Let's face it: OpenOffice.org Impress is a lame, boring presentation program. What if you want to do something really fancy? Something Keynote fancy?
Well, if you're a Linux user, you're out of luck. OpenOffice.org Impress is the best you can do, but it's not for a lack of other people trying. A few years ago, GNOME's Agnubis was a potential candidate for a some new presentation software, but it unfortunately never took off. Even more recently, Criawips (aka AbiShow) seemed to show some promise, but never ended up making it very far. Currently, the project looks dead.
So in 2006, if you're going to make a presentation on Linux, it's going to look like it's from 1995. If you're a serious developer looking for a new project, the libraries seem to have fallen into place since Criawips in order to make this a viable project:
- Cairo provides a nice SVG 2D graphics canvas.
- GStreamer (which has finally reached maturity) makes it easier to handle embedded audio and video.
- OpenGL (which has been there all along) is also a fairly straightforward graphics API (can do 2D as well as 3D), and can be used to do funky 3D transitions and such easily.
- Hell, even SDL would be a good choice for the graphics API.
- If you're feeling rather C#, Mono's Tao provides bindings for both OpenGL and SDL. I can't vouch for how strong GStreamer# is, but it at least seems to exist.