All entries for October 2007

October 30, 2007

Updated specification

The project specification has just been updated, adding information on what languages shall be used for the program, as well as some smaller items that were discussed with Steve Russ last week.

From now on, a live copy of the specification will be available here, and the original that was officially submitted on 11/10/07 will be kept here. Both versions are linked to under 'Project Resources' at the top of the sidebar on the left of this blog. 

By the way, on doing some more trawling around the web today, I found this: http://www.worshipsession.info/
It is a piece of software for displaying lyrics (and optionally chords) of songs, just like songpro (the most common tool in churches for this), but is operated by a foot pedal on stage by the lead worshipper! I am very impressed, and especially by the fact that the display is all done with javascript/HTML. I am sure I shall return to looking at this program as it covers some of what I hope my PSALM program will do. The intended features of PSALM may need to change if WorshipSession could be used for some things, as there is no point in just re-doing somebody else's work. 


October 23, 2007

The most important bit of work done so far

PSALM icon

This is, provisionally, the icon for the software tool I am going to create.

The program is (also provisionally) known as PSALM (Personal Software Aid for Leading Music). The book of Psalms in the Bible is full of songs written by Israel's King David - take a look here: Bible Gateway.

The background image to this blog contains a quote from Psalm 150, which in full reads:

Praise the LORD. 
    Praise God in his sanctuary;
    praise him in his mighty heavens.

Praise him for his acts of power;
    praise him for his surpassing greatness.

Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet,
    praise him with the harp and lyre,

praise him with tambourine and dancing,
    praise him with the strings and flute,

praise him with the clash of cymbals,
    praise him with resounding cymbals.

Let everything that has breath praise the LORD.
    Praise the LORD.

The icon forms a P standing for PSALM, and depicts something that looks like a harp or lyre , King David's instrument of choice. My program is intended for lead worshippers that play guitar - the modern King Davids. 

Oh and slightly off-topic, I have set up a svn server, thanks go to Alan Hazelden.  

(PS. the title to this post is tongue-in-cheek!)


First books ordered

The first set of books to read are now well on the way. All from Amazon marketplace as that's the cheapest/easiest/cheerfullest place to get them from :-)

1Beyond the OHP: Using Technology in Church Jackie Sheppard;

2Wired for Ministry: How the Internet, Visual Media, and Other New Technologies Can Serve Your Church John P Jewell;

3Help, There's a Computer in My Church!: Practical Advice for Using Computers in Ministry David Trammel;

4High-tech Worship?: Using Presentational Technologies Wisely Quentin J. Schultze. 

Done some reading this last week or so over the internet - for example, David Lochhead's essays,  various articles on http://www.religion-online.org and some surveys on http://www.pewinternet.org.
Also found a chapter on the history of technology in the worship/music context in All About Music Technology in Worship, by Steve Young. Helpfully, Amazon has put the chapter up on the web in it's entirety! Its very brief but gives some nice historical context for music technology in the Church (including how computers have become used for music). 


October 18, 2007

Project Specification

It's the first major deadline for my project, and so the project specification is complete. See the PDF file below.

spec.pdf (171kb)

Specification abstract:

This document specifies the details, such as the title, problems, methods and objectives, of James Williams’ project for module CS310. Having been assessed for feasibility, the components of the project are split between core and extended parts. Also included is a proposed timetable and a discussion of the required resources and any issues such as ethics involved in the project. This specification is subject to constant review.

Highlights:

• Investigation Aims:
   1. Investigate the extent of the use of IT in the Church and the attitudes towards it.
   2. Investigate how IT could have potential further use in the Church.

• Aims of the Software aid for leading music:
   1. Develop a new song organisation system to replace the songbook system.
   2. Enable easy key transposition
   3. Make a tool to recognise what key spontaneous singing may be in.
   4. Include a function to recommend songs for a setlist.

• Diagram of Key components & their relationships:

(Click to enlarge) 

Component relationships (click to enlarge)


• Provisional timetable (which "can only serve as a rough guide" at this stage):

Dates Task
Term 1, Week 2
Submit Specification
Week 3
Begin reviewing literature; Create project web site
Before week 6 Increment 1: Requirements analysis and design
Monday, week 7 Other coursework deadline
Before week 9 Begin key recognition component; begin building and testing of first increment
Monday, week 9 Submit progress report
Before end of term 1 Complete first increment
Christmas holidays Increment 2: Requirements and design; begin building and testing
First weeks of term 2 Complete increments 2 and 3
Before week 7 Complete increment 4
Week 9 or 10 Deliver presentation
End of Term 2 Other coursework deadline
Easter holidays Complete project report
Term 3, Thursday, week 2 Submit final report


"Hello World!

Welcome to the blog for my 3rd (and final) year project. My name is James Williams, and my project's name is 'IT in the contemporary Church'. 

This blog will track the progress of the project, plus notes and downloads related to it. 

To find out more about the project module, visit the CS310 webpage. My supervisor is Steve Russ.

The (current) abstract for the project is:

An investigation into the current and potential uses of IT in a church.
A suite of programs could then be created for solving problems found in the investigation, for example an aid for leading corporate singing, with key recognition and set-list generation/recommendation. 

Whatever your reason for being here, you are quite welcome. Unless maybe you're looking to hack this blog, or do something else nasty.  But otherwise, 'hello!' :-)

If you want to contact me, please do by clicking here.  Thank you and have a good day!


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  • Congrats for ur final report,, I dinn have ne problem veiwing the report, its seems to be gud,, ..! … by Veda Informatics on this entry
  • By the way, if you have any problems with viewing the report, or in using PSALM, please still let me… by on this entry
  • It appears that when I tested PSALM, the computer that I tested it on already had the Bitstream Vera… by on this entry
  • Ah… thank you. The font hasn't been picked up. I'll have a look at what needs to be done. by on this entry
  • Chords aren't displayed in the right place for me. The spacing seems to drift slowly left, so that c… by Steve Rumsby on this entry

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