Reflections and Projections

Use VLC to play videos right inside OpenLP!

A few months ago, we rewrote how media (videos, etc) works in OpenLP. Part of the reason for the rewrite of how media is handled was to be able to use VLC as your video player inside OpenLP. Today we are happy to announce that we now have VLC support in OpenLP, via the nightly builds.

Please keep in mind that the VLC support might contain bugs since it has not yet been fully tested. Feel free, however, to test it out. As usual, please report any bugs you find.

Note: You will need to install VLC and enable VLC support in the media setting (Settings -> Configure OpenLP...) before you can use it.

Best Regards and may God be with you,
OpenLP Team

New Android Release

Hot on the heels of the Christmas 1.9.8 release, an updated version of the Android client has been added to the Android Market.

This release contains two updates:

  • The ability to blank the screen to the theme or desktop as well as the screen. *This change requires version 1.9.8 to function fully.*
  • A number of translations.

The next release should be available at the same time as 1.9.9 is released.

Automated Nightly Mac OS X Builds

This weekend we were able to set up the necessary infrastructure for doing test builds for Mac OS X automatically.

Nightly builds are created every day around 10pm GMT. These builds are created on Mac OS X 10.7 (Lion) and should also work on Mac OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard). These builds include latest development changes in OpenLP. The latest test build is available on the download page.

I would like to encourage Mac OS X users and testers to test OpenLP builds and report bugs periodically since we do not have a lot of Mac OS X developers and the support for Mac platform is not perfect.

Happy testing and reporting!

Videos Wanted

Hello everyone! OpenLP's popularity is on the rise. We just hit 1,200 fans. That is a large accomplishment in itself for a project like OpenLP. With this rise in popularity we could use some help from the community. As you probably already know we have been hard at work on a manual and support is always available through chat, but OpenLP also has a YouTube channel. Many times a video is worth more than a thousand words when demonstrating a feature or helping out with a technical issue.

We would love for members of the OpenLP community to help out with support. We can always use help with the manual or in chat, but specifically we would love to have your videos. Maybe you would like to document a feature that once found you couldn't live without. Maybe, you are a pro at setting up OpenLP and dual monitors and would like to demonstrate. If you would like a sample of a video please check this video out.

If you have your cameras rolling email us at support@openlp.org with your video and we will link to it on YouTube. If you do not have the video posted online and would still like to get it to us, file syncing services such as Dropbox, UbuntuOne, and Spider Oak (to name a few) all have a way to share a file with a public link. If that isn't your cup of tea you can also use a site such as TransferBigFiles.com to upload a file and have a public link so others can access it.

If you have been looking for a way to help the OpenLP community out this would be a great way and also should be fun in the process!

Happy New Year and Welcome to 2012!

Looking back over the past year, OpenLP has had quite an eventful year. In 2011 we had the last two releases of openlp.org 1.2.x, had five releases of OpenLP 2.0 (1.9.x), we moved from alpha releases to beta releases, and we end-of-life'd openlp.org 1.x. Not only that, OpenLP even has an Android app!

Both as an application, and as a project, OpenLP has gone from strength to strength during 2011. Since the first beta release (version 1.9.5) we have had over 80,000 downloads, and the new manual has seen steady improvement since it was first put together. There have been a number of favourable reviews of OpenLP, and we've seen people talking about OpenLP more on the Internet this year. The OpenLP site has also seen almost 150,000 visitors this year.

This coming year promises to be even bigger and better. While we don't have a fixed release date for OpenLP 2.0, the general feeling is that it will likely be toward the end of 2012. This means that lots of bug fixing lies ahead of us, we'd like to get things like translations and the manual complete, and look at revamping the web site for the final release too.

Often we make New Years resolutions but in 2 Corinthians 13:5, Paul tells us:

Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you? - unless indeed you fail to meet the test!"

2 Corinthians 13:5, ESV

A careful self-evaluation is often insightful and motivating, especially for Christians working on their New Year’s resolutions. As we kick off the new year, take time to examine you faith and confirm your commitment to Christ, reflecting on what He has done for you this past year, and thinking of what you can do in the coming year to strengthen your faith and deepen your relationship with Him.

In short, the OpenLP team wishes you a blessed and fruitful new year.

PS: Don't forget to upgrade OpenLP to version 1.9.8.

A very special Christmas present for everyone: OpenLP 2.0 beta 4!

Christmas Present

Another release, another beta... As with most other open source projects, we don't want to release OpenLP until it is ready. So here's our Christmas present to you: another beta version. Don't worry, we are just as eager as you to get the final release out, but we also want to make sure the final release is the best it can be, so we'll continue to release beta versions and then release candidates until we're happy with what we've got.

PLEASE NOTE: ONCE YOU HAVE INSTALLED VERSION 1.9.8 YOU WILL NOT BE ABLE TO RUN VERSION 1.9.7 AGAIN!

As of 1.9.7 we introduced an automatic database upgrade system, and song databases from the newer versions are not necessarily backwards compatible. From time to time we have to introduce changes to the songs database in order to add new features and enhance existing functionality. Because of these changes, you will not be able to run previous versions of OpenLP with your most recent database.

This release is no different to the last one, chock-full of bug fixes, with a few features, or feature enhancements, thrown in. We are also constantly updating the manual (http://manual.openlp.org/) to reflect these new features and enhancements and a lot of changes have already been documented.

Some of the features you'll find in this release:

  • A top toolbar in the web remote
  • Media has been rewritten to make integration of other media systems, like VLC, easier.
  • Added "Justify" as a theme option (note: this makes themes not backward compatible if this option is used)
  • Ability to edit songs loaded as part of a service which are not stored permanently in the songs database.
  • Special shortcuts for the slide controller to go directly to any verse.

Some of the bug fixes you'll find in this release:

  • Support for OS X 10.7 Lion

  • A couple of minor bugfixes for the Web Remote

  • Problems with v1 theme with non-english characters in the name

  • Problems with non-english characters in filenames inside loaded services on Windows

  • Cannot use mouse wheel to change volume in slide controller

  • Improve performance of song loading for Preview/Live

  • OpenLP 2 database import fails when using an old database

  • Specified position for footer not working

  • Theme with outlined text and "justify" not displaying properly

    For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

    Isaiah 9:6

Christmas is a hectic time of year with people shopping for gifts, wrapping gifts, traveling, preparing meals and doing so many other activities. For those of us involved in church preparation it will also include Christmas themes, song selection, music rehearsal and other preparations for the Christmas service. Sometimes Christmas looks like a big production.

On the other hand, there are governments requiring Nativity scenes to be taken down, atheists wanting to put banners up denying God, TV broadcasts and stores restricted to say "Happy Holidays" instead of Merry CHRISTmas and Christians watching in unbelief as our faith is assaulted.

We can take comfort in knowing we worship a living, caring God. One who sent His Son to show us how to live, to pray, to worship and to believe in our Lord Jesus for everlasting life.

We at OpenLP wish you a Blessed Christmas and hope and pray you will take the time to refresh yourself with Jesus Christ, our Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father and Prince of Peace. Amen.

Go grab OpenLP 1.9.8 from the Download page!

Precise Pangolin Packages Presently Procurable!

Last night I added Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin to our PPA, so from today or tomorrow all those early birds who like to run Ubuntu from the first alpha release should be able to download the daily build of OpenLP for 12.04. Unfortunately, OpenLP 1.9.7 will be not available for 12.04, but 1.9.8 and up will be.

Don't forget, we support all flavours of Ubuntu, including Kubuntu, Xubuntu and Lubuntu. Mint Linux is also supported, as long as you are using the standard edition, not the Debian edition (the Debian edition should work too, but it doesn't work directly from the PPA). We also support all releases from 10.04 and up, so don't worry if you want to stick to the LTS releases of Ubuntu, we still support you!

To download OpenLP 1.9.7 for Ubuntu 10.04 to 11.10, go to our download page and add the PPA to your software sources. To download a nightly build (testers and adventurous users only!) of OpenLP, go to the download page and scroll down to the Developer Downloads section.

Nightly updates and Songs Database.

Changes have been made to the songs plugin to give users the ability to edit songs in a service when the "Add missing Songs when Opening Service" option is disabled. In the past, this was not possible.

This has meant that we needed to make a change to the songs database to protect the database. Thanks to the new internal upgrade system, you do not need to make the change yourself, OpenLP will do so automatically. In addition to this, the songs plugin will be disabled if the version of the database is newer than the version the code expects.

This will only impact people using nightly builds who have a number of copies of the code or who copy the database between different machines and the database has been updated. It will also impact anyone who tries to install an older version of OpenLP after using the latest nightly build.

It is recommended that you first backup your songs database if you think you may need to downgrade to 1.9.7 or an older nightly build after installing the latest nightly build.

OpenLP packages for openSUSE now available!

Many thanks to Joseph Mulloy and Alexandre D. Rogoski who have worked hard to get OpenLP up and running on openSUSE!

A couple of developers have tried in the past, and run into various issues, but between Joseph and Alexandre, they have managed to overcome these issues, and give us a One-Click Install for openSUSE 12.1, 11.4 and 11.3.

You can download OpenLP for openSUSE by visiting the download page and clicking on the link for your version of openSUSE.

Please note that you will not be able to import songs or Bibles from openlp.org 1.x as dependencies for this functionality are not present within openSUSE. Should you need this, please e-mail your database to support[at]openlp.org and the support team will try to convert them for you.

Media Rewrite Complete

Hi folks,

I've just committed one of our largest (if not the largest) chunks of code yet. It is a complete rewrite of the way media works in OpenLP. You should not see any noticeable difference from your perspective as the user at the moment, but this change gives us the ability to use various media "engines" to play videos and audio other than the ones built into your platform.

For instance, one of the engines we are working on at the moment is VLC. VLC is the dominant media player, and being able to use VLC as a video player means that OpenLP should be able to play any video that VLC can play. However, this is not yet implemented, we'll let you know when it is.

Due to the nature and the size of this change, we'd really like as many people as possible to test it out for us, and make sure it is bug-free. You'll need to download tonight's nightly build (see the download page), and make sure to backup your OpenLP data and keep the installer for your previous version of OpenLP close at hand. Don't install this on your church computer!

If you do encounter any bugs, please check our Launchpad.net bug tracker, our support system, and the forums before posting your bug report - we may have already received it from someone else.