Reflections and Projections

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

*Please read prior to RC2 installation*

Due to an unforseen glitch with a fault correction, Powerpoint is not functioning in the RC2 release.  We are aware of the problem and it has been corrected.  Unfortunately, we cannot provide a correction release immediately, as there is an  incomplete feature enhancement in the software.  Once this enhancement is completed, we will provide the correction in RC3.  You can expect that hopefully towards the end of the month.  Sorry for the inconvenience if you use Powerpoint.

God bless,

Derek.

Release Candidate 2 out

Hi there folks!

I've just uploaded openlp.org 1.0 RC2 to the SourceForge servers. This release fixes a few bugs that we have noted before, the main one being the loading of saved order of services. We also rewrote the Bible CSV importer, so this should work as advertised. As usual, you can download it from the Download page.

Once again, please post your bug reports in the appropriate forum topic. Please also read through the documentation on how to submit a bug report before submitting a bug.

A big idea for the release of openlp.org 1.0

Hi Folks,

I was in a local Christian bookstore yesterday, and I suddenly thought, "What if, for the release of openlp.org 1.0, we make a distribution kit for people to distribute openlp.org to churches and to Christian bookstores?"

My idea is basically this: we create a professional distribution kit for people to download, burn to CD, and then hand out to churches, Christian bookstores, and other places.

The distribution kit would contain the following:

A CD ISO image containing the following:

  • A nice autostart screen that opens when the CD is inserted into the drive, with a menu to get started.
  • A full manual, including a "Getting Started" guide, in several formats.
  • The openlp.org 1.0 installation application, of course.

A professional-looking CD label for people to print and stick on the CD.

A professional-looking CD cover for CD cases containing the CD.

A big poster.

A smaller poster of sorts.

A brochure that could be handed out as well.

If you can think of anything else to add, let me know!

Of course, to do all of that we'll need a few things:

  • Graphic designer(s) to design the CD label, CD cover, posters, brochure and autostart screen.
  • Some technical writers to write the documentation.
  • LOTS of people to distribute openlp.org to their local Christian bookstores, churches, and other places.

So, if you can and would like to help out, please let me know. Use the contact page to get into contact with us.

The road to RC2

Hi All

No doubt most of you are as keen as we are to get openlp.org into a full version 1 status. Well, we are nearly there. Sorry about the few hiccups in the last few releases, they were due to last minute corrections and optimisations in the software and slipped though due to the fact that we were trying to honour our release date promises.

With this in mind we would like to make the RC2 release on the 15th/16th of June and we appeal to all of you out there to give the software a thorough testing in the next week or so, so that RC2 can be our last release candidate. I should mention at this stage that there is a rather unpleasant bug in rc1 regarding the loading of saved Orders-Of-Service. This has been corrected and will be in RC2, so please don't highlight this problem in your feedback. To work around this, you need to rebuild the OOS each time before you use it. Frustrating I know. Sorry!

You can post bug reports in the openlp.org 1.0 rc1 forum topic.

We do appreciate all your feedback, and without your input, openlp.org wouldn't be where is is today.

Derek.

Hot on the heels of beta 6...

I am proud to announce the release of Release Candidate 1. This is the first in our release candidate series. Once we are satisfied that no more bugs exist in openlp.org, we will release the final version of 1.0. Remember to post your bug reports in the forum topic.

Many thanks once again go to Derek for his part of the development of openlp.org 1.0. I don't think we'd be where we are now without him.

Just insofar as the next version of openlp.org, we follow the Linux kernel's versioning system, with stable releases being even numbers, and development releases being odd numbers. So that means that the next stable version of openlp.org will be 1.2. All new features will be in the development version, version 1.1, while we maintain the 1.0 branch, just bringing out bug fixes for any bugs that may still arise.

Some of the first jobs we will be doing in version 1.1 will be a major code cleanup. This means that internally we will be tidying up the openlp.org code, which often results in faster code, and making openlp.org more flexible internally. We also will be moving to SQLite 3. Currently our song and bible databases are all in SQLite 2.8 format, and we want to upgrade to make use of the updated features in version 3.

We will obviously also bring in a number of the features that have been requested so far. We have a nice long list of features, and we would like to implement as many of those as is possible. Once again, however, we will have to make a call on some features, on whether or not they make sense to be included, and on how long they will take to implement versus getting a product out.

Hope this helps to clear up what direction we are headed in for the short run.

openlp.org 1.0 beta 6 has been released!

Yes folks, that moment has finally arrived! I have released openlp.org 1.0 beta 6. This is the last beta release of openlp.org, the next release will be Release Candidate 1, where we hope to have the majority of bugs out of the system.

One of the big highlights of this new release is the translation. Want openlp.org in your own translation? Just copy the english.xml file, open it and replace the strings in there with translations of your own language, import the new xml file, and then select your new translation!

There are a number of other small improvements here and there, including a few feature requests. Plenty bugs have been squashed too, although I doubt it's all of them.

Well, download openlp.org from the download page, and post your bugs to the forum topic.