Reflections and Projections

OpenLP Featured in Theotek Hangout

One of OpenLP's long-time users and advocates, Wesley Allen, is part of a great podcast/Hangout-on-Air called Theotek. In their most recent episode, they talked about a number of things, including OpenLP. Check out the video below! (The OpenLP review starts at 16:50)

[ Image Credit: JVC HD 250 by Andrew Laparra ]

OpenLP 2.1.1 Beta Released

Ladies and gentlemen, we are proud to present to you our first beta release of OpenLP 2.2. This new version,two years in the making, is packed full of new features, bug fixes, and improvements.

We realise that this may not contain all the new features that people are looking for, but we're hoping to speed up the number of releases we make to around two releases per year. We're hoping in this way to be able to include more bugfixes and have a faster and more reliable release schedule. This way you don't have to wait 4 years for every new release, but there will be fewer new features per release in order to achieve this.

Important Notes

OpenLP 2.1.1 is not backwards compatible with 2.0.5. Once you have upgraded from 2.0.5, version 2.0.5 cannot read the upgraded files. OpenLP 2.1.1 will make a backup on startup, but it is recommended that you make your own backup too.

Upgrading from versions of OpenLP before 2.0.5 are not supported. You need to upgrade to 2.0.5 first, and make sure you run OpenLP at least once before continuing to upgrade to 2.1.1

This is a beta release, which means it is not yet finished and likely to still contain a few bugs. Please test it out as much as you can (using a Portable build on Windows is a good way to do this) and report the bugs you find.

Service Files created in 2.1.1 cannot be opened in 2.0

System Requirements

OpenLP's system requrements have been upgraded since the 2.0.5 release. Please take note:

  • Windows Vista and up
  • Mac OS X 10.8 and 10.9
  • Ubuntu 14.04 and 14.10
  • Fedora 21

Download Now

[ Image Credit: Beta by Simon Cunningham ]

The End of OpenLP 2.0

Yes, you read that right, it's the end of OpenLP 2.0.

No, we're not stopping development. No, 2.2 is still going to be released later in the year. No, OpenLP the project is not coming to a close, don't worry.

We're happy to announce the release of OpenLP 2.0.5, "Proselyte Paulus." This will be the last release in the 2.0 series of OpenLP.

Bugs fixed in this final release:

  • Change to BibleGateway URL to use legacy web interface
  • Improve PowerPoint Error handling and improve handling for v2013
  • Powerpoint with video on first slide causes error
  • Issues with Themes when comparing theme files
  • Improved error messages with Easy Worship Song Imports
  • Allow more than 26 equal verses within a Song
  • Handle songs where two optional breaks follow each other
  • Improve Database update error handling

As per usual, you can find the release on the Download page. If 2.0.5 isn't available for you, please try again in a day or two, some of the packages take a little while to be processed.

The next release of OpenLP will be version 2.1.1, which will be the first beta version of OpenLP 2.2.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.

2 Corinthians 5:17 ESV

[ Image Credit: End of the Line by Kevin Gessner ]

Upcoming Releases and the Road to 2.2

OpenLP 2.0.4 has been out for 4 months now, and while there don't seem to be any major issues with it, that doesn't mean there are no more bugs. With this in mind we're going to be releasing version 2.0.5 at the end of this month, June. This will be the last release of OpenLP 2.0.

Once 2.0.5 has be released, we will be gearing up for the release of 2.2. As a part of this we will be starting up the nightly builds again and we will release a beta at the end of August with a view of releasing 2.2 at the end of October.

In order to reduce the time between (major) releases, the OpenLP team has decided to move to a release cycle more like Firefox and Chrome, with short cycles and a smaller number of features in each release. With fewer features in each release there should also be fewer bugs, and a faster cycle should mean that bugs are fixed sooner too.

We have also started writing automated tests for OpenLP, which should help to curb some of the bugs before they make it into our main codebase. Each developer is required to run all the tests against their code before they can submit it, and they are required to write tests for their code. This way our test coverage increases and we are able to prevent regressions (when new code breaks some of the older code).

So while you won't find all the features you want in OpenLP 2.2, we hope to be able to get the features you want out to you sooner in future because we're not spending forever getting all the features developed while you're waiting for a huge release to happen.

[ Image credit: Road to Drakensberg, South Africa by Diriye Amey ]

[Updated] How to help with Mac Development

Update: We are pleased to announce that we've had another large donation, which will cover the cost of the Mac Mini completely. Thanks very much for the generous donations! If you would still like to donate (it would be nice to get a Mac keyboard too), we're still accepting donations.

As awesome as OpenLP is, we do have a rather large weak point: Our Mac support. Presentation software integration doesn't work on Mac OS X, there are often multiple display issues, and we don't have a dedicated Apple/Mac developer.

The good news is that we've recently been given a large donation toward purchasing a Mac Mini. The bad news is that it isn't enough. We need another USD$150.

If you're interested in donating towards buying a Mac Mini, please contact us via support<at>openlp.org or come visit us in IRC and ask for the PayPal details.

OpenLP 2.0.4 "Correct Caleb" Released

Welcome to another bugfix release of OpenLP 2.0. This is a further release in the stable 2.0 series. While it might not look like much, we're hoping that this release will make everyone's lives just a little bit easier.

Bugs fixed in this release:

  • #1117098: Transparent theme is white on Mac OSX

  • #1154467: Web download bible db's getting locked

  • #1173749: Songs with mismatching formatting tags still throw an exception

  • #1252477: Changing theme on bible settings tab causes an error when saving service

  • #1012110: pptviewlib does not accept unicode filename

  • #1199639: Formatting tags opened and closed in different verses throw an exception

  • #1206886: HTTP Server gets deleted

  • #1222534: KeyError when "Allow presentation application to be overridden" and Spanish language is selected

  • #1223841: Transition does not work if texts are the same

  • #1225763: Replacing background with video unblank screen even if "Blanked to Theme"

  • #1247661: Cannot restore OpenLP after minimising on OSX

  • #1251437: BibleGateway importer crashes on non unicode urls

  • #1258634: TypeError when saving service from previous versions with notes

  • #1259606: Clicking Verse Button doesn't alter live slide

  • #1266271: Output display returns after pressing esc when looping slides

  • #1157938: "Alt + Tab" = some pixelated icons and missing icons

  • #1211049: Can no long download bible verses

  • #1216234: Layout style has not effect when using a second bible

  • #1240942: Troubleshooting guide is outdated

  • #1265368: [regression] Traceback in web remote

  • #1163874: Add Slovak bible to First Run Wizard. (SK Katolický (Písmo Sväté))

    Stay dressed for action and keep your lamps burning, and be like men who are waiting for their master to come home from the wedding feast, so that they may open the door to him at once when he comes and knocks.

    Luke 12:35-36 (ESV)

[ Image Credit: B&W Hammer by Justin Baeder ]

Server Migrations and Support E-mails

If anyone has had problems e-mailing either our support e-mail address or our bug reporting e-mail address over the last couple of weeks, we apologise for the inconvenience.

A few weeks ago we migrated some of our systems, including our web site, e-mail server and support system, to an new server for better performance and security. As smooth as the transition was, it wasn't 100% without error, and one of the small problems that we only discovered in the last 2 days was that some of our e-mails were not getting through to our new support system.

If you sent an e-mail in the last 3 or 4 weeks, and you never heard a reply from us (apart from an automated reply, perhaps), then please e-mail us again and we should now get your e-mails and be able to respond to your queries. If we still don't seem to be getting your e-mails, please visit us in IRC and let us know which e-mail address you sent your query to, and when you sent it.

Thanks for your patience, and your continued support!

[ Image Credit: Server Room by Andy Rogers ]

ExpoSong Project Shut Down

A few days ago another open source church worship project called ExpoSong had to shut down. It seems to me that they had a very small development team and were unable to continue developing their software. ExpoSong's last release was over 2 years ago, in December 2011, and I can only presume they took a rain check as 2014 came round and decided to officially stop the project rather than leave it hanging.

It's very sad when an open source project has to shut down, but I can completely understand their position. Without time or resources to continue development, it is better to officially stop development rather than leave it open in the dwindling hopes that someone may have the time to continue at a later stage.

For those of you who have come from ExpoSong, I have put together a step-by-step guide below to show you how to easily export all your songs from ExpoSong and import them all into OpenLP.

Exporting Songs from ExpoSong and Importing Into OpenLP

First, in ExpoSong, click on File > Export > Whole Library.

Export songs from ExpoSong

Then select where you want to save your library file to.

Select Location

Once you have saved your file, open your file browser and navigate to where the file is.

Find exported file

Select the file and rename its extension from ".expo" to ".tar.gz"

Change File Extension

Now you should have a "tarball" in your directory.

Tarball

Using an archive program (Windows users can use 7-zip, unzipping should be built in on Linux and OS X), extract the contents of the "tarball".

Extracted Archive

If you enter into the extracted "pres" directory, you should see all of your songs stored as ".xml" files.

Song Files

Now go into OpenLP, select File > Import > Songs and when you get to the Song Format page of the Import Wizard, select OpenLyrics. Then use the "Add Files" button to find the files you just extracted and add them to be imported.

Import into OpenLP

Follow the rest of the prompts in the wizard to finish importing your files.

Feature Survey Results

We have finally had some time to sift through the responses to the survey, and below I present to you the summary of the survey. There are some pretty graphs (for those who like graphs) and we've included the percentages of multiple choice questions. Note that due to most of the questions allowing more than one answer, the sum of the percentages will exceed 100%.

And so, without further ado, here are the results:

How did you originally hear about OpenLP?

How did you originally hear about OpenLP?

Search engine 68% Software site 6%

Which services do you use OpenLP in?

Which services do you use OpenLP in?

All services 34% Main service 25%

What do you currently use OpenLP for?

What do you currently use OpenLP for?

Songs 24% Bible verses 17%

What operating system do you use OpenLP on?

What operating system do you use OpenLP on?

Mac OS X 16% Windows 55%

What other software do you use in addition to OpenLP?

What other software do you use in addition to OpenLP?

PowerPoint/etc 24% Audio recording 21%

Top ten features requested

We have selected the top 10 features requested by the respondents. Note that we will concentrate on these features first, but that doesn't mean we'll only concentrate on these 10 features. As we complete features we'll move down the list.

Motion backgrounds (text over video) 9% DVD playback 7%

What do you love about OpenLP?

For this question, we had to manually work through everyone's responses, and pick out the most common themes. These are the top 5 themes we noticed, in order of most-mentioned to least-mentioned.

  1. Free/open source
  2. Ease of use/usability/simplicity
  3. Feature set
  4. Developers/development/community
  5. Cross platform

There were also a number of enthusiastic users of the remote and/or Android app.

We also noticed that some folk thought that OpenLP is donateware. It is not, we haven't publically accepted donations for a few reasons, mostly that we don't see the need. If you would like to donate, please e-mail us (contact form).

What do you dislike about OpenLP?

Once again, we had to manually work through everyone's responses, and pick out the most common themes. These are the top 5 themes we noticed, in order of most-mentioned to least-mentioned.

  1. Bugs and/or crashes
  2. Video issues
  3. Presentation issues (PowerPoint, Impress, etc)
  4. Speed issues
  5. Unfamiliarity with OpenLP

We noticed that there were a large number of bugs that we've never heard of. If you do encounter a bug, please let us know! We can't fix it if we don't know about it.

There were also a lot of "missing feature" complaints, which were almost all already in the list of features we're looking to implement, and thus we did not include them in these results.

Helping with development

We couldn't help but notice that a few of the respondents indicated a willingness to help develop OpenLP in some way. If you're keen to take a look at helping out, please see our getting started page on the developer wiki and join us in IRC so that we can help you get up and running.

As always, God bless, and happy projecting!