Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Video: Plover versus $4,000 Software

Just wanted to mirror the video I posted last night over on my StenoKnight CART Blog, in an entry called CART Problem Solving: Lag.

The top frame is Plover, of course, writing into Vim. The middle frame is my $4,000 proprietary software, Eclipse, and the bottom frame is pretty much Eclipse's only concession to my profession -- it's almost exclusively focused on the needs of court reporters rather than CART providers or captioners -- a utility called the "CART Window". It eliminates the horrible syntax markup you see in the Eclipse window itself, but as you can see the trade-off for that is a 1.5-second delay between when a stroke -- including a command stroke like "Enter" or "arrow key right" -- is written and when it appears on the screen. It's incredibly annoying. I'm not singling out Eclipse for ridicule, incidentally. It's the best of the proprietary crop by a fair margin. All the other software on the market is based on this timed buffer principle. Plover is the only steno software I know of that actually delivers instant text to the screen without the tiresome intermediary of a timed buffer. The importance of this is hard to articulate to people who don't know how long 1.5 seconds can feel when they're waiting for a computer to respond to their commands or when they're relying on the text to appear before they can pick up the thread of the conversation. This is one of my all-time favorite features of Plover, but it's hard to explain the difference to people who haven't had to work with a program like Eclipse. I hope this video makes it a bit clearer.


Warren Smith said...

just got interested in stenography today and then found your site. i don't know but reading your blogs and seeing the work you've done and inspired... you are pretty awesome. sincerely ws @ verkaro.org

Mirabai Knight said...

Warren: Thanks for the kind words! I used to live in Santa Fe and I love audiobooks, so I think you and I might have a lot to talk about. Feel free to email me at plover@ploversteno.org if you've got any questions.