Reflections and Projections

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.

Shortcuts for the Live Controller (Video)

Hello folks,

Time for a new feature, time for a new blog post...

I just added special shortcut support to the Live Controller to OpenLP. This allows you to navigate through and jump between your slides in the Live Controller using only your keyboard. This works for any type of slide, e. g. songs, bible verses and images.

How does it work?

If you want to jump to verse 3 using the keyboard, press "v" and within a time frame of 350ms, press "3". (It is technically not possible to have the shortcut v + 3.) If you are concerned that 350ms is too short, consider that you normally have to press all keys at the same time when using “real” shortcuts (like "CTRL + C"), so as long as you are quick enough, you will be successful!

Available Shortcuts

Verse: V Chorus: C

Once you have pressed the slide type, you can use the numbers from 0-9.

People using a translated version of OpenLP can change the shortcuts if they want to (the numbers are not configurable) via Settings → Configure Shortcuts...

God bless, OpenLP Team

Video

OpenLP and Impress 3.4 on Fedora 16

There have been changes made to Impress 3.4 which make it incompatable with OpenLP if the Impress has been selected as a presentation player.

This is known to effect Fedora 16 and may impact other builds.  If the presentation plugin is enabled then OpenLP will fail to start.

More details will be provided as we find out the impact.

Don't Forget To Tell CCLI Who We Are!

Many churches use CCLI for licensing their music. It's the easy way to stay legal. Every year, however, these churches need to submit what songs they have used, and often also have to fill in a questionnaire about how they use those songs...

The next time you have to fill in that questionnaire, don't forget to point out that you use OpenLP! This has a direct benefit for you, as users of OpenLP, because it means that we have enough users for them to actually listen to us, and think about implementing things like SongSelect differently, so that we can also add it to OpenLP.

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.