I just got back from a trip to Missoula and Seattle yesterday, so I've got to apologize for not being on top of Plover stuff for the past few weeks, but I had to check in to let you guys know about something pretty exciting. I know a few professional stenographers and steno students have been following Plover for a while, but they haven't had the chance to get their feet wet with it, because until now there hasn't been a way to easily convert their own dictionaries from rtf/cre format (which is the universal format exported by commercial steno software) into json format (which is the format used by Plover). Thanks to Hesky, our amazing lead developer, the wait is over! Introducing...
The Plover Dictionary Converter!
I haven't even gotten a chance to test it yet (though that's at the top of my list of things to do now that I'm home again), but I wanted to let everyone know about it. It's currently accessed via the command line, though I hope that we'll be able to get a more user-friendly GUI version of it eventually, and hopefully even integrate it into Plover itself. If you try it and it gives you any hassle, feel free to lodge a bug report at the github; it'll help Hesky refine it and improve it for the future. This is really going to help in bringing Plover to the court reporting, captioning, CART, and student communities, and I'm pleased as punch.
Oh, and just one more thing. The Aviary (Plover's user forum) has been pretty quiet lately, both from regular users (which isn't too unusual, since it's a pretty small community at the moment) and from spammers (which is, since until recently we were getting nearly 100 spam messages and user sign-ups per day). Happily, the latest spam-trapping tools I've put in place have proven wonderfully effective, so I've been able to remove moderation from first-time posts. If that's been holding you back from signing up for the forum, it's your lucky day. Now you can join and post unmoderated to your heart's content. I reserve the right to reinstate first-post moderation if the spam gets bad again, but here's hoping we've got those spammers licked for good. If forum-style discussion isn't your thing, there's also always the Google Group, which tends to have more technically oriented discussions about the development of Plover and the future of steno learning, rather than the day-to-day, boots-on-the-ground conversation you tend to find at the Aviary. Feel free to join either or both!