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Unexpected Linux Hiccup #542: Presentations

I had to give an emergency "we don't have enough speakers to fill time" talk at Columbus Ruby Brigade recently. Thankfully, I gave a talk a few months ago, an Intro to Test Driven Development, that I was pretty sure I could dust off and present with minimal prep.

Except that the presentation was done in Apple's Keynote, and I'm really enjoying using Ubuntu on my Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Carbon. Surely there must be a way to convert a keynote presentation to a format I can open, touch up, and present in Linux?

Google Drive/Slides: The internet says if I upload a Powerpoint presentation to Google Drive, I can open it in their Slides tool and it'll just work.

Wow, thanks.

This is a 204-page presentation with a handful of high-quality images embedded. It's filesize is bigger than I expected, but I'm still surprised that Google's tools hard fail on it.

LibreOffice Impress: Maybe I can open the powerpoint in Impress and work on it there? I haven't touched Open/LibreOffice in maybe a decade, nearly two. Surely some progress has been made!

Wrong, no progress has been made.

It is very nearly the year of the common era two-thousand and twenty, and I'm elated to announce my discovery of time travel back to 1998! Look at this. Multi-level toolbars! Garishly colored icons that are indecipherable until you read their tooltips!

Well, let's not judge. It surely can't look as good as Keynote. If it does the job, maybe I can get used to the interface. And to be honest once I installed the correct fonts, the presentation looks like it's supposed to! No weird margin errors!

Except it's slloooooooowwwww to the point of unusability. I can barely edit any of the text (not sure if this is "too slow and I wasn't patient enough" or "double-clicking in a text field is somehow not the way to edit the text"), scrolling takes forever and then forever again while it repaints the new slides, and I can't find a way to resize some of the shapes from the original presentation. Dragging the resize handle just moves the shape. Changing the width/height in the sidebar changes the X/Y position. WTF.

Oh, and it crashes reliably on the third slide, regardless of which slide that is. I guess this thing is just too large and Impress isn't impressive enough to handle it?

So Impress barely opens the document, doesn't allow me to edit it fully, and crashes when I try to present.


Look, I just ended up taking my Mac and doing the presentation out of Keynote, which was a delight to use.

I'm bullish on GNOME and Linux. I want to be able to run everything through Linux. I know there are going to be places where that isn't possible yet. I just didn't think opening and presentating a slide deck in 2019 was going to be one of them.

Unexpected Linux Hiccup #542: Presentations
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