Reflections and Projections

[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> 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  • #1240942: Troubleshooting guide is outdated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.


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!

Have Your Say: A Survey on Features


Update: The survey has been closed. We received 381 responses, and are busy processing the responses.

Before I kick off the main gist of this post, I'd just like to announce that OpenLP 2.0.3 has finally made it to our Ubuntu PPA.

Unfortunately I was having computer hardware issues and I wasn't able to get the build process set up until a few days ago. I've remedied this problem by setting up the build process on our Continuous Integration server such that anyone can build packages for the PPA by simply clicking a button.

As per the title of this post, we have set up a survey to help us decide on what the most important features are that we need to work on. This survey is completely anonymous, but we do ask that you only fill it out once. We've also set maximum number of features to choose so that we are absolutely certain that these are the most important features. Have your say: complete the survey.

OpenLP 2.0.3 "Patched Petrus"


We are happy to announce another bugfix release of OpenLP 2.0: version 2.0.3 "Patched Petrus". This release fixes a regression in OpenLP 2.0.2 where services with notes could not be saved, and includes some updates to the translations. Windows and Mac OS X builds are on the download page as usual, and OpenLP will filter down to the various Linux distributions over the next week or so.

As more minor bugs are brought to our attention, we will endeavour to make future bugfix releases of OpenLP 2.0 until OpenLP 2.2 is released. If you think you have found a bug, please check the list of bugs on our project page to see if yours already exists in our bug tracker: OpenLP at

Speaking of OpenLP 2.2 (and on a more technical note), we have completed the migration of OpenLP from Python 2.7 to Python 3.3. This was a big step for us, as Python 3 is not backwards compatible with Python 2, and we had to make some changes to the codebase to take this into consideration.

NB: While there will be ongoing talk of OpenLP 2.2, please do not use it for church! OpenLP 2.1 (the development version of 2.2) is unstable and WILL crash in the middle of your service. OpenLP 2.1 is NOT compatible with OpenLP 2.0, you may lose some or even all of your data. As soon as the code is more stable, we will start our release cycles again with alpha and beta releases for folks to try out.

OpenLP, LibreOffice 4.1 and an Ubuntu PPA


It has come to our attention recently that some folks, in order to use the goodness of LibreOffice 4.1 on Ubuntu, are using a LibreOffice PPA (personal package archive) which causes OpenLP to crash on startup. This seems to be due to a bug in the way LibreOffice is packaged in the PPA, as other Linux users on distributions such as Fedora and Arch are not encountering the problem.

Please do not install LibreOffice from the PPA, it WILL break OpenLP.

Folks, please note that *OpenLP is currently not compatible with LibreOffice 4.x on Linux* due to the fact that OpenLP uses Python 2.7 and LibreOffice uses Python 3.2 which are incompatible. The next version of OpenLP, version 2.2, will be compatible with LibreOffice 4.x but unfortunately there is no way to backport this compatibility.

Forward Thinking

The Future

In preparation for some changes that we have made in the next major version of OpenLP we had to make a change in the last release (2.0.2) in the way that service files are saved. With OpenLP 2.0.2 and higher, you will still be able to read your old service files, but earlier versions of OpenLP will not be able to open files created in later versions of OpenLP.

For example, OpenLP 2.0.2 will be able to open services files saved in OpenLP 2.0.1, but OpenLP 2.0.1 will not be able to open services files saved in OpenLP 2.0.2.

Unfortunately a bug was introduced preventing services that had notes in them from being saved. We have already fixed this and plan to make a release (2.0.3) to address this issue in the near future. If you wish to use notes we suggest that you do not upgrade to 2.0.2.

We thank you for your patience in this matter and apoligise for this bug. Steps are being taken including automated testing in 2.2 to reduce the chances of bugs like these slipping in the future.

Announcing OpenLP 2.0.2 "Debugged Deborah"

Deborah the Prophetess and Judge

We're pleased to (finally) announce the latest bugfix release of OpenLP 2.0, version 2.0.2 (codename Debugged Deborah). In this release we have made over 30 tweaks, improvements and bug fixes all over OpenLP, but the areas that have seen the most work are the user interface and the song importers. This wouldn't have been possible without all the feedback and error reports we have recieved from you guys. They really do help!

Some of the bugs fixed in this release:

  • OpenLP does not start due to mimetypes bug

  • Theme in Song Editor is never reset

  • We should not warn when verse order is empty

  • Inconvenient focus in Song Editor when adding authors

  • Macro enabled presentations are not shown in OpenLP

  • Images always get black background when loaded from saved service


  • "Display verses on live tool bar" ignored

  • Typing a path for a theme background causes a key error

  • Typing a path for a theme background does not set background

  • Adjust Line Spacing does not work

  • Configure shortcuts has two items called settings

  • Attach button on exception form does not work

  • Transtion + fast slide changes + ESC causes screen to open again

  • Delete button in Configure Formatting Tags gets focus

  • Importing an OSIS bible always results in English book names

  • Traceback in czech bible download Webbible import fails

  • Traceback when importing bible with disabled bible plugin in FTW

  • Non existing chapters result in traceback when searching webbibles

  • getFileNames corrupts file names that use "special chars"

  • Opensong Import *some lines missing

  • Foil Presenter Importer fails if no verses

  • SongShowPlus traceback

  • SongShowPlus importer does not handle verse labels such as 1A

  • Issues importing Sunday Plus Files

  • OpenLP 1 database importer crashes when encountering control chars

  • Easy Worship importer progress bar is out

  • Cancelling character table dialogue in importer causes OpenLP to crash

For the full list of the changes we've made see:

As usual, you can grab this release from the download page. The Mac OS X version, torrents, portable versions and various Linux packages will be updated over the next week or so.

A very big thanks to everybody who helped out, and thanks to you, our community, for your bug reports, giving support and helping others.

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (New International Version)