Article: Open Source Presentation Tools: Are We There Yet?

An excerpt from, by @ChrisChinchilla

In recent months I have been attempting to make as much of my work and creative output as open and collaborative as possible. Since most of my output being code and markdown, this has been relatively simple.

Photo: Conor Lawless

However, I give a lot of presentations about open culture and it seemed a little hypocritical that I was delivering them through closed, non-collaborative software.

Whilst MS Powerpoint has gained competition from applications such as Keynote and Prezi, they are all still closed and only semi-collaborative formats. Crucially, they are all ‘dead-end’ formats, i.e. a powerpoint file, is just a powerpoint file, it can’t be easily re-used or interpretted as a part of anything else. What I mean by this will become clearer later.

I knew there were options available to create a more ‘open’ presentation, generally browser-based format that leverages JavaScript and CSS to recreate the look, feel and effects of those traditional presentation tools.

In addition to simply recreating my existing presentations (from PowerPoint and Keynote) in one a more open format, I had some other requirements to make me satisfied.

##What were my motivations?
Write once, re-purpose multiple times

I want to be able to write the same content for a blog post, a presentation and some other purposes and be able to render them in my different use cases.


Frequently when I present at a conference the organizers ask for a slide deck afterwards. For some a link may be enough, but for others they want a standalone file, such as a PDF. This allows presentations to be uploaded to services like Slideshare where I get a lot of exposure for my presentations.


I like to create presentations with full screen images, clear, readable text and other engaging tropes to make people notice. A framework that only supports small format images and text is of no interest to my.

Continue reading this article on SitePoint.

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