Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Plover 2.2.0 Released!

Woke up this morning to an email from Josh, Plover's dauntless programmer:

"Hi all,

I'm happy to announce the latest feature release of Plover! Version 2.2.0 includes the following features and fixes:

* a new graphical user interface that supports both older and newer versions of Ubuntu, with and without Unity
* auto-start configuration option
* hotkey commands to suspend/resume Plover, bring up the configuration dialog, and bring the main Plover window to the foreground
* support for the TX Bolt/Gemini TX protocol, which will open the way to using many Stentura machines
* protection against running more than one instance of Plover at a time
* proper handling of the number bar
* updated user guide

This is all fine and good, but what I'm happiest about is the high level of community involvement that went into this release, including Stan and Tony sending me a steno machine to test on (thanks, I'm finally ready to send it back!), the great suggestions for features and improvements to both the software and the user guide from many people on the mailing list, Hesky's seamless contribution of code to support the TX protocol (and ongoing experimental Windows port), generous financial support from various corners of the world, and, of course, Mirabai's relentless advocacy, encouragement, and testing.

As usual, the latest version can be downloaded from:

Also, for the first time, I've made Plover available from the official Python package index, which provides yet more methods of installing Plover for those adventurous enough to learn about it:

Please report any problems to the mailing list.

Happy stenographing, Josh"

This is awesome. I've been testing out this version for the past few weeks, and it is rock solid. Being able to use Unity is really convenient, and the number bar bugfixes mean that I can now write the Steno 101 lesson on numbers, fingerspelling, and metacommands that I've been planning for months! Look for that by the end of this week. The auto-start option is also great when you want to invoke Plover (I use Gnome-Do, so I only need to do Alt-Space, P, and Enter to set it going) and start writing steno right away without fiddling with the mouse. The new Plover Guide (PDF file) is also extremely useful, and we'll hopefully be mirroring it on the Wiki for easy reference fairly soon. So if you have Linux and a Sidewinder (or Majestouch or Noppoo Choc Mini or any other qwerty keyboard with n-key rollover) or a Gemini PR/TX machine or a Lightspeed or a Protege, install the new version and enjoy! If you don't have Linux, either take the plunge and install Ubuntu as a dual-boot option, or wait a few more days until the Windows port is complete. Feel free to leave feedback -- feature requests, bug reports, et cetera -- in comments here, at the Launchpad page, on the Google group, or on the (newly restyled) Aviary. Many, many thanks to Josh for his fantastic work. We've come a hell of a long way from "catalogue catalogue Log Cat log".

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