A while ago, Ned Batchelder wrote about presentation tools - more specifically about how he found all of them lacking. In the comments section, many people made various suggestions - including one suggestion by Steve Holden which read as follows:
Crunchy? http://code.google.com/p/crunchy/While I, of course, approve of any positive support of Crunchy, I had to admit to myself (and mention in a subsequent comment) that Crunchy was really not up to the task - at least not yet.
HTML plus live Python - what could be better?
In his post, Ned addresses some of the weaknesses of the tools he looked at. In particular, he mentioned S5 about which he wrote:
I would have hoped that a CSS-based slideshow by the king of CSS would be a shining example of how information could be cleanly authored and then sparklingly displayed. S5 seems to miss this mark, especially since there don't seem to be many themes available for it, another surprise given how CSS should have made it accessible to lots of designers. Also, although (or perhaps because) the format is native to the web, it's not possible to get the slides as illustrations.
- uses reStructuredText as source - easier to write than html
- produce html files - thus easy to post and share -see link above.
- use well known S5 slides (version 1.1 designed by Eric Meyer) to switch between "full paper"/slides. It is possible to include extra notes in the "full paper".
- From rst2s5's own documentation, it is impossible to have:
- slides on the projector
- two views stay in sync
- presentation controlled from either display
- like most (all?) slide-based presentation, content on one slide is limited to a given number of lines ... which makes it ackward to show long-ish code samples.
- as Ned Batchelder alludes to, the automatic scaling done by S5 often yields unsatisfactory results in terms of line spacing, etc.
- Finally, no interactive Python code in presentation ;-)
rst2s5 is based on S5 version 1.1. A new version (1.2 alpha) is available which addresses some of the shortcomings of version 1.1 with the addition of speaker's notes which are in a separate window (e.g. on the laptop screen) while the slides themselves are in a different window (which can be on the projector) with the two synchronized.
However, where crst2s5 can yield really interesting results is when you view the html output with Crunchy. For now (version 1.1), when you do so, the automatic synchronization of speaker notes and slides is disabled - this will be addressed hopefully in the near future. You can either try it by downloading the code or have a look at this sneak preview which I put together in one quick take as an experiment:
Get the Flash Player to see this movie.
Original location: 'Crunchy'
at ShowMeDo from the Python category.
Now, if only I had better graphical skills to design good looking slides...