Ludochaordic
Fantaisies programatico-ludiques

Server-less reveal.js slides

I love reveal.js. I've been using it for years. But the other day, I was badly bitten by its requirement on a local HTTP server.

What happenned was that I was invited to make a short presentation in a youth and cultural center. I had prepared some slides with reveal.js, but once in their computer room, I realized a firewall was installed on each and every computer there, blocking any attempt to launch a simple local server with python -m http.server or a simple Mongoose server. And no one had the admin rights over this firewall !

Daffy Duck slamming itself on a tree

There is currently no plan from the devs behind reveal.js to get rid of this requirement. Hence I developed a workaround !

With the markdown plugin, a typical usage of reveal.js looks like this (taken from their base index.html) :

<div class="reveal">
  <div class="slides">
    <section data-markdown="MySlides.md" data-separator="^\n\n\n" data-separator-vertical="^\n\n" data-notes="^Note:" data-charset="utf-8"></section>
  </div>
</div>
<script src="js/reveal.js"></script>
<script>
  Reveal.initialize({
    ...
    dependencies: [
      { src: 'plugin/markdown/marked.js' },
      { src: 'plugin/markdown/markdown.js' },
      ...
  });
</script>

The requirement for a local HTTP server actually comes from the markdown plugin that performs an AJAX request to retrieve MySlides.md.

Hence, my idea for a workaround : convert MySlides.md into a MySlides.js script, so that no AJAX is needed any more !

Here is a 30-lines Bash script that does exactly that : reveal_md2js.sh

In our exemple, you would just use it like this :

./reveal_md2js.sh MySlides.md
MySlides.js has been successfully generated

Then, in your index.html, just replace the line :

&lt;section data-markdown="MySlides.md" ...&gt;&lt;/section&gt;

by :

&lt;script src="MySlides.js" ...&gt;&lt;/script&gt;

And TADAAA ! You now have some reveal.js slides that are fully-functional with the file:// procotol, e.g. if you directly open index.html with your browser.

EDIT 2016/10/13 : actually an even simpler solution is to put your Markdown directly in a <section> in you index.html.