Interactive presentations with deck.js

November 20, 2011
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(This article was first published on mages' blog, and kindly contributed to R-bloggers)

Data analysis is often an iterative and interactive process. However, when I present about this subject, I feel often limited by the presentation software I use. It doesn't matter if I use LaTeX/PDF, PowerPoint or Keynote. In all cases it is either very difficult or impossible to include interactive charts, such as Flash or SVG charts. As a result I have to switch between various applications during the talk. This can be fun, but quite often it is not.

The other day I came across a presentation by Christopher Gandrud. Christopher had used deck.js, a JavaScript library for building HTML presentations by Caleb Troughton.

This looked like an interesting approach to me and fortunately the learning curve was not to steep, although I am by no means an html or JavaScript expert. So I created my first deck.js presentation based on the content of previous googleVis presentations. For the first time I can embed videos, Flash and SVG charts without using lots of different apps. I am actually quite pleased by the result, see here: Getting started with googleVis
Now imagine a presentation hosted on a server with R installed! You could combine your slides with R using one of the following packages R.rsp, brew, Rook, etc and run live demos, without opening a console.

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