Wednesday, November 15, 2017

New Plover Weekly released with plugins!

The future of Plover is now released into the wild. With a plugins manager, we open up the ability to download extra features that before would never make it into the official Plover release. Lots of cool widgets and doo-dads to extend functionality, along with support for rare hardware, speedometers, and support for other languages, potentially. It’s like an App Store for Plover, just open the plugins manager to get new plugins today.
The release is a beta but you can still feel free to grab it. Check out the changelog below.

Plover v4.0.0.dev5+9.gba958374

Warning: Version 4 is a major change and the configuration file it creates is not compatible with Plover 3 or earlier. Please backup your plover.cfg

Changes

Plugins

Plugins manager showing a list of plugins that are installed and can be installed
Screenshot of the new plugins manager (background image source)
  • with a new plugins manager, install, list, update, and remove plugins from within Plover!
  • new supported plugins:
    • Enable, disable, and reorder your dictionaries using strokes.
    • Interactive wizard to build up your dictionaries from a text article or list of words.
    • Use an Italian Stentura machine with Plover.
    • Use a MIDI piano or a dedicated MIDI machine like Michela with Plover. For keyboard makers: MIDI is a great protocol option with lots of keys and is easier to implement than some serial protocols.
    • Plugins Manager (installed by default)
      Find, install, update, and remove plugins for Plover.
    • .py dictionaries are pure functions that map a set of chords to a translation. A better alternative to scripting the creation of dictionaries for anyone who knows Python.
    • Treal (installed by default)
      Use the Treal steno machine (the code was moved out of Plover and into a plugin).
    • Control VLC media player playback using strokes.
    • Control monitor brightness on Windows.
    • Speedometer widgets that show your typing speed and strokes-per-second.
  • support for custom machine configuration widgets

User Interface

  • new icon for read-only dictionaries
  • show a “reload” icon while dictionaries are being loaded
  • outdated dictionaries are automatically reloaded on configuration change (e.g. when clicking the machine reconnect button)
  • improve lookup: strip spaces from lookup, improve and fix display (correctly show translations containing HTML markup)
  • improve suggestions: only suggest on new/modified text, rework word splitting (e.g. if “full-release” is entered, suggestions for “release” will be shown too)
  • improve keymap configuration widget to be easier to use
  • add support for creating new dictionaries

Main Dictionary

  • cleanup main dictionary: remove legacy Eclipse TPHR-BG entries, remove redundant entries
  • dictionary has some additions and changes thanks to community feedback from issue 400, significant changes are outlined here.

Linux

  • the AppImage can now be installed/uninstalled
  • drop the need for wmctrl

Mac

  • don’t suppress keyup events created by Plover, which improves compatibility with some applications when using a Keyboard as a steno machine.

Other

  • keyboard: fix a number of edge cases / bugs
  • rework keymap configuration widget
  • formatting rework: consistent output with both space placement settings, better handling retro-case commands

Development

  • drop Python 2 support
  • update Python version to 3.6
  • update PyQt5 version to latest LTS: 5.9
  • export utils as plover_build_utils so it’s available for plugins development

Installation Guide

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Consolidated Page of GitHub Plover Repos

This might not be news to some people, but I was surprised and delighted to learn that Plover appears as a topic on GitHub, allowing various Plover-related repos from many different authors to appear on a single page: https://github.com/topics/plover

This seems like it would be helpful for both potential users and potential contributors to these projects, and it's also cool to be able to get sort of a snapshot of the Plover ecosystem as it currently stands. Thanks to lead dev Ted for pointing it out on the Discord yesterday.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Plover + MIDI + Braille

Check out this mindbending video from Sillabix, a user of Michela steno, who recently got our devs to create a version of Plover that works with Michela input from a MIDI piano keyboard. Michela was originally developed to work with Italian, which has fewer orthographic oddities than English, requiring fewer keys, but it has been adapted to English as well, which is what's being shown here. It's somewhat slower than traditional English steno, but seriously cool. For added awesomeness, Sillabix integrated it with both a text-to-speech synthesizer and a Braille font, which presumably could be integrated into a refreshable Braille display for realtime tactile output. Pretty dang rad.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

PloverCAT



It's still early days, but Luke has been working on a plugin for Plover that replicates traditional CAT software by offering a text field where every translation is automatically mapped to a stroke in the log, allowing for globaling and retranslation by altering stroke definitions throughout the document. It's been years since I've used CAT software (I just use Vim, Aloft, or Streamtext for pretty much all my captioning), but I know several people who have requested a feature like this, and it's pretty cool to see that it's being developed! Luke has promised to keep us posted as the plugin comes together, so stay tuned!

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Remember Outlines in Plover more Easily!

Check out this awesome post on the Plover subreddit about longtime community member BX1959's new Anki deck and mnemonic drilling system for memorizing the Plover outlines for the top 4,300 words in English! From the post:
ROPE is a guide to learning and recalling Plover outlines for over 4,300 common English words. It does this in two ways: first, it relies on Anki's spaced repetition system to help you solidify the outlines in your memory. Second, it includes mnemonic devices (in the form of stories) for a sizeable chunk of the outlines, about 1200. These stories serve to connect the outlines to their corresponding word by including words that are similar to the components of the outlines.

If you'd like to try using ROPE to learn new outlines, download both the Excel document and the Anki file. (If you don't have Anki on your computer, download it for free from the website.) The Anki file and the Excel document have the same material; Anki is just a flashcard program that lets you keep track of your learning, and the Excel file is useful to have as a reference. Once you've gone through the Learn Plover! exercises, you can start using Anki to learn new outlines, even if you're very new to Plover. This system is meant to be super-customizable, so you can add in or change stories, outlines, and words however you please. For more detailed information, see below!

I haven't used Anki myself, but I know tons of people who swear by it. Give it a try and let us know what you think, either in the comments to this post or in the Discord!

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Want a Hacktoberfest T-shirt? Contribute to an OSP repo!



Hacktoberfest is a month-long celebration of open source, and anyone who makes four or more pull requests to an open source repo hosted on Github will receive a free T-shirt from Digital Ocean.

Some Open Steno Project repos to contribute to:

Plover
Stenodict
Stenojig
Stenomancer
Stenocomplete

If you have your own steno-related open source projects hosted on Github, feel free to add them to this post in the comments.

Happy hacking!

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

New Live Coding Demo from Ted



Check out this rad live coding demo from our intrepid lead dev Ted! So hypnotizing.