Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Plover 2.1.1 Released!

This is a bit overdue, I'm afraid. The first few weeks of the semester are busy enough that I haven't been able to keep up with Plover emails. But I'll get to them soon, I promise!

So Josh, our dauntless programmer, has released a new version of Plover.

* Fix for a bug that caused crash when adding, for example, an -ing suffix to words that end in a consonant followed by y, such as early -> earlier.

* Fix for a bug that caused crash when starting Plover configured to use a Gemini PR with a non-existent serial port.

* Update of the default dictionary to the latest from Mirabai.

* Refactor of the underlying config file logic such that addition of configuration options in future releases is invisible to the end user and less error prone.

Download it at the Launchpad site

I also was pleased to see in a recent post on Metafilter, someone asked a question about steno, and someone else -- who was not me -- answered it with a link to What Is Steno Good For. So that's exciting!

In other news, I discovered a few days ago that I can make Plover sort-of-kind-of work with my laptop's built-in keyboard, if I sort of roll or arpeggiate the keys. For instance, if I want to write my brief for "supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" (which, along with "antidisestablishmentarianism", is the first word people tend to say when they notice they're being transcribed in realtime), STPRAPBLG, I couldn't just press down all the keys at once the way I can with my SideWinder or Revolution Grand; my laptop's keyboard doesn't have n-key rollover, and recognizes only two or three keys at a time, maximum. But if I start out by pressing the S key (the A key on the qwerty keyboard), then the T and P, then while still holding onto the T and P, let go of the S, roll onto the A, keep the A pressed down and lift up the TP while going on to the PB, et cetera. When I get to the end, I release the last key, and the word pops up like magic. Plover is actually able to recognize all those keystrokes, as long as they're only pressed one or two keys at a time. And since it doesn't mark a stroke as complete until all keys have been lifted, you can essentially play this arpeggio of keys and come up with a correct steno translation for any word in your steno dictionary, even on a keyboard without proper n-key rollover. Now, it's nowhere near as quick as actual strokewise steno, and it's a bit tricky to do properly, but at the very least it can be useful for testing Plover when there isn't a SideWinder handy.