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March 1, 2007

S5

If you’re gonna spend a week or two, immersed in writing software, you ought to have something to show for it. My previous post didn’t quite qualify. It was all about not having something (malicious javascript) to show.

Regular readers probably know about my dissatisfaction with Keynote. It’s a crappy vehicle for writing a talk containing equations. There’s no way that I should have to switch applications just to type an equation. And it’s completely absurd that I should have to fiddle around placing a little PDF image of an inline equation, to get the baselines to line up with the surrounding text. Yes, there are some utilities that make the situation slightly less intolerable. And, yes, it’s better than PowerPoint (which really is setting the bar awfully low).

But, really, one ought to be able to do better. S5 is a very nice presentation software package based on HTML and Javascript. Andrea even incorporated a nice S5 input-syntax in Maruku. Unfortunately, the Javascript that drives S5 isn’t compatible with real XHTML. So, at first blush, that seemed like a non-starter.

On the other hand, I’ve quite some experience fixing web software that’s broken when served as real XHTML

Turns out that it wasn’t that hard.

So, I hereby announce the advent of S5 support in Instiki. An S5 slide show is just another Wiki page, with slightly-modified input semantics. Just set the category of your page

:category: S5-slideshow

and it doubles as an S5 slideshow. An “S5” View button appears at the bottom of the page. Click on it to start your slide show.

Of course, all the standard goodies are still there: itex equations, rendered to MathML, inline SVG, …

No spinning pie-charts. But, I suppose, if you really want them, they, too, are possible (or will be).

There’s a sample slide show (click on the “S5” link to start the show).

Now it’s time to get back to posting about Physics…

Posted by distler at March 1, 2007 4:38 PM

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14 Comments & 1 Trackback

Re: S5

Wow! Very impressive!

Posted by: Robert McNees on March 1, 2007 7:02 PM | Permalink | Reply to this

Re: S5

A few OSX apps can go full screen – such as Quicktime for movies, Keynote, and I think even some Adobe apps do this – hiding the dock, menu bar, and window title bar. This would be good for presentations. Is there a Firefox plugin that will fill the full screen with a web page at the touch of a command key? Or an app that will mirror a window’s contents to a second display?

If not, there’s a $5 app called menufella that will hide the menu bar – which is part way there.

Posted by: garrett on March 2, 2007 9:27 PM | Permalink | Reply to this

Full-Screen

There’s a plugin for Safari that allows a full-screen mode. But switching to Safari would kinda miss the point …

As far as I know, there is no support for full-screen mode in Firefox on MacOSX (even via a plugin).

That’s a real bummer.

Posted by: Jacques Distler on March 2, 2007 9:57 PM | Permalink | PGP Sig | Reply to this

Full Screen

Actually, you can do pretty darn well in Camino.

Install megazoomer, and you can go full-screen in any Cocoa application by hitting -return. In Camino, that leaves you with just the browser chrome. You can hide the Bookmark bar and the Toolbar, leaving just the narrow Status bar at the bottom of the screen.

Quite a tolerable solution, all in all.

Posted by: Jacques Distler on March 2, 2007 10:46 PM | Permalink | PGP Sig | Reply to this

Camino

Unfortunately, Javascript in Camino 1.03 is ridiculously slow. S5 is unusable on anything less than a dual-processor G5. This is fixed in the nightly builds of Camino. Unfortunately, the current nightly build, like the current nightly builds of Seamonkey and Firefox, is Cairo-enabled. Which means that MathML is totally screwed up. What you want is a nightly build from November, in which both Javascript and MathML work properly.

Posted by: Jacques Distler on March 5, 2007 9:17 PM | Permalink | PGP Sig | Reply to this

Re: S5

S5 is very nice. I used S5+ASCIIMathML for a talk last year. This could be an even nicer solution – thanks.

Now just to see if it’ll render properly when I go to my office tomorrow. It’s fine in Firefox 2 on linux, meaning it likely also works fine in Mozilla. Konqueor just shows the outline view.

Posted by: agm on March 2, 2007 11:31 PM | Permalink | Reply to this

Re: S5

Well, Konqueror doesn’t support MathML, so that would be kinda pointless.

It does “work” (modulo the lack of MathML support) in Safari. So I’m surprised that it doesn’t work (at all) in Konqueror.

But Javascript incompatibilities are deep voodoo…

Posted by: Jacques Distler on March 3, 2007 12:02 AM | Permalink | PGP Sig | Reply to this

Re: konqueror fix

Could you please describe exactly, what you’ve done to fix it for konqueror? I’m just evaluating S5 and thought it would be a problem with the js-engine of konqueror.
Thx!

Posted by: Thomas Koch on March 14, 2007 9:58 AM | Permalink | Reply to this

Re: konqueror fix

The previous commenter complained that it doesn’t work at all in Konqueror. And, because I

  1. don’t have Konqueror
  2. am not really interested in browsers that don’t support MathML

I have done nothing to “fix” S5 to work in Konqueror.

All of the source code (based on Eric Meyer’s version 1.2a2) is in my Instiki BZR repository, specifically in the public/s5 subdirectory.

Posted by: Jacques Distler on March 14, 2007 10:15 AM | Permalink | PGP Sig | Reply to this

Re: S5

Out of curiosity, what are you using to produce SVG graphics? If you haven’t tried it I recommend inkscape

http://www.inkscape.org/

It’s free and it has built in support for rendering LaTeX within an image. Plus, it exports to a wide range of formats.

Posted by: Robert McNees on March 17, 2007 1:23 PM | Permalink | Reply to this

Inkscape

Inkscape seems quite nice.

I still use Adobe Illustrator, though.

I am more comfortable with the user-inteface (important in a drawing program) and it has built-in support for exporting to SVG, EPS, PDF and GIF formats (which covers all the bases for me).

There are two SVG images on the Wiki. One is the SVG version of the SVG logo I use on my blog. The other is stolen from Sam Ruby.

The former was edited by hand to remove the cruft that is inserted by any GUI drawing program (Illustrator or Inkscape), and to ensure that it rescales along with the text.

Posted by: Jacques Distler on March 17, 2007 1:38 PM | Permalink | PGP Sig | Reply to this

Re: S5

Wow, this does indeed look very impressive.

Is there any chance you are going to write up some kind of tutorial to incorporate this code into other Instiki clones?

A tutorial would be much easier for those of us with only limited RoR knowledge… and we’d certainly appreciate it.

Posted by: Kay Satirli on March 25, 2007 4:23 PM | Permalink | Reply to this

Re: S5

Is there any chance you are going to write up some kind of tutorial to incorporate this code into other Instiki clones?

Other Instiki clones?

All my changes are freely available from the BZR Repository. Using commands like bzr log and bzr diff, you can find out what I changed and why.

I don’t think I am knowledgeable enough about Rails to turn my various fixes and improvements into a worthwhile “tutorial” on Rails.

In the case of adding S5 support, 90% of the work went into fixing S5. With Maruku’s pre-existing S5 support, integrating the result into Instiki was fairly trivial.

A tutorial would be much easier for those of us with only limited RoR knowledge… and we’d certainly appreciate it.

When I started this project, I had zero knowledge of Rails. (In fact, I had zero knowledge of Ruby.) If you’re working on another Instiki clone, I suspect that you know as much or more than I do about Rails.

Posted by: Jacques Distler on March 25, 2007 6:48 PM | Permalink | PGP Sig | Reply to this

Re: S5

Thanks for the comment.

I’ll see if I can figure some stuff out.

However, I wanted to clarify something. I’m _not_ working on another Instiki clone. I don’t have enough knowledge for it to be worthwile. All I’ve done so far is revamped the editing interface (which is strictly HTML, ECMAScript and CSS)

Adding S5 support would be a major thing for me, but who knows. It might just work. :-)

Thanks in any case for sharing your work with the community.

Posted by: Kay Satirli on March 26, 2007 12:20 AM | Permalink | Reply to this
Read the post Suboptimized
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Excerpt: Making Ruby work reliably on my G4 iBook.
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