Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Mac Port! Stentura Support! New Fly!

Fantastic news on the Plover front.

We have a new Windows release:

This version fixes several issues and adds a new feature:
- Capitalization is now done properly by only changing the first character.
- Plover will now work fine if the program is killed abnormally (such as shutting down while plover is running).
- Plover now supports the stentura serial protocol. If you have a stenograph machine then you should be able to use it with plover now via the serial port (or serial to USB converter). Just choose "stentura" in the machine settings and in "advanced" choose the serial port. Hit save, and restart plover.

Once we get a rtf/cre -> json conversion script, that Stentura support will be even more useful, because it'll allow the many, many steno students and professionals with Stentura protocol machines to try Plover out with their own dictionaries. If anyone wants to volunteer to write a conversion script, more info is on the Github.

We also now have a Mac distribution:

In addition to the usual install you will have to do this:
Open System Preferences, Open "Universal Access" and check the box next to "Enable access for assistive devices" If you do not do this then plover will just fail.

A million thanks to the amazing Hesky Fisher for his work on both of these!

And we also have a new version of Fly, a drill and keyboard layout teaching tool for Plover:

* Suspends translation when losing window focus, so that users can type using qwerty in other windows while running Fly
* Support for other steno machines, by using the same discovery method plover is using
* Docs updated to note xlib is needed if plover has not been installed
* Steno colour overlay option, where groups of keys such as HR are coloured according to the steno grid image, in this case cyan for L
* Returns random chord rather than easiest for uncategorized chords.
* Left shift key will toggle hint options on or off. Hint options can be set in
* Word:category dictionary now used so that misstrokes and briefs do not appear in lessons. In word mode, only canon strokes or uncategorized strokes will be presented.
* Any chord can be used that produces the correct translation, not just the one presented to the user.
* "Briefs" lesson added, that contains only briefs from word categorization dictionary.

It's still Linux-only, but we're hoping that a Windows port will happen eventually. Thanks to the superb Pragma Nolint for designing and programming Fly.

I just got back from a two-week trip, and I'm definitely hoping to post more Plover-related good news soon, but these are the three biggies, and I didn't want to wait any longer to share them with all you guys.