For Access 2006, in Ottawa, the hackfest filled up so quickly that I arranged an alternate hackfest (called “ad-hocfest”) for those of us losers who were too slow to register for the official hackfest.  In order to manage the Hackfest Reports on the last day of Access, Dan Chudnov had a hackfest project the previous year that was called the Hackfest Management System, or HMS.  It was written in Python/Turbo Gears.

Dan and I decided to rewrite HMS to accomodate Hackfest and ad-hocfest and use the S5 javascript presentation script.  Since I had more time to work on it than Dan (and am lazy and a bully), I began the rewrite in Rails and Dan was a good sport and went along with it.

What we wrote was the HMS Presentr, a very simple application that stores S5 slides and gives the presentation creator and WYSIWYG interface using TinyMCE.  Making this even simpler was the fact that we only had one template we needed to use, although managing multiple headers, footers and stylesheets would be pretty simple.  It’s small and simple.  Rails was, no doubt, overkill for this project.

The actual finished product worked only so/so.  Presentation writers had extremely mixed results with TinyMCE.  Perhaps another WYSIWYG editor would bring more success.

This project is more or less completely obsolete, due to Google Presentations.

You can download the source as a .zip here.  It is available under an MIT License.

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