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Re: Outreachy project infrastructure

From: Thorsten Wilms
Subject: Re: Outreachy project infrastructure
Date: Thu, 22 Nov 2018 13:32:18 +0100
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:60.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/60.2.1

On 21/11/2018 23.28, Ricardo Wurmus wrote:
Thank you very much for the workflow as well as for the suggested tools. I
did not know that slides were created with inkscape :)

I’ve been using Inkscape for all of my presentations (after exporting to
PDF).  It’s more flexible than software made specifically for
presentations, but the flexibility comes at the cost of convenience
(e.g. in Inkscape you have one file per slide, and to create a slide
deck you need to combine all these files to a single PDF with another
tool like Ghostscript).  In this project I think the flexibility
outweighs these minor drawbacks.

Years ago, I created dozens of presentations with Impress (then OpenOffice, now it would be LibreOffice). I shudder at the though of doing more involved presentations with Inkscape, even though it's my primary bread and butter tool :)

Impress may quite likely be the most mature and full-featured Free Software WYSIWYG presentation tool. That said, of course it may seem a bit clunky and the file format is not suited for versioning and manipulation from external tools.

Even though Inkscape saves unpacked SVG, it's not version control friendly, either. AFAIK, Inkscape tends to reorganize more of the SVG than necessary, when saving after a change.

Main issues I see in using Inkscape for presentations:
1. Lack of master pages (page templates)
2. Lack of text-styles
3. Much harder to see and edit the sequence of pages

On 1: There are at least 2 approaches to achieve a similar feature via scripting.

On 2: I guess this can be done with CSS.

Inkscape presentation extension "JessyInk" seems to offer helpful features, but I worry that there's no straight way to get the kind of export out of it, that you need.

Still, the concept of using several layers in one file might be worthwhile. An export script could toggle layer visibility before calling inkscape with --export-ps (or -png or -pdf). I recently did something like that, where the central bash script line is:

xmlstarlet ed -P -S -L -u "//_:address@hidden:label='templates']/@style" -v display:none $file

That is: Edit the file in-place and set the display attribute of a group that has the label 'templates' to none. Thus the layer won't appear in export.

Instead of bash and xmlstarlet, a Racket or Guile script may end up longer, but more readable :)

Looking for a Guile presentation tool, I found out that Andy Wingo went down that route and further:

For maximal version-control-friendliness and guaranteed consistency, one would have to opt for entirely script-driven slide generation. Aside of something Latex-based, there's:

Thorsten Wilms

thorwil's design for free software:

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