Saturday, January 14, 2017

Timeline of the OSP and New Steno Jig Exercises

First off, Ted has compiled a rough timeline of the Open Steno Project from its inception through the present day. Useful for people who want to put the whole trajectory of Open Steno in context.

Also, Steno Jig (a link to which you can find on the learning resources page on the new Github-based Plover wiki, which has superseded the old outdated Wiki), has a new fork by Jason which uses sentences from Project Gutenberg containing the most used words in the English language. Great if you're looking for realistic practice material without too many esoteric words to wade through!

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Aviary Currently Frozen Due To Spam

No new posts or registrations will be allowed. Sorry about that! Will try to fix it when I can!

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Plover 3.1.0 Released!

Okay, this is a little overdue, but there's a new Plover release available as of ten days ago!

Plover 3.1.0

This is a minor release, meaning that we try to be backwards-compatible with v3.0.0 while introducing new features. The only gray area is the new keyboard shortcut syntax, which will not always work on older versions of Plover.


* New configuration option to start Plover minimized

* Add ProCAT machine protocol

* Stroke and translation logging is now turned off by default

* The "Lookup" and "Suggestions" windows now return more results! We accomplished this by looking for different casing; prefixes and suffixes; and across all dictionaries

* Faster dictionary loading, which means faster Plover start up Fix TX Bolt lag on macOS

Major release with huge UI changes in the works as well, which is very exciting!

Monday, November 7, 2016

Back From Hiatus! Many Updates!

So my last post before my kid was born (the reason for the Plover Blog hiatus; sorry about that) was about Ted's presentation at PyGotham 2016. The video for that talk is now live! Embedding is disabled, but you can view it here! It's really fantastic.

Speaking of Ted, he also wrote an excellent review for a new affordable steno machine that recently hit the market, the StenoMod. I was given a review model StenoMod myself some months ago, and I've been meaning to write a roundup of how it compares to other low-cost steno machines such as the SOFT/HRUF, Stenoboard, and Planck (spoiler: it fares extremely well), but I haven't gotten a chance to sit down and write it yet. Ted says most of what needs to be said, though. It's become my go-to recommendation for new Plover users who want something that's a little less bare-bones than the Zalman.

On the learning front, a great new tool called Steno Jig by Joshua Grams has appeared on the scene. By default, it drills a list of common words, but his GitHub page has instructions on how to customize it. His numbers drill, which generates silly random sentences, is particularly fun. Very simple, but well designed and quite useful.

T-shirts are finally shipping for supporters of the Steno Arcade campaign (I haven't gotten mine yet, but hopefully they're coming soon), and they're working hard on adding new playable tracks and making the game compatible with screen readers.

Our dauntless developers continue to make constant improvements to Plover. There's a new release in the works, so stay tuned for that. I'll do my best to keep on top of Open Steno Project news from now on. My kid is a ridiculously easy baby, so I don't really have the New Parent excuse for my slackitude going forward; expect to hear more soon!

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Go See Ted Speak about Plover at PyGotham 2016!

Hacking/Typing/Writing at 200 Words Per Minute, at PyGotham 2016 this Sunday at 04:30 (Room CR6 at the UN) is a talk by our lead developer, Ted Morin, about how he has used Plover for coding, chatting, and other text entry over the last few years. It's gonna be great, and as long as my wife doesn't go into labor before tomorrow (which is fortunately unlikely, fingers crossed), I will probably be captioning it! If you're at PyGotham, be sure to stop by, and if you're not, we will hopefully have a public captioning feed. At the very least, it'll be recorded and posted later. Ted's a fantastic speaker (I captioned him at the Ottawa Python Meetup), so I'm really looking forward to this.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Third Party Song Editor for Steno Hero

The fantastic thing about Open Source is that sometimes people just decide to donate their own time and expertise out of the blue! It's like randomly getting a present from a stranger, and it's the BEST.

When we finished the Steno Arcade campaign, we were just over $2,000 short of the amount we needed to build a level editor for Steno Hero, which would vastly increase its replayability and customizability. It was a pity, but that's the nature of crowdfunding. The main thing is that we raised enough money to make Steno Hero screen reader accessible, to add more default songs, to spruce up the graphics a bit, and to pay the developers back for all the time they spent developing the game on spec.

But then just a few days ago -- pow! Timothy, aka SyntaxBlitz from the Plover Discord Channel, makes WaveLyric, a waveform-based lyric timing tool specifically designed for Steno Hero! It's still pretty new, but I've played around with it a bit and am extremely impressed by the smooth and ingenious UI. Go check it out! I'm hoping this will be the start of a whole new community of homebrew Steno Hero lyrics files. Just add Ogg! Many, many thanks to Timothy for this beautiful bit of software. I'm incredibly excited to see it in action and can't wait to see what grows out of it.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Plover Vector Art

I made some diagrams of Plover's steno-to-qwerty keyboard mappings back in 2010, using MS Paint. They have not held up well, to say the least. Have some much-needed replacements, courtesy of Krakob:

And Ted:

Phew, that's better! Go to the Google Group for ai and svg files. Many thanks, Krakob and Ted!