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[REBOL] Re: facts we will have to face ...

From: greggirwin:mindspring at: 26-Oct-2001 12:20

Hi Robert, et al << > Do you consider presentations to be a business application? Hi, no. It's a tool for communication it's not a business application you earn money with (only consultants like me do this ;-)). You use it to talk about a business application. >> I won't dive into the "what is a business application" side of the conversation here beyond saying I agree with Joel on this one. The key phrase, though, in your response is "It's a tool for communication". That's *exactly* right. Right now we're talking about a business presentation context, but that's just 'the tip of the tip of the iceberg' (I use that phrase a lot when telling people about REBOL to point out how far we have still to go to exploit its capabilities) and an isolated example. REBOL is a messaging language first and foremost. Most of us on the list seem to be using it to play around in areas we're familiar with and haven't even touched the messaging side of things, not far beyond basic remote access and e-mail. Maarten is pushing things with remote service invocation, which is targeted at developers like us and is for messaging at the program level. When you said "It's a tool for communication" I interpret it to mean communication between humans, not programs and machines. This is where REBOL should *really* shine. Cybarite has done a nice VID sample called EV-Pres which uses EasyVID as its basis. Jeff has also done a little animation/presentation engine. Then there's Oldes' slide show sample. With these, and looking at IOS' Presenter reblet screen-shot, it should be clear that you *could* build a presentation app to compete with PowerPoint. Most people only want/need/use probably 1% of the functionality in the current MS Office apps. But I digress... REBOL's real power will shine when we think in terms of communication apps that let specialists use the nomenclature of their repsective fields and we exchange messages that are readable both by humans and by REBOL. PowerPoint is a great example of what works in the context of a controlled environment not working outside of a controlled environment. It's a closed format and not easily distributed. People send me PPS files and I can't view them and I'm running W2K! My wife can't run them on her iMac, and they take *forever* to download. If I can't see the data, the communcation link has failed utterly. What other kinds of presentations could there be, besides marketing, you ask? Well, how about animated algorihtms for CS classes, or a project status presentation that shows you the gantt chart and you watch as the individual timelines animate to show the progress of each item? What about adapting the concept of Literate Programming to this area? Literate Presentations would let you write your research report on opthamology as a regular report but it could also be used to drive your presentation of the subject matter. Sorry to ramble on here but I'm just about jumping out of my chair thinking about the possibilities. Maybe because I had such a hard time getting PowerPoint to work for me when I did presentations and they said I *had* to use it. Switching between the machined running PP and the machine running my example code was a pain. Inevitably you'd forget once or twice and the audience would have to yell "SWITCH THE SCREEN!" because they couldn't see the code you were typing. What we need is a "presentation IDE" for REBOL. :) --Gregg