There are few tasks that I cringe about more than putting together a presentation with a standard slideshow program. With my background in web development the drag-and-drop process, mixing of content with design, and maintaining consistency through an evolving forty-plus slideshow is clunky and inefficient. HTML and CSS are great languages that are easy to use and handle this stuff fine - why can't I just build a presentation with that?
Building the presentation turned out to be a lot of fun. The Markdown was clean and simple, verbose enough for me to publish independently on my Github. I did have to inject a few HTML elements here and there for some of the trickier things, like fragments and specific phrase highlighting. Most of the content ended up being just vanilla text, which was nice.
I did run into a few issues. First, there was more than once that I wished I could customize the Markdown parsing. As far as I could tell the only options available were a few data attributes on the section links, parameters to determine what the slide breaks were and such. It would have been nice to map specific syntax to element, like ```` to <pre class="code-fragment">, etc, or even just target specific generated lists or tables with unique styles.
A smaller side issue I had was with customization. I'm so used to working with PHP dependencies, where you build your application independent of the vendor libraries, that it felt weird to wade in and modify the files in this library. It would be nice to boot the Reveal codebase and just point to a few directories, for Markdown and styles and customization, and not actually touch any repo files. Different languages have different conventions, I guess.