Reflections and Projections

1,000 Facebook Fans!

It is time once again for an OpenLP head count. 1,000 Facebook fans is a huge sign of the people who use and support OpenLP. While, of course, we aren’t exactly getting scientific here, it is great to know that OpenLP is helping out churches literally all across the world.

The OpenLP Beta 2 release has been out for a while now is working very well . I know it has been working very well for our church. Further improvements are scheduled for the next beta release that will be out soon. As always your input is need, in bug reports, testing, and spreading the word about OpenLP.

We can also especially use the help of Mac users. The developers and testers for the most part do not have a great deal of access to Mac hardware. If you are a Mac user and have time your help would be greatly appreciated. The hope is that OpenLP will be running on OS X Lion on the release after the upcoming release (1.9.8). Currently OpenLP does not run on Lion due to known issues.

Another thing to look forward to in coming releases is improved multimedia support. I know this has been an issue for many users, me included. Don't fear help is on the way. It may be a few months before this is completely resolved but there is a huge effort to get media support working properly in OpenLP on all platforms for all users.

We are extremly grateful for all those users of OpenLP that have left a message of thanks and support. I know this is a great uplift to the developers who are tirelessly working on this project in their spare time. Also, if you need support there are several options for you. You can always drop an email to support at, or chat at #openlp on freenode, and you can use the convenient web chat. We are also still working on documentation for version to so be sure to check it out also.

The community at OpenLP is always growing. If you would like to get involved in developing, testing, documentation. or support, come join in today and help us make OpenLP even better.

OpenLP on Snow Leopard is now officially fully supported!

To give a little bit of history: a big item for our OpenLP 1.9.6 (Beta 2) release was to fix the JPEG support on Snow Leopard (OS X 10.6), not just on Leopard (OS X 10.5) - see this ticket. But it turns out that was not that easy to fix, as during packaging OpenLP it somehow get left out. For packaging we are using PyInstaller which does support packaging for OS X, but in this particular case the libraries were not being packaged correctly. Because of this bug in PyInstaller, fixing this issue was delayed until after the official release date of Beta 2. Kudos goes to Martin for fixing that issue:

Now that the official fix is available, we have repacakged OpenLP for OS X, and made it available as OpenLP, a special release for Snow Leopard (OS X 10.6) with JPEG support. This now enables users of Snow Leopard to use the JPEG format in images and theme backgrounds. Here's a direct download link:


To answer a recent question about OS X 10.7, aka Lion: unfortunately at this point in time we cannot estimate when OpenLP will be officially supported on Lion (OS X 10.7). Currently the GUI toolkit we use (Qt) has some glitches on that new version of OS X that need to be fixed before we can create an official OpenLP package for Lion. But as you can see, we are working on it!

Drag and Drop

Today changes have been added to OpenLP v2 allow Images, Presentations and Media items to be dragged from the desktop (or any folder) into the relevent  media manager plugin.  This will allow the selected items to be loaded more quickly.

If a folder is selected then all the contects of the folder will be added. When the items are added, only items withe correct file suffix for the plugin will be loaded. So if you try to drop a presentation into the images folder, an error message will be generated.

In addition it is possible now to drag saved services into the service manager.  The service will be opened up and the existing service replaced.

Upgrading the Web Site

Some folks might have noticed that the formats of some of our URLs have changed. Over the course of the next few weeks we'll be making various tweaks and changes to the site in preparation for upgrading the backend of the site.

Most of your interactions will remain the same, but some of your old links might not resolve. If you do hit a "page not found" error, simply navigate back to the home page of the site, and see if you can find what you were looking for from there. If that doesn't work, please either drop us an e-mail, or pop into our IRC channel and leave us a note with the URL you were trying to access, and we'll take it from there.

OpenLP 2.0 beta 2 is GO!

Hello folks,

We are pleased to announce OpenLP 1.9.6 "Enflaming Elijah", also known as 2.0 beta 2. Download it, it is AWESOME!

Since the release of beta 1, we have encouraged users to download and use OpenLP 2.0 instead of 1.2. This means that OpenLP 2.0 has been put through its paces, and people have been testing it by using it in their services. Of course this opens us up to the discovery of bugs and we have fixed a large number of those as well as introduced a number of improvements. Much to our pleasant surprise, there were actually fewer bugs than we were expecting.

If you have any problems setting up or using OpenLP, please read the manual as well as the Frequently Asked Questions. Bug reports can be sent to bugs(at), and queries not addressed by the FAQ or the manual can be sent to support(at)

This release brings many performance and stability improvements. But not only that, it also includes a number of new features:

  • Customisable shortcuts
  • Service printing can be tailored via a CSS file
  • Start and stop media at selected times
  • Open services files in OpenLP by double clicking on them on most platforms
  • Prevent two copies of OpenLP running at the same time
  • Virtual page breaks
  • Search for Custom Slides
  • A progress bar when loading and saving Service files
  • Web remote improvements:
    • Search for, and go live on an item
    • Search for, and add an item to the service
  • Stage view

Other improvements and over one hundred bug fixes, including:

  • Various Mac OS X specific fixes
  • Reworked the Bibles for better language support
  • Bug fixes in the song importer
  • Numerous UI improvements
  • Startup performance enhancements on Windows
  • Display screen rendering performance enhancements
  • PowerPoint and LibreOffice integration improvements

A full list can be found on our project site:

Important Notes:

  • HTML is not allowed in songs/custom slides anymore, it will be displayed as normal text. If you would like to embed your own HTML, you can use display tags instead.
  • In order to make use of the Bible improvements, Bibles will need to be upgraded. This will be automatic when OpenLP starts after the upgrade. Note that this will take some time so do not do this upgrade 5 minutes before a service starts!
  • Upgraded Bibles are incompatible with older versions of OpenLP!
  • In order to fix searching for apostrophes, a re-indexing of the songs is necessary. Go to Tools -> Re-Index Songs to do so.
  • JPEG support on OS X is still an issue, but we're hoping to have it resolved in the next release.
  • There is a Snow Leopard build in the works.

Finally, you can download OpenLP by going to the Download page and clicking on the installer for your operating system.

Don't forget to Like the OpenLP page on Facebook, retweet OpenLP's tweets, and tell everyone you know about OpenLP!

For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all God’s people, I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe.

Ephesians 1:15-19a (English Standard Version)

God bless, the OpenLP team

OpenLP 2.0 beta 2 Coming Soon!

For those of you who have been living under a bush (I kid!), it's 2 weeks till the release of OpenLP 2.0 beta 2 (also known as OpenLP 1.9.6).

We've created an event on Facebook for people to "attend". Please bear in mind that this is a virtual event, you are not required to go anywhere or do anything! All you need to do is "celebrate" with us by downloading OpenLP 1.9.6, and giving a copy to anyone you think might be interested.

"Enflaming Elijah" is looking good!

Hi folks,

I just wanted to drop an update about our next release, OpenLP 1.9.6 "Enflaming Elijah". We've been working hard on getting a lot of things fixed and improved in this release, including various aspects of internationalisation (especially around Bibles), media support, speed and general stability. I'm really pleased with our progress thus far, and am looking forward to the release at the end of this month.

So far we are on track to release 1.9.6 on the 26th of June, as per our proposed milestones.

Some key features/enhancements in the upcoming version:

  • Faster startup times on Windows
  • Translation of everything (hopefully!), including all menu items, buttons on wizards and dialogs, and even the web remote.
  • Improved language support for Bibles

Thanks to everyone who has helped us so far.

Minimum Software Versions

About 2 and a half years ago, when we first started development on OpenLP 2.0, we had a look at all the technologies out there in order to decide what would be the best technologies to use in order to make a cross-platform version of OpenLP a reality. We settled on two in particular, a language called Python, and a graphical toolkit called Qt. In those days, the latest version of Python was 2.5 and the latest version of Qt was 4.4. So we made those versions our minimum software versions, and anything older than that we didn't try to program for, and we didn't offer support for.

Two and a half years later, we've looked at the current versions of software, and what minimum versions we should support. We looked at our supported operating systems, and their support, and decided to base our minimum versions off theirs. In particular, we had a look at Ubuntu Linux, which has two types of releases: short term support releases, and long term support releases (better known as LTS). With this in mind, we looked at the minimum versions of Python and Qt in Ubuntu's 10.04 release (the most recent LTS).

We aren't concerned with Windows or Mac OS X, since we have to build and compile OpenLP completely for those platforms, whereas the Linux and *BSD support OpenLP natively. Since Fedora, FreeBSD, and the other Linux and *BSD distributions are all up-to-date, and none of them offer the same LTS-style releases that Ubuntu does, we decided to use Ubuntu as our yardstick.

So, as of today, the minimum software  requirements are Python 2.6, Qt 4.6 and PyQt 4.7, and the minimum version of Ubuntu is 10.04. The minimums for Windows is XP and OS X is 10.5. Fedora's minimum version is typically the release in development, and then all releases back to the current release. Arch Linux is a "rolling release" distro, and so OpenLP generally works on it. OpenLP generally works on all versions of FreeBSD as well, since it's a source-based system, and you can generally find the latest OpenLP package for PC-BSD as well.

Remotes, Androids and Stage Views

From near the beginning there has been some form of remote control functionality in OpenLP V2. At first it was just a basic command line utility. Then we developed the basic Web view which although functional, wasn't very pretty.

Well in recent weeks remote operation has been getting some more much needed attention, in the shape of a new design targetting mobiles, an Android App and a Stage View.

First Raoul worked his designer magic on the Web Interface giving it a shiny new look which was easy to use on a smartphone. As more and more people now own an iPhone, Blackberry or Android phone and the number of Churches with Wi-Fi connections are increasing, this offers much more flexibility in the operation of OpenLP. If the worship leader decides to skip a song, with a couple of buttons she can put the correct song on the screen. The car park attendant or nursery supervisor can easily put a message on the screen over the network from their phones.

The next person to take advantage of the remote functionality was Samuel Sjöbergsson who has started writing an Android OpenLP app. With help from Johan Mynhardt and Tim it is making good progress and it is great to see two new developers join the team. It is still very early days, but we're looking forward to the potential of this app. We're not yet ready to put this in the Android Market, but if you want to take an early peek at what has been done so far, you can download it from launchpad.

Finally in the latest nightly builds, you will find the most recent addition. A Stage View. For those who don't know, this is a specially designed output for those people on the stage. They don't need all the whizzy background graphics, they just want a plain view of the current and perhaps the next verse and an indication of which verse they are on. A clock helps them to know when to stop, and perhaps some notes to act as a reminder.

We've had a few feature requests for this, but because of the complexity of adding support for a third monitor, and the relatively few users who have three video outputs, we've not considered it high priority. Then came the realisation that this could be easily achieved with the remote API, and I set about writing a simple page to prove the concept. So not only can this then be opened in a full screen web browser on your third monitor (if you are lucky enough to have one), but you can save the expense of lots of video cabling and instead open it on another Laptop or Tablet on the network.

To use the remote functionality, first go into Settings -> Plugin List, and Activate the Remote plugin. To view the web address, go to Settings -> Configure OpenLP, choose the Remote page and the hyperlinks should be displayed.

We would love to know if you make use of any of these remote options, and also tell us your ideas on how we could improve them or of any limitations that might be stopping you from using them.

Breaks Between Slides

Some improvements have been added to build 1496 to change the way songs and custom slides are paged. A new feature has been added to allow a song verse to be split IF it does not all fit on one slide.

If a line contains [---] then, if the slide does not fit on a single display, that is where the slide will automatically be split. This means that songs can be set up for different size themes with complete control over the paging. In addition the need for two slides containing "V1" etc has been removed. One slide one verse and the display code will split things correctly.

For custom slides a minor change has been implemented. [===] is now the slide break if you use "Edit All" and [---] is the soft break. This does not effect any saved custom items you have created.

The interfaces will be updated before beta2 to help with adding this tag.