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SPIP - Simple Presentations In Perl

by Crian (Chaplain)
on Feb 28, 2005 at 21:00 UTC ( #435191=CUFP: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??

Hi fellow monks,

I have a new project, SPIP, and I just put the first version online now.

SPIP is a Perl program that creates XHTML/CSS presentations.

I wrote SPIP because I wanted to use the presentation software from Redmond not any longer. And I wanted my presentations in a simple form I could put on my web space after lecturing the presentation. Also I wanted to have my presentation source in pure ASCII files and not in any proprietary format. And last but not least it was fun to write SPIP and to see how relatively easy such a thing can be done.

The Perl modules XML::Simple and HTML::Template have helped me a lot, so that I could devote myself to program the SPIP core.

For documentation it suggested itself to write a SPIP presentation. You can find it at http://www.duehl.de/christian/perl/spip/html/index.html (its an english page). SPIP itself can you find at the german page http://www.duehl.de/christian/perl/spip.html or you download http://www.duehl.de/christian/perl/projekte/spip_1.0.zip directly.

For playing around with SPIP it perhaps would be the best to copy that sample presentation in the directory documentation and change this and that. I hope SPIP could be usefull for some of you too.

Here are some highlights:

  • automatical title page generation
  • automatical contents page generation
  • automatical navigation generation on each page
  • simple XML formats for the configuration and the pages of the presentation
  • extensible CSS
  • one optional picture on the upper right side of each page just by putting in one line in the sheet file
  • pages can be "broken", so that the whole contents is not seen at once, but part for part
  • "Color Code" - code with some color tags in it is displayed colorozed (see the presentation for details)
  • the presentation medium is a web browser (with all advantages and disadvantages)

Of course a lot of the features and gimmicks of Power Point like cross fading, arrows, sounds and so on are not in SPIP. If you need that, don't use SPIP but Power Point instead. Thats why there is the word "simple" in the name of SPIP ;-) For my demands SPIP is just fine.

Please excuse potential spelling, grammar, or what ever errors I may made here or in my presentation, I am not a native english speaker (nor writer).

Comment on SPIP - Simple Presentations In Perl
Re: SPIP - Simple Presentations In Perl
by Fletch (Chancellor) on Feb 28, 2005 at 21:42 UTC

    You might also want to look at S5, which requires nothing but HTML and a browser that understands (relatively recent) CSS.

Re: SPIP - Simple Presentations In Perl
by jdporter (Canon) on Feb 28, 2005 at 23:13 UTC
    Not to discourage you from working on what is undoubtedly a very fun project... but, were you aware of PerlPoint?
Re: SPIP - Simple Presentations In Perl
by grinder (Bishop) on Mar 01, 2005 at 06:40 UTC
    I have a new project, SPIP

    SPIP is also a fairly mature content management system for websites. You can find out more about by perusing the documentation. Perhaps another name for your project is in order. Apart from that... well done!

    - another intruder with the mooring in the heart of the Perl

      Interesting ... I have googled for SPIP before I choose that name and only found some french sites from other areas, so that I thought there would be no name conflict.

      I will think about renaming, but I don't want to do that too fast and create a new name conflict.

Re: SPIP - Simple Presentations In Perl
by Anonymous Monk on Mar 01, 2005 at 10:54 UTC
    You call that simple? Any tool where I have to markup my sheets using HTML and/or XML, I don't call "simple". I've a home brew tool as well and it goes for simplicity too, and then the only simplicity I care about: the parts I type. My sheets look like:
    Title of the sheet * Point I make. * Another point. <perl> Statement. Statement. Statement. </perl> Text with C<< inline code >>. E<< Emphasised text >>.
    Of course, going for this kind of simplicity probably comes from my lazyness of postponing writing my presentations the night before I have to give them.

      Hmm you are right in the point that the format of the spip files is not as simple as it could be (but simple enough I think - and as simple as I like it ;-).

      (You don't have to type much even if you write the presentation in the night before. Just copy the spip file from another, change chapter and subchapter (and perhaps the picture) and the data and thats it. Perhaps I think HTML is simple because I use it much. I wanted to use HTML in the data block because I wanted to have the freedom to use any HTML command I like in there. It's allways a question on what you want from a tool.)

      But the "Simple" in SPIP means that the presentations are only simple compaired with Power Point presentations with movements, sound and what else.

        I can still use HTML with my tool. It's just that I've limited the case where you have to. Sure, using XML or HTML gives you more theoretical flexibility, and when I first started to writing tools to create my presentations (and I've written many, which all worked till I became dissattisfied), I used markup to declare my title.

        But then I realized I always put the title on the first line. So now, the first line is the title. Leave blank for no title. Same with the lists - I could use <ul>, and <li>, and sometimes I write a slide using that (usually after typing some HTML elsewhere). Works fine, and no need to remove it if I did. But I find '*' shorter.

        However, if your method works for you, go for it. ;-)

Re: SPIP - Simple Presentations In Perl
by mattr (Curate) on Mar 05, 2005 at 14:37 UTC
    Sounds neat!

    I was racking my brain trying to remember the name of MagicPoint, an X11-based presentation tool, I found on freshmeat Pylize in python and PLies, the perl presentation tool that informed the design of Pylize. PLies uses XHTML apparently, and both let you use space bar to go through a presentation.

    Personally I like the idea of HTML::Template but to tell you the truth I do not like the idea of typing in code to make a presentation. I'd rather have a very simple text file with some simple letter combinations that the software would pick up. Something like what Anonymous Monk posted (would like to see his mysterious presentation tool).

    Maybe what yours does is something like that, I'll look at it some more. Last week I made an Impress presentation (on OSS...) which crashed quite often on my 128MB linux machine but now I have 2.0bc of openoffice.org and it seems much stronger (at least in writer which is what I tested).

    So your kind of lightweight idea is refreshing; I don't need animations but do need a simple way to get these things out and portable, viewable by other people too, and to look good. I know I had to look for powerpoint templates to convert in since the ones that came with ooo were so bad.

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