This page was my personal application to Google Summer of Code 2009.
It never got completed, if you want to use any or all of this, please feel free.
The use of wikis in the development of open educational materials in WikiEducator (and potentially elsewhere) is growing. One thing that's missing is the ability to easily make slideshow presentations from the existing material. It is possible to transfer things by hand into a slideshow program, and even to share that slideshow freely, but with this approach the central wiki benefit of being able to use a markup language to specify content without specifying form is lost.
Wayne Beaton from the Eclipse foundation has developed a way to use MediaWiki syntax (what we use here on WikiEducator), to make slideshow presentations. Unfortunately, it's currently a plugin to the code development environment Eclipse and not in a form easily useful to educators. The description of the plugin in it's current state is here on Wayne's blog, and there's a video demonstration of it in use here.
First, I'd like to gauge interest in having a tool like this available for (wiki)educators. To do this I would need to ask the questions: Would educators find such a tool useful? And are there existing tools like this that I haven't run across yet?
Since there seems to be some similarity in roles/functionality of this tool and the Download-to-PDF function there might be a way to leverage the existing functionality there. I'd really like to gain a better understanding of how the to-PDF extension on WE works. It seems that it's based off the Collections MediaWiki extension (now renamed to Book extension) developed by PediaPress.
Alternatively, I've been told that it would be possible to pull the plugins out of eclipse and into a Rich Client Platform application (Whatever that means... :).
So, the functionality to make basic presentations from MediaWiki text exists, but in the wrong place. The WikiEducator community is not technically oriented, so asking them to obtain and use eclipse is irresponsible and unreasonable. I will explore ways to make this functionality available to them, as well as what can be done to improve and generalise the existing extensions and plugins.
What I plan to do before applying in order to gauge possible scope of the project for myself. What can be done, how long it might take, and whether I can reasonably attempt to provide a solution.
This is what I propose to do if the application is accepted. Subject to change of course.