Simon's Projects 1997
Software Oriented Projects:
Network monitoring
Scientific data analysis
Web diary
Speech interface for X
One time password
Slides viewer

Slides Viewer for a
LCD Projection Panel


The laboratory now has an LCD projection panel for electronic display of slides. It offers a resolution of 640x480 with medium contrast and a small range of colours. This can be neatly combined with a portable computer for the roving lecturer.

To make best use of the LCD display a careful choice of neatly rendered fonts is required. Slides could be generated in LaTeX and displayed with ghostview. Unfortunately ghostview makes a poor job of rendering postscript fonts when only a limited number of pixels are available. Alternatively, slides could be prepared in HTML and displayed with netscape. Alas netscape only works with mono or 8-bits per pixel displays. Furthermore, a complex distributed hypertext environment is not required. None the less, HTML has the attraction that material could easily be supplied via the web for later perusal.

Possible Requirements

  • An X based (or Java?) slides viewer which displays HTML from local files and allows rapid movement between slides.
  • Hypertext links could be ignored but a new delimiter may be used to identify slide boundaries within a HTML file.
  • Traversing slides should be achieved using keyboard control (e.g.\ space, right arrow and down arrow to move forward; left and up arrow for moving backwards) and/or mouse buttons.
  • It must be possible to insert GIF (or possibly PPM) images in the usual HTML manner.
  • Neatly rendered X screen fonts should be used and it should be possible to specify font choice (e.g.\ for a particular hardware configuration) in a configuration file. Colours should also be specified in the configuration file.
  • It should be written in Java or tcl/tk, and if necessary C, to assist portability.
  • Each slide should be displayed full screen. Consequently any menus must be popup. Since the left and right mouse buttons may be used for turning pages, the popup menu should be activated with the middle button.
  • It must be possible for the HTML based slide file to be viewed in a conventional and convenient manner using netscape.
  • The position and size of the slide viewer window should be able to be set using the command line option -geometry to assist accurate positioning.

Some Extensions

  • By using a private colour map, a fade effect could be achieved when moving between slides.
  • Electronic equivalents of a hilighter and a pen.
  • Answering questions at the end of a long presentation often requires quick selection of previous slides. A tiled overview of the slides would be a useful selection technique.
  • Animation of a number of GIF images both forward, backward and at varying speed.

Special resources


Possible supervisors

I'm not prepared to supervise this project. You might like to try people in the Opera group who do research on multimedia. This project could also be supervised by many other people in the lab.