Monday, October 25, 2021

Uni Kickstarter Stretch Goals

The Uni Kickstarter met its initial goal, but it's still active for another month, and it's only a few thousand dollars away from reaching its first stretch goal!

illustration of the campaign's stretch goals, listed in text below

If the campaign reaches $30,000 in funding, lighter springs will be added to the store, which I find particularly exciting, since I enjoy using springs that are as light as possible. If it reaches $40,000, a DIY version will be released, which will be a boon to the mehanical keyboard assembly mavens among us. If you haven't pledged to the campaign yet, now is an excellent time!

Monday, October 18, 2021

Personal Dictionaries In Typey Type

Diana, creator of Typey Type, has just enabled a cool new experimental feature that allows users to get hints based on their own dictionary entries while using Typey Type.

She says:
It’s experimental but you can add your dictionaries and see your entries appear in Lookup! This lets you look up your briefs on your phone when you’re away from your computer, and shows your dictionary entries when building custom lessons.

You can also opt into the bleeding-edge experiment to “Show your dictionary entries in lesson hints”. This means for standard Typey Type lessons, you’ll see your own dictionary strokes if you have an entry for a word, and Typey Type’s entry if you do not.

Typey Type will also try to use your entries for capitalisation and spacing. For the existing entry, “KPAOEPB/KWRA”: “Xena”, you can use “xena” in your custom lesson and if you have custom entries for capitalisation, such as “TPHRO*ER”: “{>}”, Typey Type will use them to create hints like TPHRO*ER/KPAOEPB/KWRA. It’ll also try to be smart about punctuation, numbers, and fingerspelling entries.

This has been a long time in the making, a highly sought after feature, and I’ve had to overhaul huge parts of Typey Type to make it possible, so I’m very excited to start sharing this with more people!

There’s more work to be done but if you have feedback, I’d love to hear it!
What a fantastic feature! Superb work.

Monday, October 11, 2021

New Pre-Release!

There's a new pre-release version of Plover with a ton of incremental improvements over at the Plover GitHub, with more soon to come. Amazing lead devs Ted and Benoit Pierre (plus several additional contributors) have been working incredibly hard to bring Plover 4 up to a new stable release, and they're getting so close! Stay tuned!

Monday, October 4, 2021

Back the Uni on Kickstarter!

A campaign for version 3 of the Uni steno keyboard has been launched!

The Uni Kickstarter page contains videos of the board in action, along with other pertinent information for potential backers. It really is a beautiful little board. If you're in the need for a well engineered hobbyist steno machine, do consider backing the campaign! It's already three quarters of the way there, with almost 60 days to go, so it's pretty much a sure bet at this point.

Monday, September 27, 2021

Hacktoberfest 2021

Hacktoberfest logo in decorative faux-German font
Lead dev Ted writes:
Hello fellow stenography enthusiasts!

It's that special time of year again where open source contributions get you either a cool shirt or trees planted. I love this time of year because it always energizes me to work on open source stenography stuff. Expect some activity on both Plover and Art of Chording.

I believe this is the third year that Open Steno contributors have participated in Hacktoberfest. If you feel like pitching in, go to the Hacktoberfest website for instructions on how to participate!

Monday, September 20, 2021

QMK Extensions for Hobbyist Stenoboards

Longtime steno friend and community contributor Joshua has just released a package of extensions to QMK (the popular open source mechanical keyboard firmware) that enables first-up chord-send and tap-and-hold chord repeat extensions, compatible with the Planck, Preonic, ErgoDox EZ, Clueboard, Cluepad, and Atreus. Handy stuff for people who want to be able to send repeated navigation commands via their steno machine without having to press and release for each one. Nice work!

Monday, September 13, 2021

Plover and Toki Pona Meet Again!

Back in 2010, very, very early in Plover's development, Sonja Lang, (esteemed linguist and creator of Toki Pona, an extremely simple and elegant constructed language) joined the Plover Google Group. The software wasn't really in a usable state at that point, so only the most hardcore users at the time were able to do anything with it, so she drifted away from the community relatively quickly (which I completely understand), but before she did, she introduced me to Canadian graphic designer Laura Lake, who wound up designing Dolores, our beloved steno-winged mascot!

These were her first preliminary sketches of Dolores. I love them a lot.
sketches of a bird with a steno keyboard pattern in the feathers of her wing
And now, 11 years later, the Toki Pona community has intersected with the Plover community once again. On the Toki Pona Subreddit, there's a lovely little video demonstrating timeopochin's Toki Pona plugin for Plover. It's still in development, but seems very handy for users of the language! I'm delighted to see our respective orbits colliding once again, and hope that both communities will be able to enjoy the intersection.