Sunday, February 28, 2010

This needs to come out very soon!

Hands-on video with the MSI Haptic Dual-Screen Multitouch Laptop

And it needs to be wildly popular, and I need to have Plover ready by then. Yes? Yes. Here's hoping, on all counts.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Two things

One, Plover now has a Github account:

Two, Plover Software, unaffiliated with the Plover Steno Project, has graciously put a link to this blog on their webpage, so it's only right that I return the favor.

Here's their blurb:

"I’m an independent software developer, working on a variety of projects. Current interests are the Twitter API, and iPhone/iPad software development. I’ve also done a lot with Amazon Web Services. You can also find me on Twitter, at @plover, or reach me via email at"

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Plover lives!

Well, a lot has happened since August. Starting in November, I've been taking weekly lessons with a Python tutor, and we've been working together developing (to be honest, he's pretty much done the developing, with me looking on trying to understand what's going on, adding occasional steno-specific interjections) our first working version of Plover. And, for a generous definition of "working", we've gotten relatively far!

If you've got a steno machine that uses the Gemini PR protocol (e.g., Gemini2, Gemini Piper, Evolution, Revolution, or Revolution Grand), you can use the two files above to display steno translations in a terminal (I think it should be platform independent since it's just a .py file, though I haven't tested it in anything but Windows XP). Stenoworking is the main file, and ploverbd is a modified version of my personal steno dictionary.

What it does:

* Translates words and phrases of up to 10 strokes in length.
* Displays raw steno when it can't find a translation.
* Updates the 10-stroke buffer so that new longer translations supersede older shorter ones.

What it doesn't do:

* Output to anything other than the terminal.
* Incorporate suffixes, prefixes, or punctuation.
* Delete strokes using the asterisk.
* Treat the double S- as a single S- or any combination of asterisk keys as one asterisk.
* Look very good if you concentrate on anything but the last line of text on the screen.
* Work with anything other than a Gemini PR protocol machine.
* Work with any dictionary other than the one I've turned into ploverbd, which involved stripping out and altering a lot of important entries.

I'm going to keep working on these issues week by week, while learning more about unit testing, version control, text parsing, and all that good stuff. If anyone out there is actually interested in the code and has the ability to play around with it, I'd love to hear from you! Go to my website,, and drop me an email. Plover is entirely free and open source, currently being developed by J. Lifton and M. Knight.

More to come!