Friday, January 13, 2012 Article on Plover

Longtime Plover ally Mel Chua has just written a fantastic article on about Plover! Go check it out. If any of you have come to this blog via the article, welcome! Try out the demo on your qwerty keyboard, check out the Launchpad page, or join the Google group or the Aviary to talk with Plover users and devs about open source steno and the next steps for the Plover Project.


Dennis Peterson said...

This looks awesome. I had no idea how steno worked. Typing prose that fast would be incredible.

I see you're a vim user...have you tried using vim-arpeggio to implement steno on vim?

Seems like it might be the ultimate...switch on steno for mass text entry but still have all the vim editing features in normal mode.

For programming...I'm wondering whether it'd work if the program referenced variables and keyboards as you go, sorta like vim's omni-completion...but instead of typing the first few letters, you chord it and the program picks out the best match (or does regular steno if you're typing a string or comment).

In any case, looks like I need to buy a keyboard! The online demo works for me with some combinations, not for others.

Mirabai Knight said...

Hi, Dennis! Thanks for the kind words. Actually, I'm able to use vim perfectly with my serial-protocol proprietary steno machine. Unfortunately Plover's control isn't low-level enough yet (see here: to work properly with Vim using the n-key rollover keyboard, but in serial protocol, it's seamless. I should make a video demonstrating what it looks like, but it's pretty much what you would expect; I use w and b for forward and back, only in steno w is W* (dh on the qwerty keyboard) and b is PW* (edh on the qwerty keyboard). Once you get used to it, it's just as easy as using Vim with a qwerty keyboard.

Anonymous said...

I have an uninformed question: what is the n-key rollover keyboard and where can I get one? I don't know how to use Plover yet but the idea of lower cost and easier writing is exactly what I need. I tried using a LightSpeed back in 2008, but now it's conked out and probably costs an arm and a leg to repair, not at all ideal for a starving student. I actually have a hand injury but enjoy steno, which is so much easier on the hands than qwerty typing.

Am I too behind? What sort of programming skills are needed to be able to use Plover?

Thanks for reading!

Mrs. Chang

Mirabai Knight said...

Hi, Mrs. Chang! Sorry to hear that your Lightspeed conked out. If you could get it working again, you'd be able to use it with Plover. I've personally tested two n-key rollover machines with Plover, and they both work very well.

There's the Sidewinder X4, which sells for around $45:,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_cp.,cf.osb&fp=8475079fb6254fbf&biw=1366&bih=634

And there's the Filco Majestouch Tenkeyless, which is about $120:,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_cp.,cf.osb&fp=8475079fb6254fbf&biw=1366&bih=634

You don't need any programming skills to use Plover, though you might want to wait until the more complete version of the Windows port comes out, because the current Windows port isn't able to send commands to the operating system; it can only send text. We're hoping that problem will be fixed fairly soon, though.

Good luck with using Plover, and let me know how it goes!

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Mirabai,

I will look up the keyboards you mentioned. It's also exciting to hear that the LightSpeed works with Plover (just in case mine gets repaired). I really appreciate your work in getting this project up and running.

In another posting somewhere, you were talking about loading somebody's StenoMaster dictionary so that it could be used with Plover. Once I get into the thick of things, that is something I'd be interested in.

I've spent scads of time modifying the dictionary that Mark sent me, and he might find it unrecognizable now, but I really value all the tweaking I've done and want to keep using it. Right now it's backed up on USB drives and on Dropbox.

Thank you for restoring my peace of mind. For a while it looked like I had lost everything, but then again, there's hope now.

All the best,

Mrs. Chang

Mirabai Knight said...

Hey, Mrs. Chang. If you send me your personalized StenoMaster dictionary in rtf/cre format, I'll convert it into Plover's format and send it back to you so you can use it with Plover.

Anonymous said...

Just emailed you my dictionary. Thanks loads!

Mrs. Chang/Estella

daniellaprice30 said...
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