Presentations Using Linux

Being User-Friendly — and Avoiding PowerPoint


UKUUG Linux 2004 Conference • 2004 August

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1 Intro

Tufte’s book The Cognitive Style of PowerPoint is worth a read; what he says applies to all PowerPoint-esque presentations.

This talk — dealing with the mere form of presentations — may seem quite trivial, but it matters. It matters because it’s hard for people to take Linux/software libre/your point seriously if it offers worse user experience than the package that (currently) nearly everybody else uses; it needs to be at least as good.

2 OpenOffice

3 Thinking About It

4 Requirements

5 Full Screen

Examples of HTML-based talks include Mark Jason Dominus’s Conference Presentation Judo.

6 Individual Reading

7 OpenOffice Individual Reading

An example OpenOffice HTML presentation is Julian Smart’s WxWindows Introduction

8 Web Individual Reading

Mark Jason Dominus’s Conference Presentation Judo is very recommended. It comes with excellent notes — but it takes far too long to read off-line, especially having to switch back and forth between the notes and the slides.

9 PDF Individual Reading

10 Multiple Versions

Opera Show looks particularly nice, because everything is in a single file: the style information is at the top of the HTML, and the images are embedded with absurdly long data: URLs

Autrijus Tang’s PAR presentation first irritated me when it took so long to read on screen; I later discovered that Autrijus had prepared a separate edition for reading, so it was my fault for picking the wrong one.

11 Conclusion

Considering the audience of individual readers is the most important point I want to make here. It’s potentially bigger the the more-obvious audience, and it’s the way your talk will be remembered for posterity.

This does work in practice. I was amazed to discover that just using the materials from my Bash talk, somebody else in Nottingham was able to present a re-run!

© Copyright Smylers 2004
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