I’ve given a few public presentations this year, and still have a few more to go. I could have used PowerPoint, or the more logical Mac alternative, Keynote, to assemble the visuals for each presentation. But I’ve never liked that route. Given the material I usually cover, I like to present in the same format I’m talking about.
Those who’ve seen my presentations know that I use a browser to navigate through slides constructed with traditional HTML and CSS. I link out to external web pages, view source, and toggle off style sheets often enough, that using HTML and CSS just makes sense given my style and material. Accesskeys baked into my presentations allow me to navigate forward or backward through my deck with rapid keyboard shortcuts, without needing to reposition the cursor over little next/previous links. More on the presentation scripts I use later.
The system I use works pretty well. However, I’m still missing a few critical components that could make HTML-based presentations even better:
Wireless remote that controls Firefox/Safari
Either bluetooth or RF would work. I’m not just looking for something that allows basic browser navigation functions: forward, back, home, bookmark selection, view source, and scroll. I’m also looking for something that allows me to map certain buttons or button combos to specific keyboard shortcuts to allow use of my accesskeys and other menu commands available to the browser. Something that allows me to step away from my laptop once in a while, so I don’t need be at the keyboard every time I change slides. Could even be an add-on script to something like Salling Clicker. Obviously this device would/should be capable of controlling a lot more apps than the basic browser.
Better HTML/CSS manipulation in Safari
I’ve used Firefox for all my presentations so far. But being a Mac user, Safari slowly became my browser of choice, simply because it feels faster than Firefox; it also seems the Mozilla Foundation is making the Mac version of Firefox less and less Mac-like. Recently discovered Safari plugins like Saft and Stand (both discovered via mentions by Jon Hicks) push Safari toward a more suited browser for full-screen presentations. Except for two missing features:
A working toggle-CSS bookmarklet/favelet
All the bookmarklets I’ve tried in Safari only toggle off linked style sheets, but not imported style sheets. Grant Hutchinson documented this as a Safari bug in the way it implements the
document.stylesheets collection. It seems there should still be a way to temporarily disable ALL style sheets in Safari. I rely on the ability to toggle CSS on and off throughout my presentations, and many sites import their style sheets directly via the HTML file. This, alone, is the reason I haven’t been able to use Safari for presentations yet.
A Web Developer Toolbar equivalent
Am I just dreaming? Know of anything that fits the needs above? Have other presentation-related wish list items or recommendations that I haven’t thought of? Something you’ve seen someone use somewhere else?