On 11/13/2002 05:10 PM, Rasmus Lerdorf wrote:
> At PHP-CON most of the presenters were using a presentation tool
> built in PHP. It would convert html to PDF and several other cool
> functions. Is anyone familiar with this and where I can find it? If
> not, does anyone one know of a conversion tool built in php that
> converts html to PDF? I am fully aware of the pdf-lib. This is not
> what I am looking for.

I suppose that is Rasmus presentation tool.

Personally, last time that I loook, I found that tool limited and
inadequate for most people's needs.

Of course you do.
I have evaluated I pile of presentation tools including yours before I decided that Prestimel was the best for me. See the points that I mentioned as opportunities to improve your tool in the direction of the needs of many people, if you want to improve of course.

One problem is that it is dependent on that you must serve the
presentation from a server that has PHP installed. This is bad because
if you want to provide just the HTML pages to the people for download,
you can't do it with Rasmus tool. I believe that this is good for Rasmus
presentations because he can show some PHP features interactively but
most people (that does not present PHP specific things) does not need that.

You can generate plain html pages from it.
It should be trivial, but it was not something possible when I tried it.

Another problem is that Rasmus tool lack from single stepping bulleted
lists. This means that if you have a slide with a bulleted list, it will
show the whole slide at once. This distracts the audience that instead
of paying attention to the speaker, they start reading the whole slide.

Nope, it does bullet-by-bullet rendering.  It will either slide in each
bullet or just instantly pop each one up on each key press.
I have tried lots of presentations generated with your tool and I could not see that working. Maybe it is not a feature that it is intuitive to use.

Anyway, Prestimel generates bullet single steping even with just static HTML. I wonder if your tool can generate static HTML that you can single step and see the current bullet point in a highlight color.

It also generates a table of contents page that shows the list of all
slides divided in presentation sections. Table of contents can be
accessed by clicking on the top title in the any presentation page. Here
is an example:

So does does my presentation tool.

And yes, this thing is very geared for live and interactive presentations,
but it doesn't exclude other common features.  Personally I find static
bullet-point slides extremely painful to sit through.  Show me some code,
show me the result and show me how different inputs or small code changes
affect that result.
I don't doubt that your presentation tool was taylored for your needs of presenting PHP code examples interactively in your talks. However, those are very specific needs of yours that a lot of people do not have nor is viable for them as they need to present things without the requirement of having a Web server to generate the presentation dynamically.

Besides, as I mentioned I find highlighted bullet single stepping is much more productive than full slide dump because it helps me make people stay focused on the current point than I am presenting instead of getting distracted by the following points of the presentation that I have not talked about yet.


Manuel Lemos

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