For my conference talks and corporate classes, I make my slides with a
home-grown piece of software, called 'txt2slides'.  The software is a
big pile of hacks, but I'm very happy with it.  txt2slides takes a
slide file, which is almost plain text, and turns it into a series of
HTML files, one per slide.

The output is in HTML.  Using HTML for the slides has a number of
major benefits:

* I can be absolutely sure that no matter what kind of computer
  equipment and software are available at the teaching site, I will be
  able to display the slides with no trouble.  

  Folks ask me what hardware and software I will need, and I just say
  "A computer with a web browser."  Is a Mac OK?  Yes.  Is Windows 95
  OK?  Yes.  Is a laptop OK?  Yes.  Everything is OK.  Every computer
  has a web browser.  

* When I get to the classroom, I can adjust the font size so that it
  looks good from the back row. If the room is small, I can use a
  smaller font; if not, I can use a big font.  The browser takes care
  of rearranging everything.

* If the material is a little too long for the slide, that's OK; it
  goes off the bottom of the screen and I scroll down when I get there.

* I have the option of giving the presentation straight from my home
  web server or from a local copy of the slides.  When I want to put a
  presentation on my web site, it's already in the right format.
  Since the slides are separate HTML documents, that means lots more
  documents for google to index, which means more people coming to
  visit my web site.  

* HTML is flexible enough that the slides look pretty good.

* I don't have to suffer from the humiliation of standing up at the
  Open Source Conference and using a Microsoft product to display my
  slides.  The OSC is full of Power Point presentations.  I don't know
  these people can do it; I wouldn't be able to face myself in the
  mirror if I did that.

For a long time, I didn't make txt2slides available at all, because I
didn't want to support it.  Finally I stuck a copy of it on my web
site.  Some other folks have used it successfully.

I still don't want to support it, but I have made the following

  * I updated the web site version

  * I wrote a little bit of documentation

  * I created a mailing list for people to discuss how much txt2slides
    sucks and what might be done about it

If you're interested, you might want to have a look at the package.
It's available from 

It comes with a complete example.  It's a pile of junk, but it's a
very useful and successful pile of junk.  Making slides is quick and
easy.  I love using it and I like the way the slides come out.

The mailing list is at 


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