All entries for February 2008
February 28, 2008
To celebrate the release (finally!) of PSALM 2.5, here is the start of Psalm 25 (from the New International Version of the Bible):
To you, O LORD, I lift up my soul;
in you I trust, O my God.
Do not let me be put to shame,
nor let my enemies triumph over me.
No one whose hope is in you
will ever be put to shame,
but they will be put to shame
who are treacherous without excuse.
Show me your ways, O LORD,
teach me your paths;
guide me in your truth and teach me,
for you are God my Savior,
and my hope is in you all day long.
Remember, O LORD, your great mercy and love,
for they are from of old.
The whole poem can be found on BibleGateway.com.
Have fun playing with my PSALM 2.5 program - as always, please let me know if you find any problems or have any suggestions. Thank you!
Okay so I disappeared for a while, mostly because I've been trapped in a small cupboard (with a java/netbeans-enabled computer) working on the project. Well, maybe.
Anyway, today's news is:
1. Lots of work on the research side of things has been done. Almost 95 surveys have done - Thank you so much if you have done one! (And if you haven't, please complete the survey!) Books and papers have been read, including plenty of rather complicated ones to do with Latent Semantic Indexing/Analysis and some rather more interesting & surprisingly helpful (for personal reasons as well as for the project) books.
Two books I've read recently are: 'Wired for Ministry - How the Internet, Visual Media, and Other New Technologies Can Serve Your Church' (2004) by John P. Jewell (see my interesting/amusing quotes post), and 'High-Tech Worship?: Using Presentational Technologies Wisely' (2005) by Quentin J.Schultze.
I don't really have time to go into too much detail on these books, but basically, Jewell's book was very practical and advocating balancing technology with theology; while Schultze focusses much more on the theological/liturgical reasons for (or not) using technology in worship. I found Schultze's book incredibly useful for myself as someone who leads music in a church, as it helps to ask questions and place worship in a wider liturgical perspective. As for what it says about technology, its biggest contribution is to discuss why it should or should not be used, rather than just why it is or is not used.
2. The next increment (and more!) of PSALM can be unleashed on the internet! Originally, the plan was to do 4 increments, focussing on:
- Song organisation system
- Theme recognition & search facility
- Transposition & capo features
- Setlist/song recommendation tool
The first two are complete, and the third has been evaluated to be utterly pointless (as it only involved one, or maybe two at a push, dropdown boxes to transpose a song) and was amalgamated into the first two. So by this plan, the first 3 have all been done. I am also pleased to announce that work on the setlist 'increment' has begun already with the GUI having been re-designed from the prototype/first increment layout to look much closer to the final design mock-up drawn up in the project's early stages. This means that a very basic setlist builder is already working and included in this release. Take a peek at how PSALM 2.5 looks in the image to the right (click to enlarge).
So rather than releasing this version of PSALM as a particular increment, here is the deliberately-ambiguously-named PSALM 2.5! (ZIP file, 236kb)
February 04, 2008
Thanks again to anyone reading this that has filled in a questionnaire. I've said it before but I'm saying it again because responses are still pouring in, so I'll keep this message at the top :-)
While you're here, feel free to have a read through this blog about my project.
Today also sees another minor update to PSALM (Personal Software Aid for Leading Music). Parts of songs can now be displayed differently - so for example, choruses are in italics. The included psalm.css file can be edited to alter the way songs are displayed.
'Boolean' searches for songs (lyrics or titles/etc) are now enabled. This means you can 'or' song terms rather than just 'and'ing them (which happens by default). 'NOT' searches are not supported (yet) though. The 'Google' searching convention is followed - so you can search:
'term1 OR term2' - returns all songs containing term1, or term2
'term1 term2' - returns all songs containing both term1 and term2
'"phrase in speech marks"' - returns all songs containing the whole phrase (this can be combined with other terms too).
And as the next release is here, heres the next Psalm from the Bible:
Why do the nations conspire
and the peoples plot in vain?
The kings of the earth take their stand
and the rulers gather together
against the LORD
and against his Anointed One.
"Let us break their chains," they say,
"and throw off their fetters."
The One enthroned in heaven laughs;
the Lord scoffs at them.
Then he rebukes them in his anger
and terrifies them in his wrath, saying,
"I have installed my King
on Zion, my holy hill."
I will proclaim the decree of the LORD :
He said to me, "You are my Son;
today I have become your Father.
Ask of me,
and I will make the nations your inheritance,
the ends of the earth your possession.
You will rule them with an iron scepter;
you will dash them to pieces like pottery."
Therefore, you kings, be wise;
be warned, you rulers of the earth.
Serve the LORD with fear
and rejoice with trembling.
Kiss the Son, lest he be angry
and you be destroyed in your way,
for his wrath can flare up in a moment.
Blessed are all who take refuge in him.
And here is the new version: PSALM v1.2 . As ever, please let me know if you come across any problems.