Event In a Suitcase and Running Remote S5 Presentations

EventInaSuitcaseContinuing the tradition of the “Event in a…” meme, we came up with the notion of “Event in a Suitcase” at the most recent Mash Pit.

The idea is pretty simple: make it easy to walk into a room and make a presentation.

Well, among the five of us, we came to the conclusion that there’s nothing really that makes it easy. There are tools, both hardware and software, that make it possible, and writing them down was a good place to start from. But there really isn’t an open source or free workflow that gets us where we want to be… where everything is affordable and fits in a literal suitcase.

So anyway, we documented our work and could use more help. If you’ve got ideas, tools, solutions, workflows or whatever, add them!

·   ·   ·

So, one of the cool hacks that we brainstormed and that Kevin Marks was actually able to implement before the day was out involved Eric Meyer’s public domain slideshow format S5. Essentially he made it possible for people watching an S5 presentation, like Tantek’s excellent Building Blocks for Independent, to see the slides change as the presenter changes them.

Of course bringing this awesome hack together with a Gizmo call-in means that people can at least watch and listen remotely as presentation happens — and participate in IRC. So voila, it’s like NetMeeting, but open source! Anyway, Kevin’s code is in Twisted and now that I’ve blogged this, hopefully he’ll be incented to clean it up and publish it!

Author: Chris Messina

Head of West Coast Business Development at Republic. Ever-curious product designer and technologist. Hashtag inventor. Previously: Molly.com (YC W18), Uber, Google.

2 thoughts on “Event In a Suitcase and Running Remote S5 Presentations”

  1. I’ve been wanting something like an “open source NetMeeting” for years now. (I used to think a custom client based on Mozilla’s XUL framework would be the way to go…) Very cool that we’re close to having it. All the pieces have been there, it’s really just a matter of tying them together. nicely.

  2. “…see the slides change as the presenter changes them.”

    This is the third implementation of this basic concept that I know about, so I’d really REALLY love to see it in S5. (I actually call this S6, for “Synchronized S5”, after one of the other people who did it.)

    The problems the previous implementations had were that they relied on Ajax with a server-side script as a broker, so the presenter pinged the script with changes but every “follower” had to ping the script every second or so to see if anything had changed. If you’ve come up with a push model, or at least something that doesn’t force every-second pings from all the followers, then so much the better! We can get it merged in and say yay.

    Now I just have to bug Ryan about the other S5 thing he and I talked about, which would make adding these kinds of features a good deal easier…

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