WeSay 1.5 Beta for Linux and Windows

After a significant pause, a development team has been working on WeSay for Linux for the last several months.  The focus has been on getting it to run on the Precise and Trusty versions of Ubuntu Linux, and to have all the features of the Windows version.  At the same time, the Windows version was updated in the areas of keyboards and Send/Receive.

We have now released a beta version of WeSay 1.5.  The Windows version can be downloaded here:

and there are installation instructions for Linux below.

While most of the functionality is there and working well, there are still a few areas that need a bit more work.  Be sure to check out our “Known Issues” below before you start.

New Features for Windows version

The Windows version is largely the same as WeSay 1.4, but there are a few notable enhancements:

  • Many bugs in Send/Receive between WeSay and FLEx have been fixed.
  • Various enhancements to setting up keyboards and selecting them have been included.
  • Graphite support, for non-roman scripts

New Features for Linux version

The most significant improvements in WeSay 1.5 for Linux include:

  • Send/Receive functionality (mostly working)
  • Chorus Notes
  • Audio support
  • Art of Reading image collection
  • Export to PDF and LibreOffice
  • Support for non-roman scripts via GeckoFX
  • Improved rendering (of both roman and non-roman scripts)
  • Improved UI in several areas
  • Add-ins now work

Installing WeSay for Linux

In general, Linux programs are installed using a package manager such as Update Manager, Software Center, or Synaptic to fetch software from various repositories.  Each one has slightly different ways of telling it where to look for software packages.  It is also possible to use commands in a terminal to set it up and fetch it.

For those who are new to setting up package managers for Linux, instructions are in this document on Setting up Repositories to download SIL Software.

For those comfortable with it, the repository is packages.sil.org.  There are some instructions (including the GPG key) at http://packages.sil.org, but the relevant apt lines are:

deb http://packages.sil.org/ubuntu trusty main   (for stable releases; WeSay is not there yet)

deb http://packages.sil.org/ubuntu trusty-experimental main   (for beta releases, including this one)

Known Issues in WeSay 1.5 for Linux

While most of the hoped-for functionality is working in WeSay 1.5 on Linux, there are still a few features that need more work.

  • Display of Non-Roman scripts: In order to display most non-roman scripts, you will need to turn on GeckoFX.  However, there are a number of issues with Gecko on Precise.  If you need non-roman support, at this point we recommend using Trusty with Gecko turned on.  However, there still may be some issues with automatic keyboard switching and tabbing between fields.
  • Not all controls have been converted to use Gecko, so some will still display boxes for certain non-roman scripts.  Some examples include: the History report for Send/Receive, the keyboard test area in the WeSay Configuration Tool, and the Baseform field.
  • Send/Receive is not fully working in the Linux packages. Sometimes there can be a crash, or sometimes a project doesn’t open as expected. We don’t believe there is data loss, but if you are relying on Send/Receive, please stick with Windows for now.
  • In wasta[Linux] 14, kmfl (or any ibus) keyboards don’t really work. xkb keyboards work okay.