Reflections and Projections

Vista problems

A couple of guys using Vista have told us that the problem is that openlp.org is looking for a file that doesn't exist in DirectX 10 anymore (openlp.org uses DirectX 9 headers). You need to download and install D3DRM.dll. You should be able to simply copy the file into the openlp.org directory (on most systems it should be "C:\Program Files\openlp.org") and openlp.org should work fine. Let me know about this, I'm operating on hearsay.

On the other hand, I've moved to Linux full time now, Kubuntu 7.04 (Feisty Fawn), as my main desktop, although I'll still have a Windows box around to develop openlp.org.  If you haven't looked at Linux yet, I would strongly recommend you do! Download a CD image from www.ubuntu.com and try it out!

Jabber contacts

Hi folks, we've just added a jabber server to our system, so that now you can contact us on our openlp.org jabber accounts. My jabber ID is raoul (at) openlp.org and Derek can be contacted on derek (at) openlp.org.

Also, we're nearly ready to release RC4. Both Derek and myself have been really busy, and I'm just busy working on the image resizing tweaks, and then we'll release RC4.

We're still alive (barely)!

Well, sometimes that's how I feel. I'm starting to get bogged down with wedding preparations, never mind the extra bit of part time work that I have on the side (any extra income at the moment is needed) which takes my evenings and my Saturdays away.

I've noticed that we're getting more and more support requests in via our support(at)openlp.org address. Please remember that our primary support line is through the forums. Unfortunately we don't have the resources to cope with the all support requests. So we need people to help us there.

Also, we need more people in the forums to take on a more active role. Those forums are not for you to ask questions and us to answer, we're hoping that more experienced people can answer questions too.

And then again we still need people to help with documentation. I honestly don't want to spend my honeymoon writing documentation. That's the only free time I'm gonna have in the next 3 months.

I'm sorry if this sounds like a rant, but I'm getting a little tired of being a one-man-show here. If you really like our software, and you wanna show us some grattitude, please get involved. You don't need a PhD in computer science to help out. You just need a willing heart and an hour a week that you can spend on openlp.org.

Still looking for documentation..

We're still looking for people to help out with the documentation. That's the final part in the "release" of openlp.org. Unfortunately neither Derek nor myself have the time at the moment to do that, so we'd really appreciate the help.

You don't need to be able to devote 3 hours per day to it, all we need is a few people who can each complete one part, and then we'll be more than halfway there. If you reckon you can write up a "how to" on something like adding a song or creating a new theme, or any one of the many tasks and actions in openlp.org, please let me know.

So if we can get about 20 people just writing up 1 section each, then we'll have 20 sections done, and it's taken maybe an hour of your time.

You can either use the contact form, or contact me directly at raoul-at-openlp.org.

OpenSong Song Importer

Well, on Sunday afternoon I didn't have much to do, so I decided to sit down and write an OpenSong to openlp.org song importer. And I did. Except it had a few bugs. Then I couldn't stop thinking about it, so yesterday evening I sat down and found and fixed those bugs.

In the mean time, Justin Corwin has been at it again, writing a bunch more utilities, including an OpenSong song importer.

You can look at all the utilities on the Utilities page.

Nearing 1.0 final release

Well, this weekend I released Release Candidate 3, with a few more improvements (they're not really new features, but they are improvements to existing features). So Derek and I were chatting last night about the current state of openlp.org, and we are pretty sure that if there are no more bugs in RC4, we will release 1.0.

In terms of the distribution (or marketing) pack, a designer friend of mine who has been associated with openlp.org since the early days has had a bit of time on his hands recently and has been having a go at designing posters and the like. I'm going to see how far he has got, and then we can start putting the pack together.

However, we still need people to assist with the documentation. This is an area that is sadly lacking, and neither Derek nor I have the time to write up the documentation. If you see yourself being able to help out, please contact us, either through the site contact form, or by e-mailing support-at-openlp.org, or by e-mailing me personally at raoul-at-openlp.org.

RC4 and Beyond

Hi All

Well, I hope that for at least some of you RC3 brought with it some new useful features. There seemed to be quite a few people wanting a Bible Verse enhancement and that was one of the main changes in RC3 that was released this past weekend.

Coming in RC4 will be the last of the additional features we decided were "have to have's" for a full version 1. These include a migration of the theme data out of the songs database and into the theme directory in XML format. Also, the ability to both import and export themes. If we can twist Raoul's arm a bit, maybe we can add a "theme's" section to the website where you can submit your theme creations for other to download and use.

RC4 will also see the old "Alerts" feature from 0.994 coming back as well as a "custom slide" which can be used for Liturgy/Announcements/etc. We also want to add it a fixed font size option which many of you want.

We would like to get your input on one issue though. At some stage we need to do a database migration from SQLite version 2.8 that we are currently using, to version 3. This will require us putting together possibly an external tool which will need to be run to migrate the song data from the current song database into the new v3 database. What we would like to find out from you is whether we should put do this migration now, before v1, or post v1. The reason we are asking you to make the call for us, is because we plan to do a big launch for v1. This will mean that if the DB migration happens after v1, there will be many more of you doing migrations. It shouldn't be much of an issue to do the migration, but what are your feelings? Raoul will put a poll up on the website where you can give us your opinion.

Thanks, in advance.

Derek.

Release Candidate 3 released...

Yep, we've released RC3. This includes a (hopefully) fixed PowerPoint bug. Neither Derek nor I are getting it anymore, so we figure it's fixed.

Derek also rewrote the bible verse selection section, and added the ability to add more than 1 verse to a slide... just select 2 or 3 verses and click on the "Add to order of service" button, and it'll appear on 1 slide. Also, if you look in the options window, you'll see that there's a "Verse slide layout" section where you can choose whether you want all the verses displayed together or each on a separate line on the slide.

So, a couple of new things in this release, a couple of things fixed. If you encounter any bugs, use the bug reporting topic in the forums to file your bug report.

Some useful utilities for openlp.org

One of our users, Jonathan Corwin, has written a couple of little scripts to do various imports for openlp.org. One of the most requested items are Bible translations, and Jonathan has written a script that can import Bibles from BibleGateway.com, which should be legal in terms of the "fair use" clause of copyright law. Please note, however, that I am not a lawyer, so I might be totally incorrect about this.

We've listed Jonathan's software on a new page in the documentation: Useful Utilities. If you have written a utility for openlp.org and what it included on this page, please let me know (see the Contributing page).

Development status report

Well, as you have probably already read in one of Raoul's recent blog's, we are planning a big launch for the V1.0 release of OpenLP.org.  With that in mind, we have decided to add a few of the smaller but more useful features from the feature request list.  This comes with the price of a slightly delayed V1.0, and possibly a few more Release Candidate versions.  Our feeling though was that there really were some area's that needed enhancing prior to a major distribution release. You can look forward to the following enhancements coming in the next few release candidates:

  • Enhanced Bible Verse handing where you can display multiple verses on one slide
  • Some keyboard navigation (actually I think it's in RC2 already)
  • Enhanced slide auto-scrolling
  • Import/Export of themes
  • Storage of theme data exclusively in the 'theme' directory in XML format

There may be 1 or 2 other things, but these are the main ones as we didn't want to impact our timeline too much.

God Bless,

Derek