Reflections and Projections

OpenLP one point nine point seven, "Joyful John" aka beta 3, has been released!

OpenLP one point nine point seven It's like a match made in heaven, With plenty new features And fewer bug creatures.

(Stupid poem courtesy of Raoul - you can moan at him!)

NB: Please note that OpenLP does not work on OS X 10.7 Lion. This is a known issue, and we are working on a solution.

It's release time again, and once again this new version will not disappoint. Along with over 79 bug fixes there have been a large number of features added.

Moving on we hope the next release will either be the first Release Candidate, or the last beta.

New features:

  • Basic support for audio files on songs.
  • Internal database upgrading (no more re-importing of your database).
  • Drag and Drop support has been enhanced from the desktop into all plugins and Services.
  • It is now possible to change to the colour surrounding small images used for themes or when displayed from a service.
  • The Song database now records when a song is created and edited.
  • Song Usage can now record when a song is used or printed.
  • The Android client is now available on the Android Market
  • More visible indication if song usage is active or not.
  • Tooltips in the service manager, including theme name, notes and media playing time.
  • The spell checker is active in notes as well.
  • The First Run Wizard can be re-run.
  • Settings can be exported and imported.

Major bugs that have been fixed:

  • Render performance improvements.
  • Image displaying performance improvement.
  • Fixed JPEG support on Mac OS X 10.6.
  • Formatting tags now work on second slide when slide is split.
  • You can update the song's theme by double-clicking on the top level item in the service manager after setting a new theme.
  • The manual is now packaged with OpenLP on Windows.
  • Various fixes around the First Run Wizard, including better handling of no connectivity.
  • Various fixes for the Bible and songs imports.

Forum Housekeeping

Hi folks,

In order to make our forums a little easier to use, we've consolidated our 5 groups and 13 forums into 2 groups and 7 forums. The language-specific forums have remained the same, so if you speak German, French, Spanish, or Portuguese, you can post your queries in those forums.

The big changes come in the rest of the forums. We used to have a multitude of sections and forums, and in order to make the forums easier to use, and easier to figure out where the best place to post your query is, we have slimmed it down to 3 categories:

  • General Discussion This is where you can discuss more general topics, like problems with the web site, or where to get Bibles, and other things that don't fit in either of the other two forums.
  • Troubleshooting If you're having general problems getting OpenLP running, this is the place to find help. If you think you've encountered a bug, but you're not getting an actual error, you should post in here too. Please note that since most of the developers use Linux, most operating system specific queries cannot necessarily be answered.
  • Development Bug reports, feature requests, offers of help, and other development-related topics can be posted in here.

This is another change we're making in order to optimise the site, hopefully making the site almost as easy to use as OpenLP is

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 openlp.org, 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:

http://www.pyinstaller.org/ticket/373

Now that the official fix is available, we have repacakged OpenLP for OS X, and made it available as OpenLP 1.9.6.1, 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:

http://sourceforge.net/projects/openlp/files/openlp/1.9.6/OpenLP-1.9.6.1.dmg/download

Enjoy!

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 openlp.org 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)openlp.org, and queries not addressed by the FAQ or the manual can be sent to support(at)openlp.org.

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: https://launchpad.net/openlp/trunk/1.9.6

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.