Hello, all, of course I subscribed because I'm training Perl occasionally. Having said this, maybe I can add a few informations about the current implementation of PerlPoint which addresses various needs mentioned in this thread. As Johan said, there's a new version which is based on Tom's original ideas, but extended in many ways.
This is not intended to be advertising but information. The following lists are incomplete and just written instantly. * Presentations are written in ASCII with a simple but powerful markup. Tags can take options. Unlimited tag nesting. Macros to define own "tags", taking options as well. Variables. Embedding of target code. Embedding of Perl code to produce dynamic document parts. Inclusion of files automatically made examples. Lists. Conditional processing of document parts depending on conditions written in Perl (with a partially simplified interface for non Perl users). Links and sequences. Unlimited document nesting, including macro and code library support. * A parser produces an intermediate format called a stream. * Event driven backends use a general module to process the stream and transform it into various formats. So an unlimited number of target formats can be supported. Various converters already exist. * HTML: main target format. All the advantages Mark pointed out. Lots of options to configure the target layout, including use of frames, use of a Java navigation applet, automatically generated index, navigation bars, internal and external links. Layout options can by stored as a "style" which may be simply reused then. Predefined Layouts in the distribution. CSS support. * SDF: full featured converter, reference implementation. SDF can be transformed in various more formats, including POD, ASCII and more. * PDF: easily made from SDF via sdf and htmldoc. PostScript as well. * LaTex: converter is in alpha state but already produces results worth to look at. * Clintons Perl Projector: already addressed (demo converter) (I hoped you would see the announcement on c.l.p.a, Clinton ;-) * PPresenter: demo converter available. This is the first converter producing XML. I hope there will be more, e.g. a converter to the Open Office Presenter format. PerlPoint is documented both for document and converter authors, and we're still working on document improvements. It is not only usable for presentations but for documentation as well, e.g. I plan to transform the Event tutorial to PerlPoint and to publish the sources. The PDF result will be very similar to the existing one. The benefit of this approach is that because of PerlPoints document nesting many authors can contribute to a document easily. We use the software in our own Perl trainings. There are already hundreds of pages, including tests and solutions. Conditional processing makes it easy to give students a version different from teachers one, let's say without solutions, or to publish more and more of the materials from day to day. A printed version and slides can be made easily from the same source (just use another converter), and the presentation can be updated on the fly. Please take this as an invitation as well: there may be features we did not see which could be useful to make good training presentations. Please let us know. More, the concept is designed to be flexible and extendible. A lot of people designed own software for a similar purpose, maybe someone is interested to join the PerlPoint team and to help improve existing converters or to write a new one which she/he is in need of. Jochen P.S.: More information, based on this summers releases, can be found on www.yapc.org/Europe/2001/proceedings/15/yapc-2001/doc in the various *-slides directories (start with frame_set.html).