Reflections and Projections

Some Interesting Statistics

The other day I decided to check what our project activity on SourceForge.net looks like. I was quite surprised to see that our activity is sitting at just over 99% (they rate it up to 2 decimal places), so I went to go and have a look at how many times openlp.org RC6 has been downloaded.

What a pleasant surprise! As of this blog post, openlp.org RC6 has been downloaded 614 times. That equates to 5.21 gigs of data being downloaded. Wow. I didn't realise it was that much!

Last week, openlp.org's activity was 99.73%, and by close of day yesterday we were ranked 517 out of 166,587 projects. That's no mean feat, especially since we don't have a particularly large project!

If we can get over 600 downloads after only 3 weeks, just imagine how many downloads we could amass after the launch of version 1.0!

In other news, we've just started Test Phase 1, to see if we can catch as many of the remaining bugs as possible before we launch version 1.0. If you'd like to be part of these test phases, please e-mail me.

Lastly, I'm still trying to single-handedly write all the documentation myself. As of yet I *still* haven't had anyone who has actually done anything more than offer me empty words. If you really have more than just good intentions and hollow words, please let me know.

Testers required

Hi All

We are fast approaching the planned release of openlp.org v1.0 at the end of this month, and we would like to put together a group of about 10 testers to put the software through it's paces to help us iron out any last issues. We would like to have a test release available by the middle of next week, and then run quick update cycles when issues are found and corrected.

If you would like to take part in this activity, please mail Raoul (raoul[at]openlp.org) to indicate your availability, as well as the specs (OS/CPU/RAM/VIDEO etc) of the test platform you intend to use. That way we can try and spread the testing over a range of platform configurations.

***Please only apply if you are willing to put in the necessary time to do thorough testing and submit to us detailed fault scenario's to reproduce any bugs that come up, so that we can squash them a.s.a.p.

We look forward to hearing from you.

God bless,

Derek.

A Christian response to Microsoft

As you may or may not know, my primary desktop system runs Kubuntu Linux. I do this because Linux is far more stable, it's virus-free, it has far superior security, and in general is more user friendly. It's also updated frequently (every 6 months in the case of Kubuntu), any security flaws that are found are patched immediately (including my system downloading and installing those patches), and it's 100% free to boot. As such, I like to promote Linux as an alternative to Windows.

Recently I came across a "rant" - a person venting their frustration - on a Dutch chap's site. It is unlike a normal rant because not only is the length of a dissertation, but it's also well thought out and well written. Most rants are irrantional, illogical and full of insults; this rant was the complete opposite. And what was the rant about? It was about Microsoft.

I urge you to read this document. You can find it at: http://www.vanwensveen.nl/rants/microsoft/IhateMS.html. It's a very honest and factual essay on Microsoft. As you read it, I encourage you to think about what a Christian response to Microsoft would be. Should we as Christians actually be using their software? Should we be endorsing a company like that through using their software?

It says in Philippians 4:8-9: "8Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. "

My question is this: Is Microsoft a company you want to associate with as a Christian, as a member of the Church? Are they "true, noble, right, pure lovely or admirable"?

I would recommend that you show print out this document and show it to your pastors and those involved in the leadership of your church. Ask them to think about what I've said.

Advertisement Flyer

I've busy with a few things marketing-related for openlp.org lately, including creating a flyer for people to print out and hand out, or put in local Christian bookstores (with their permission, of course).

This flyer is done in Scribus 1.3.3.9, and the page size is A4. In South Africa our standard paper size is A4. I don't have any Letter size paper, so I can't test that flyer out. I've attached both a PDF and the original Scribus file to this post so that you can download it and print it out, and if you have an alternate paper size, you can edit it to fit your paper size.

If you do print it out from the PDF, make sure that it disregards the printer margins when you print it out. I've sized it on the page so that it fits well inside the physical bounds of the pieceof paper. It's 3 columns, so that you have 3 flyers per sheet of paper. Don't forget to flip the paper over and print the second page on the back!

Joy To The World

Nothing sums up Christmas like the following song:

Joy to the world, the Lord is come!
Let earth receive her King.
Let every heart prepare Him room
And Heaven and nature sing.

I pray that you and your families would all have a very blessed and Christ filled Christmas. May we never forget the reason why Christ was born to us, and His gift of Grace.

Yours in Christ,

Derek.

Kids, don't try this at home!

I've done what any developer should NEVER do. I've released RC6 with a few bugs that we know about.

Well, I wanted to give everyone a nice little Christmas present. The latest version of openlp.org, with quite a few bug fixes. There are also two new import/export functions.... one to import openlp.org songs, and one to export openlp.org songs. Of course you can download openlp.org from the Download page. Bug reports in the usual place.

Here are some of the bugfixes we made:

  • Importing and exporting of songs database.
  • Corrected various issues in theme management, including previews and vertical align.
  • Ability to hide the display screen completely, enabling other applications to display on the second screen.
  • If you edit a song, the song remains selected, and the list doesn't scroll out of view (partially fixed).
  • Added an option to select whether or not you want to be prompted every time you load openlp.org and the screen is blanked.
  • Bible formats changed and Bible CSV Importer Wizard improved.
  • Show/hide options for the media manager, order of service, and theme manager.
  • Various other song, Bible, etc. display fixes.

One last bug...

Well, according to our bug list, we have one last bug to fix. And in the traditional style of bugs, it's proving to be the most elusive. Derek and I are both working on it, so we're hoping to have it solved pretty soon.

One thing to take note of is that the XML format for the themes has changed slightly. Fortunately this is not a big problem, and will cause at most a minor inconvenience. The simple way to "upgrade" your themes from the older to the newer format is to edit them and save them with their original settings.

These last few changes will be the last ones for openlp.org 1.0. After RC6 we will clean up any additional bugs in openlp.org, and then release the final version.

We're hoping to have RC out in the next week or so, and then 1.0 final by the end of January. It's a little later than Derek or I expected, but then again, we didn't expect our day-job workloads to be that much either...

Documentation Editor

I've had various offers in the past for help with the documentation, and I'm sad to say those have all fallen through. However, someone has contacted me, and he seems VERY keen to help out with the documentation.

One of the things I have been wanting to do is to extract the documentation from the site, and be able to work on it "offline" as it were. To this end, I extracted the documentation in XML format, and I'm writing a little editor that will be able to parse the XML and allow you to edit the pages of the documentation using a WYSIWYG HTML editor (currently it can do all of that, it just can't save).

So, if you're still interested in helping out with the documentation, you think you can spare an hour a week perhaps, then please contact me, and I'll give you stuff to do!

The all-new Theme Gallery has been launched!

I've just launched the new Theme Gallery, here on openlp.org. You can upload themes exported from openlp.org, and upload them to the site for others to download.

To upload a new theme, simply click on the "Theme" item of the "Create content" submenu, in your account menu.

The new theme gallery is in place of the Theme Gallery page in the menu on the left.

Help Wanted: Technical Support Consultant

I was just chatting this evening to our head of support, David, about how he was holding up on the support side of things, and he mentioned to me that he's not getting much time these days to attend to the support issues coming in. David is at college, studying up a storm, which doesn't lend itself to copious amounts of free time.

So, if you're interested, and you can spend about half an hour 3 times a week, just checking up on the support requests, I know David would appreciate the help. Please get in contact with him, his contact details are on the Contact Us page.