.0, and so when one of our developers who uses Windows started getting openlp.org up and running on his computer, I got him to take a screenshot so that folks can see openlp.org 2.0 running on Windows as well.

Once again, click the image for a full size version.


openlp.org 2.0 is cooking!

Over the last few months about 8 people have been quietly working on a new version of openlp.org: Version 2.0. This version is being written in Python, so that it will work on Windows, Linux and Mac OS X - a feature that has been requested many times.

In addition to being cross-platform, openlp.org 2.0 has a plugin system, where people can write their own plugins if they wish. These plugins hook into openlp.org and allow plugin developers to do the same things that the core system does. In fact, the core system (Songs, Bible verses, etc) are all plugins themselves.

One thing about writing these applications that is frustrating, is that when you start developing them you have to write a lot of code that doesn't appear on the user interface. You need to basically lay a base for the program, and only afterward when you get to the user interface part, can you see the fruits of your labour.

I'm pleased to say that we are starting to see the fruits of our labour! Last night I got the Songs plugin to show it's panel in the Media manager, and to show the song edit window when you click on the Edit button. It might not sound like much, but we've had to do a fair amount of coding just to get to that point.

Unfortunately we do still have a lot of work to do, but it's good to see that we're getting somewhere.

openlp.org on KDE 4

I recently completely re-installed Kubuntu on my computer, so that I could install the 64-bit version, and make use of my 64-bit processor. With the new version of Kubuntu came KDE 4, the Linux desktop environment that makes use of Qt4, the same User Interface toolkit we're using for openlp.org 2.0.

In customising my KDE, I found a really nice dark theme. To my delight I found that openlp.org uses the KDE look and feel, and so here below I've pasted a screenshot (click on it to view it full size):


The Future Of openlp.org: Version 2.0

As those who read this blog regularly will know, I've been looking for folks to help me out with developing openlp.org. A lot of folks have come forward and offered a range of different ways to help, including actual application development, but no one has Delphi 7, and therefore no one can help me with the development of openlp.org 1.2.

With this in mind, at the pitiful amount of progress I've made recently, I asked the developer mailing list to vote on possibly shelving version 1.2 and moving straight on to 2.0.

The reasons I cited for dropping 1.2 are as follows:

  • Only 1 person working on 1.2 (me)
  • An ever-increasing team of currently about 5 people working on 2.0 (the cross-platform python version)
  • A lot of work needs to go into 1.2, and about the same amount needs to go into 2.0
  • 2.0 is essentially going to be a copy of 1.2, just written in a totally open source environment

The response I got was unanimous. Everyone agreed that my time and effort would be better spent working on version 2.0 with everyone else, rather than duplicating effort on 1.2. This means I am officially shelving version 1.2, and we're moving ahead with 2.0.

Version 2.0 is being written in Python, using the Qt4 GUI Toolkit, and PyQt4 to glue Python and Qt4 together. If you're interested in helping out, please send me a private message.

I will be releasing another bugfix, version 1.0.2, as I mentioned in a previous post, in the near future, so if you're having any problems with 1.0.1, see the bug report thread in the forums.

Getting started on 2.0

A couple of us have started working on the forms in openlp.org, recreating the 1.0 forms in Qt Designer, the interface designer for the cross-platform Qt UI framework. I decided to take a couple of screenshots so that folks can get a taste of where we're going...

Please remember that this is not the final product. These are the first few drafts of *just* the interface. There's no functionality behind any of the windows yet. You can click on each image to download a full-sized version.

First up, here's a preview of the main form:

Here's the settings form so far:

And, just to show you that this works on other platforms, here is a earlier version of the main window on Mac OS X:

If you'd like to find out more about helping out with the development, please join us in IRC.