Reflections and Projections

Have Your Say: A Survey on Features

Survey

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"

Petra

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 Launchpad.net project page to see if yours already exists in our bug tracker: OpenLP at Launchpad.net

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

Package

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

    file

  • "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: https://launchpad.net/openlp/+milestone/2.0.2

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)

OpenLP Featured In LibreOffice 4.1 Release Notes

LibreOffice Impress

As some of our users will have noted, LibreOffice 4.1 was released on the 25th of July. Included in this release are a whole lot of bug fixes and improvements, but one that stands out is an option that was added to Impress to aid in integration with OpenLP.

As of LibreOffice 4.0, the presenter console extension became part of the core of LibreOffice, and OpenLP was not able to turn this off. Tim, one of our core developers, submitted a bug to the LibreOffice bug tracker, and an Indian student named Manik Malhotra picked it up for part of his Google Summer of Code submission to LibreOffice. Many thanks to Tim for his ongoing push to make folks aware of the bug, and to Manik for writing the fix!

As a result of being mentioned in the release notes, our website had a little bump in the amount of traffic it received on Thursday, Friday and Monday. Sundays are usually our busiest days (I wonder why?) but this past week it was Thursday, followed by Friday, followed by Monday. All three of those days beat the usual Sunday traffic.

OpenLP Website Traffic

Never heard of LibreOffice? LibreOffice is an open source office suite, a free alternative to Microsoft Office. LibreOffice runs on Windows, Linux and Mac OS X, and can read and write most MS Office files. OpenLP supports displaying presentations using LibreOffice on Windows and Linux (OS X is unfortunately currently not supported).

Bug report: https://bugs.freedesktop.org/show_bug.cgi?id=56995

LibreOffice release notes: https://www.libreoffice.org/download/4-1-new-features-and-fixes

Tips on Android App Setup for OpenLP

Android

The Android app for OpenLP adds some nice fexibility to the operation of OpenLP. I personally use this to add songs "on the fly" from the stage on Sunday mornings. It is also useful for speakers that want to control what is being displayed and I'm sure many many other uses. We have recently had a few questions about the remote feature and the setup. You can find detailed instructions in the OpenLP documentation and also info for the Android app.

Networking Basics

Before we get to the tips, we need to be sure have a good understanding of some basic networking terms.

IP Address: This is the unique number that is given to a computer on a network. Think of this as a street address of a house. On most local networks It will look something like this: 192.168.1.100.

LAN: Local Area Network, this is the local network. If you have a typical home setup with a modem and a wireless router the wireless router connects all the computers and assings IP addresses on the LAN. Many users have confused the LAN with the internet. A LAN doesn not have to be connected to the internet at all, it simply provides a way for several close by computers to communicate. A LAN is all that is needed for the remote feature of OpenLP to work.

WiFi: this is the means that you connect to a Local network wirelessly. Again, this does not mean you are connected to the internet.

Now, to the tips...

Get on the Same Network

Many people use the Android app on their mobile phone. One of the most common issues I have ran into when someone is running the remote app is they are not on the network that the OpenLP machine is on. For most setups this means you need to be on the same WiFi network that the OpenLP machine is on.

Connect to the Correct IP Address 

Most networks use DHCP to hand out IP addresses, this means your OpenLP machine may not have the same IP address every week so it may be necessary to check that if you cannot connect with your device. You can find the IP address from the remote settingsscreen in OpenLP. You can also find the IP address by entering the command "ipconfig" in the command prompt in Windows, or by the commands "ip a" or "ifconfig" on most Mac, Linux, and BSD machines. You can also find your OpenLP computer if you know its hostname  on your Android device by using an app such as eZNetScan.

Be Sure to Apply Your Settings

If you need to change your IP address on the Android app be sure to tap the Activate button to activate the changes.

Consider a Static IP Address

A static IP address will help keep you from having a lot of these issues. This may not always be possible, another way to achieve something close to this is using a tool most routers have to reserve dhcp addresses usually bound to the MAC address of a computer. Check your routers documentation but this is usually a pretty simple process.

Over 40,000 Downloads of OpenLP 2.0.1

Download OpenLP Open Source Free Worship Projection Presentation Software

Tracking usage of OpenLP is incredibly difficult. Because it is an open source project, there are no registrations to check, you don't know how many times OpenLP has been copied and given to other people. So we don't ever have a true idea of how many churches are using OpenLP.

Tracking downloads is also quite difficult due to OpenLP being available in a number of distribution channels. We know roughly how many downloads there are of the Windows and OS X versions because most folks just download them from our SourceForge.net mirrors. There are a couple of BitTorrent downloads, which we cannot track, but it is such a small download that most folks just do a direct download.

Tracking downloads for the various Linux distributions is far tricker, as there are no download statistics available. We cannot retrieve any number from FreeBSD, Fedora, Ubuntu, Debian or Arch. Having said that, we do have a PPA (Personal Package Archive) on Launchpad.net for our Ubuntu users, and we are able to track those downloads.

So, using the data we do have available to us, we can surmise that as of the time of posting, OpenLP 2.0.1 has been downloaded 43,781 times. That's over forty thousand times! The real figure is probably a lot higher, thanks to the downloads we can't track, but this still gives us a rough idea of the impact of OpenLP.

If you haven't downloaded OpenLP yet, DO IT NOW!

Announcing End of Support for Older Versions of Ubuntu

Ubuntu 12.04

The OpenLP team has always supported older versions of Ubuntu, even when they were no longer supported by Canonical. Unfortunately this places a strain on the team and on which tools we can use to continue developing OpenLP. For this reason we have decided to only support versions of Ubuntu that Canonical themselves support.

Recently Canonical announced that they would be ending support for Ubuntu 10.04 and 11.10 at the end of April. This means that only versions of Ubuntu 12.04 and higher are supported by Canonical. OpenLP therefore will only be supporting releases on Ubuntu 12.04 and higher as of immediately. This also means that the upcoming 2.0.2 bugfix release of OpenLP will only be available on Ubuntu 12.04 and higher.

Since 12.04 is the latest Long Term Support release of Ubuntu, we are hoping that this should not affect anyone. If you are affected, and there is some reason why you cannot upgrade to a later version of Ubuntu, you can come into our IRC channel and chat with us about getting OpenLP running on your computer.

He is Risen!

We, the OpenLP team, wish you all a very blessed Easter time. We hope that you remember our Lord almighty, who sent his son Jesus into the world to save us.

Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?"

John 11:25-26 ESV

Things have been rather quiet recently on the OpenLP front, and we wanted to give you an update about the current state of development. We will be releasing another bug fix version of the 2.0 release in the near future (most of us are just rather occupied with real life), and will continue with these bugfix versions until either 2.2 is released, or there are no more bugs (yeah right!). Of course we've been putting most of our effort behind continuing the development of OpenLP, implementing more features and doing a lot of behind-the-scenes work to ensure OpenLP remains a stable product.

Image Groups

Some nice features have been added recently:

  • The "Blank to" buttons in the live controller expand into 3 separate buttons if there is enough space (like in version 1.2.x)
  • You can create "image groups"
  • The remote plugin can now use HTTPS
  • The remote plugin can now also be password protected

SSL and Password

Some other internal improvements:

  • Save services without media files
  • Media players (such as Phonon and VLC) are now in OpenLP core, instead of the media plugin
  • Various bugs in the media players have been fixed
  • Preparing to move our code from Python 2 to Python 3 numerous performance improvements have been added to the code
  • Rewritten the Settings code
  • Various other internal rewrites and cleanups

We also have some new Czech Bibles available for download in the First Time Wizard.

NOTE: The current development version is not stable. Do not use it at church, it will crash :)

We are also happy to see that the community is growing, with more people helping out on the forums. We are always grateful for every helping hand.