Mirabai Knight

The Open Steno Project was founded by stenographer Mirabai Knight as a reaction to the closed down, proprietary nature of the court reporting industry.

To learn stenography in the early 2000s, an individual had to purchase or rent an expensive steno machine, attend college, and pay hundreds yearly for software. Imagine if, to learn piano, you had to purchase one and take out a student loan!

Mirabai hired a developer to write Plover and worked tirelessly with a growing community to break down barriers so that everyone who wanted to learn stenography could. Today, the Open Steno Project has enabled thousands to explore stenography without any upfront cost.

Mirabai believes that stenography is useful for more than just court reporters. Typing at the speed of speech has many potential use cases for:

  • Writers such as journalists or novelists
  • Nonverbal individuals using a text-to-speech engine
  • Coders who need to write documentation and use many symbols
  • Anyone concerned about the ergonomics of typing
  • And people who just want to type really, really fast

Read Mirabai’s blog post on this topic.

Mirabai is a leader in our community and we have many members. Currently, the main code contributors for Plover all use stenography.

When Did Things Happen?

The Open Steno Project was started in 2007 and has been constantly growing.

There is a detailed timeline of the Open Steno Project on the Plover Wiki.

Watch a Talk on Open Steno

Plover’s current lead developer, Ted Morin, learned stenography exclusively through the Open Steno community. He uses his steno machine and Plover to code in his day job as a software developer. Watch his talk from PyGotham 2016, captioned live in realtime by Mirabai: