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.


Jenni said...

Very cool! I'm excited at the prospect of trying this out on my laptop keyboard. I was also thinking that Plover would probably be the best way to utilize my virtual piano via steno technique because, as you said, there's no delay between keystrokes and output. Can't wait to give it a whirl!

Krzysztof Stenografow said...

Hey dear Knight! I've just found Your blog and I'm confused, how could I miss it before?
I work on Polish site about shorthand and stenography and collect as much as possible informations. One of my interests is stenotype writing - as in Poland it's still science-fiction. Your invention is just great, I begin to dig thru Your work to know more about it.
Thanks a lot!

teknoarcanist said...

Is there any way to get Plover working on Windows short of running it in a Linux virtual machine? Never really delved into the penguin too much myself, but I'm aware of the rabbit-hole effect.

Keep up the good work, man. I just tonight realized that the version of CaseCat which Stenograph hustledImeansoldme can only edit files, rather than transcribe. So it's spend several hundred dollars to upgrade or...cry about it on the internet.

And dear lord: going through their website and being bombarded with all the propaganda about why only being able to run CaseCat on 3 computers is more secure and convenient for you, the matrixpodpersonImeancustomer...just...ugh.

They're like the evil empire o_O



open source development said...

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Andrea said...

Hi Knight! I am super excited to have found you. I am an adult college student and one of my majors is paralegal studies. I wanted a skill to compliment the degree, and my aunt is a court reporter, so I am learning steno at home. I have a Protege and all is going well. I am interested in using Plover for my daily typing/papers because I think in the long term it will build my speed. Do I need a Sidewinder? (I have a laptop). Where can I find very basic instructions on making this happen? I am not a techie. :)

Mirabai Knight said...

Hi, Andrea! Sorry this reply is so late, but here you go:

You've got to put the Stentura into TX Bolt mode.

You press the second and third buttons simultaneously (from the left, the leftmost being the power button) on the Protege. That should make the machine beep and a serial port icon appear on the little screen to indicate the mode change. Then configure Plover to be in "TX Bolt mode", connect your Protege, restart Plover, and press the red P so that it turns green. With luck, you should now be able to write using your Protege. Tell me how it goes, and if you run into any trouble, I'll try to figure out what's up. Keep in touch! I'm so happy that more steno people are starting to experiment with Plover.

Josha said...

Another tip for "arpeggiating" is to just hold down the leftmost key and type out all the remaining keys - that way you don't have to worry about accidentally letting go of all the keys before finishing.

On another note, I am an experienced developer and would like to add some velocity to the project, if there are things to be done.

Mirabai Knight said...

Good thinking!

Feel free to join the Google Group:

We're always looking for developers on there! Thanks!