Presentation software idea

I now very much dislike how Impress was built in Java.

  • It’s slow to load.
  • It’s unresponsive.
  • It has an amazing ability to crash, on the most simple actions.

However, I do like the OpenDocument format. Also, presentations are to be presented, not just to be edited.
And everyone presents with dual-monitor setups nowadays, and if not, they should.

So, I want presentation software which:

  • is Free Open Source Software.
  • works cross-platform.
  • reads in .odp (OpenDocument Presentation) files
  • displays a controlling window on one desktop, and a viewing window on a second desktop
  • allows for non-linear viewing of slides (can switch to any slide at any time)
  • (future) allows for editing / creation of slides on-the-fly
  • (future) allows for a presentation to be made up of various presentation files, added and removed on-the-fly.

The first step would be to just write a viewer, and the second step would be to write a nice editor.
Then I wouldn’t have to deal with so many program crashes.

Incidently, this is not intended to replace completely. Impress has various features which I have not addressed here, the point of this program is to have something which even your mother could use to do a presentation safely.

In terms of implementation, it doesn’t really matter, as long as it is responsive to users, and stable.
If I get around to implementing it (after some of my current projects are out of a development stage), then I’d probably use Python, wxPython and odfpy.

Published in: on February 13, 2009 at 8:47 pm  Comments (3)  


  1. Actually, I believe that the majority of OOo code is written in C++. It’s just that OOo is a big blob that has had stuff hacked onto it from all directions for the past 10 years. Java support is one of these hacky additions, however.

    If you want something that uses an open format (other than odf) that supports a lot of what you want, I suggest you try out Bruce, the Presentation Tool — you write your slides in a text editor (in the python reStructuredText format) — not sure how buggy/working recent revisions are though.

  2. I stand corrected re Java. I can’t be bothered updating the article at the moment, though.

    I’ve taken a look at Bruce previously, but my presentation tool needs to be used (in my situation) with PowerPoint (because not all content is created by me), so it should be able to play nicely with other formats.

  3. […] Just over a week ago, I posted my idea for presentation software. […]

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