makeTalk - Build Your HTML Talks

What is makeTalk?

makeTalk is a Perl routine which takes a set of HTML files and converts them into a sequential talk, which will look rather like PowerPoint. The raw HTML files need only to have the body contents of each page. makeTalk will insert the header, including formatting statments, as well as link the pages backwards and forewards for you.

How Does makeTalk Work?

Little imps run around your files and link them together. Next question.

No, I Mean What Do I Do?

It's pretty simple, really. You need a formatting file to tell makeTalk how to link the pages together. The formatting file has three components:

Documents Header
The common header to be used on all documents. Does not include the title bits and the stuff required by the W3C standards. This has become a bit superfulous with the addition of the ability to handle stylesheets, but for anyone who does not want to use CSS, this is still a supported option.
Document Foooter
The common footer on all pages. Also more or less superfulous, as makeTalk automatically appends the W3C stuff.
Page Ordering
The list of slides in order. Each entry is listed on a new line, in the form ⟨filename⟩|⟨title⟩. Filename should be the main part of the file name, without the extention! (See below.) New sections can be indicated by placing a line of form Section|⟨section title⟩ (note that the word "Section" can all be spelled "section").

Any line in the format file that begins with a # will be ignore as a comment.

That done, you create files with the names you indicated in the format file with the actual page content. Run makeTalk ⟨format file name⟩, and you should be set. makeTalk will create a list of pages, broken into sections (if any) as you indicated and title this "index.html". You can also jump right to your first slide, of course. makeTalk also generates another page with all of your slides for easy printing. The slides should print on seperate pages by using the "page-break-before:always;" option in stylesheet. You can get to this file from the bottom of the index page.

OK, so what about extensions?

You don't want your raw slides (the ones with just the bodies) to get clobbered by your final, presentation slides. So makeTalk, by default anyway, reads in files as .htm and creates files with .html extension. It also defaults to reading the raw slides from the sub-directory RawFiles/. This keeps the main directory area more tidy. These defaults can be altered.

How Can I Set My Own Preferences?

Ah, glad you asked! You can create a file called "talkPrefs.pl" in the directory where you'll be running makeTalk. This will set your own preferences.


John Weiss