patat: Terminal-based presentations using Pandoc

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Change log CHANGELOG.md
Dependencies aeson (>=2.0 && <2.3), ansi-terminal (>=0.6 && <1.1), ansi-wl-pprint (>=0.6 && <1.1), async (>=2.2 && <2.3), base (>=4.9 && <5), base64-bytestring (>=1.0 && <1.3), bytestring (>=0.10 && <0.13), colour (>=2.3 && <2.4), containers (>=0.6 && <0.7), directory (>=1.2 && <1.4), doctemplates (>=0.8 && <0.12), filepath (>=1.4 && <1.6), mtl (>=2.2 && <2.4), network (>=2.6), network-uri (>=2.6), optparse-applicative (>=0.16 && <0.19), pandoc (>=3.1 && <3.2), pandoc-types (>=1.23 && <1.24), patat, process (>=1.6 && <1.7), random (>=1.2 && <1.3), semigroups (>=0.16 && <0.19), skylighting (>=0.10 && <0.15), terminal-size (>=0.3 && <0.4), text (>=1.2 && <2.2), time (>=1.6 && <1.13), unordered-containers (>=0.2 && <0.3), vector (>=0.13 && <0.14), wcwidth (>=0.0 && <0.1), yaml (>=0.8 && <0.12) [details]
License GPL-2.0-only
Copyright 2016 Jasper Van der Jeugt
Author Jasper Van der Jeugt <m@jaspervdj.be>
Maintainer Jasper Van der Jeugt <m@jaspervdj.be>
Category Text
Home page http://github.com/jaspervdj/patat
Source repo head: git clone https://github.com/jaspervdj/patat.git
Uploaded by JasperVanDerJeugt at 2024-02-27T17:14:13Z
Distributions Debian:0.8.6.1, Fedora:0.11.0.0, NixOS:0.12.0.0
Reverse Dependencies 1 direct, 0 indirect [details]
Executables patat-make-man, patat
Downloads 25537 total (174 in the last 30 days)
Rating 2.0 (votes: 1) [estimated by Bayesian average]
Your Rating
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Status Docs available [build log]
Last success reported on 2024-02-27 [all 1 reports]

Readme for patat-0.12.0.0

[back to package description]

🥔 patat

CI Hackage GitHub tag

patat (Presentations Atop The ANSI Terminal) is a feature-rich presentation tool that runs in the terminal.

screenshot

Table of Contents

Installation

Pre-built packages

Linux:

Mac OS:

You can also find generic Linux and Mac OS binaries here: https://github.com/jaspervdj/patat/releases.

From source

Installation from source is very easy. You can build from source using stack install or cabal install. patat is also available from Hackage.

For people unfamiliar with the Haskell ecosystem, this means you can do either of the following:

Using stack

  1. Install stack for your platform.
  2. Clone this repository.
  3. Run stack setup (if you're running stack for the first time) and stack install.
  4. Make sure $HOME/.local/bin is in your $PATH.

Using cabal

  1. Install cabal for your platform.
  2. Run cabal install patat.
  3. Make sure $HOME/.cabal/bin is in your $PATH.

Running

patat [*options*] file

Options

-w, --watch

: If you provide the --watch flag, patat will watch the presentation file for changes and reload automatically. This is very useful when you are writing the presentation.

-f, --force

: Run the presentation even if the terminal claims it does not support ANSI features.

-d, --dump

: Just dump all the slides to stdout. This is useful for debugging.

--version

: Display version information.

Controls

  • Next slide: space, enter, l, , PageDown
  • Previous slide: backspace, h, , PageUp
  • Go forward 10 slides: j,
  • Go backward 10 slides: k,
  • First slide: 0
  • Last slide: G
  • Jump to slide N: N followed by enter
  • Reload file: r
  • Quit: q

The r key is very useful since it allows you to preview your slides while you are writing them. You can also use this to fix artifacts when the terminal is resized.

Input format

The input format can be anything that Pandoc supports. Plain markdown is usually the most simple solution:

---
title: This is my presentation
author: Jane Doe
...

# This is a slide

Slide contents.  Yay.

---

# Important title

Things I like:

- Markdown
- Haskell
- Pandoc

Horizontal rulers (---) are used to split slides.

However, if you prefer not use these since they are a bit intrusive in the markdown, you can also start every slide with a header. In that case, the file should not contain a single horizontal ruler.

patat will pick the most deeply nested header (e.g. h2) as the marker for a new slide. Headers above the most deeply nested header (e.g. h1) will turn into title slides, which are displayed as as a slide containing only the centered title.

This means the following document is equivalent to the one we saw before:

---
title: This is my presentation
author: Jane Doe
...

# This is a slide

Slide contents.  Yay.

# Important title

Things I like:

- Markdown
- Haskell
- Pandoc

And that following document contains three slides: a title slide, followed by two content slides.

---
title: This is my presentation
author: Jane Doe
...

# Chapter 1

## This is a slide

Slide contents.  Yay.

## Another slide

Things I like:

- Markdown
- Haskell
- Pandoc

For more information, see Advanced slide splitting.

Configuration

patat is fairly configurable. The configuration is done using YAML. There are several places where you can put your configuration.

  1. For per-user configuration you can use $XDG_CONFIG_DIRECTORY/patat/config.yaml (typically $HOME/.config/patat/config.yaml) or $HOME/.patat.yaml, for example:

    slideNumber: false
    
  2. In the presentation file itself, using the Pandoc metadata header. These settings take precedence over anything specified in the per-user configuration file. They must be placed in a patat: section, so they don't conflict with metadata:

    ---
    title: Presentation with options
    author: John Doe
    patat:
        slideNumber: false
    ...
    
    Hello world.
    
  3. In version 0.10 and later slides can be individually configured. Within a slide, using a comment starting with <!--config:. These settings can override configuration for that specific slide only. There should not be any whitespace between <!-- and config:.

    # First slide
    
    Slide numbers are turned on here.
    
    # Second slide
    
    <!--config:
    slideNumber: false
    -->
    
    Slide numbers are turned off here.
    

    The following settings can not be set in a slide configuration block, and doing so will result in an error:

    • autoAdvanceDelay
    • eval
    • images
    • incrementalLists
    • pandocExtensions
    • slideLevel
    • speakerNotes

Line wrapping

Line wrapping can be enabled by setting wrap: true in the configuration. This will re-wrap all lines to fit the terminal width better. You can also ask patat to wrap at a specific column using wrap: number, e.g. wrap: 60.

Tab stop

In version 0.12 and later, the amount of spaces a \t character in a code block aligns to can be customized by setting tabStop: number in the configuration. The default is 4.

Margins

Margins can be enabled by setting a margins entry in the configuration:

---
title: Presentation with margins
author: John Doe
patat:
    wrap: true
    margins:
        left: 10
        right: 10
        top: 5
...

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, ...

This example configuration will generate slides with a margin of 10 columns on the left, and it will wrap long lines 10 columns before the right side of the terminal. Additionally, there will be 5 empty lines in between the title bar and slide content.

Line wrapping should be enabled when using non-zero right margin.

By default, the left and right margin are set to 0, and the top margin is set to 1.

Centering

Version 0.11 and later can center content.

  • To vertically center content, use top: auto.
  • To horizontally center content, use both left: auto and right: auto.

For example:

---
title: Centered presentation
author: John Doe
patat:
    margins:
        left: auto
        right: auto
        top: auto
...

Hello world

Line wrapping is recommended when vertically centering content if there are any lines that are too wide for the terminal.

Auto advancing

By setting autoAdvanceDelay to a number of seconds, patat will automatically advance to the next slide.

---
title: Auto-advance, yes please
author: John Doe
patat:
    autoAdvanceDelay: 2
...

Hello World!

---

This slide will be shown two seconds after the presentation starts.

Note that changes to autoAdvanceDelay are not picked up automatically if you are running patat --watch. This requires restarting patat.

Advanced slide splitting

You can control the way slide splitting works by setting the slideLevel variable. This variable defaults to the least header that occurs before a non-header, but it can also be explicitly defined. For example, in the following document, the slideLevel defaults to 2:

# This is a slide

## This is a nested header

This is some content

With slideLevel 2, the h1 will turn into a "title slide", and the h2 will be displayed at the top of the second slide. We can customize this by setting slideLevel manually:

---
patat:
  slideLevel: 1
...

# This is a slide

## This is a nested header

This is some content

Now, we will only see one slide, which contains a nested header.

Fragmented slides

By default, slides are always displayed "all at once". If you want to display them fragment by fragment, there are two ways to do that. The most common case is that lists should be displayed incrementally.

This can be configured by settings incrementalLists to true in the metadata block:

---
title: Presentation with incremental lists
author: John Doe
patat:
    incrementalLists: true
...

- This list
- is displayed
- item by item

Setting incrementalLists works on all lists in the presentation. To flip the setting for a specific list, wrap it in a block quote. This will make the list incremental if incrementalLists is not set, and it will display the list all at once if incrementalLists is set to true.

This example contains a sublist which is also displayed incrementally, and then a sublist which is displayed all at once (by merit of the block quote).

---
title: Presentation with incremental lists
author: John Doe
patat:
    incrementalLists: true
...

- This list
- is displayed

    * item
    * by item

- Or sometimes

    > * all at
    > * once

Another way to break up slides is to use a pagraph only containing three dots separated by spaces. For example, this slide has two pauses:

Legen

. . .

wait for it

. . .

Dary!

Theming

Colors and other properties can also be changed using this configuration. For example, we can have:

---
author: 'Jasper Van der Jeugt'
title: 'This is a test'
patat:
    wrap: true
    theme:
        emph: [vividBlue, onVividBlack, italic]
        strong: [bold]
        imageTarget: [onDullWhite, vividRed]
...

# This is a presentation

This is _emph_ text.

![Hello](foo.png)

The properties that can be given a list of styles are:

blockQuote, borders, bulletList, codeBlock, code, definitionList, definitionTerm, emph, header, imageTarget, imageText, linkTarget, linkText, math, orderedList, quoted, strikeout, strong, tableHeader, tableSeparator, underline

The accepted styles are:

bold, italic, dullBlack, dullBlue, dullCyan, dullGreen, dullMagenta, dullRed, dullWhite, dullYellow, onDullBlack, onDullBlue, onDullCyan, onDullGreen, onDullMagenta, onDullRed, onDullWhite, onDullYellow, onVividBlack, onVividBlue, onVividCyan, onVividGreen, onVividMagenta, onVividRed, onVividWhite, onVividYellow, underline, vividBlack, vividBlue, vividCyan, vividGreen, vividMagenta, vividRed, vividWhite, vividYellow

Also accepted are styles of the form rgb#RrGgBb and onRgb#RrGgBb, where Rr Gg and Bb are hexadecimal bytes (e.g. rgb#f08000 for an orange foreground, and onRgb#101060 for a deep purple background). Naturally, your terminal needs to support 24-bit RGB for this to work. When creating portable presentations, it might be better to stick with the named colours listed above.

Syntax Highlighting

patat uses Kate Syntax Highlighting files. patat ships with support for nearly one hundred languages thanks to Pandoc. However, if your language is not yet available, you can add the highlighting XML file in the settings:

---
patat:
  syntaxDefinitions:
  - 'impurescript.xml'
...

...

As part of theming, syntax highlighting is also configurable. This can be configured like this:

---
patat:
  theme:
    syntaxHighlighting:
      decVal: [bold, onDullRed]
...

...

decVal refers to "decimal values". This is known as a "token type". For a full list of token types, see this list -- the names are derived from there in an obvious way.

Note that in order to get syntax highlighting to work, you should annotate code blocks with the language, e.g. using a fenced code block:

```ruby
puts "Hello, world!"
```

Pandoc Extensions

Pandoc comes with a fair number of extensions on top of markdown, listed here.

patat enables a number of them by default, but this is also customizable.

In order to enable an additional extensions, e.g. autolink_bare_uris, add it to the pandocExtensions field in the YAML metadata:

---
patat:
  pandocExtensions:
    - patat_extensions
    - autolink_bare_uris
...

Document content...

The patat_extensions in the above snippet refers to the default set of extensions enabled by patat. If you want to disable those and only use a select few extensions, simply leave it out and choose your own:

---
patat:
  pandocExtensions:
    - autolink_bare_uris
    - emoji
...

Document content...

If you don't want to enable any extensions, simply set pandocExtensions to the empty list [].

Images

Native Images support

Version 0.8 and later include images support for some terminal emulators.

---
patat:
  images:
    backend: auto
...

# A slide with only an image.

![](matterhorn.jpg)

patat can display full-size images on slides. For this to work images must be enabled in the configuration and the slide needs to contain only a single image and no other content. The image will be centered and resized to fit the terminal window.

images is off by default in the configuration.

patat supports the following image drawing backends:

  • backend: iterm2: uses iTerm2's special escape sequence to render the image. This even works with animated GIFs!

  • backend: kitty: uses Kitty's icat command.

  • backend: w3m: uses the w3mimgdisplay executable to draw directly onto the window. This has been tested in urxvt and xterm, but is known to produce weird results in tmux.

    If w3mimgdisplay is in a non-standard location, you can specify that using path:

    backend: 'w3m'
    path: '/home/jasper/.local/bin/w3mimgdisplay'
    

Images using Evaluation

Rather than using the built-in image support, you can also use programs that write ASCII escape codes directly to the screen with code evaluation.

In order to do that, for example, we could configure kitten code snippets to evaluate using Kitty's command icat. This uses the none container setting to ensure that the resulting output is not wrapped in a code block, and the fragment and replace settings immediately replace the snippet.

---
patat:
  eval:
    kitten:
      command: sed 's/^/kitten /' | bash
      replace: true
      fragment: false
      container: none
...

See, for example:

```kitten
icat --align left dank-meme.jpg
```

By default, patat will print a breadcrumbs-style header, e.g.:

example.md > This is a title > This is a subtitle

This feature can be turned off by using:

patat:
  breadcrumbs: false

Slide numbers

By default, patat will display slide number in bottom-right corner

This feature can be turned off by using:

patat:
  slideNumber: false

Evaluating code

patat can evaluate code blocks and show the result. You can register an evaluator by specifying this in the YAML metadata:

---
patat:
  eval:
    ruby:
      command: irb --noecho --noverbose
      fragment: true  # Optional
      replace: false  # Optional
      container: code  # Optional
...

Here is an example of a code block that is evaluated:

```ruby
puts "Hi"
```

An arbitrary amount of evaluators can be specified, and whenever a a class attribute on a code block matches the evaluator, it will be used.

Note that executing arbitrary code is always dangerous, so double check the code of presentations downloaded from the internet before running them if they contain eval settings.

Aside from the command, there are three more options:

  • fragment: Introduce a pause (see fragments) in between showing the original code block and the output. Defaults to true.
  • replace: Remove the original code block and replace it with the output rather than appending the output in a new code block. Defaults to false.
  • container: By default, the output is wrapped in a code block again with the original syntax highlighting. You can customize this behaviour by setting container to:
    • code: the default setting.
    • none: no formatting applied.
    • inline: no formatting applied and no trailing newline.
  • wrap: this is a deprecated name for container, used in version 0.11 and earlier.

Setting fragment: false and replace: true offers a way to "filter" code blocks, which can be used to render ASCII graphics.

---
patat:
  eval:
    figlet:
      command: figlet
      fragment: false
      replace: true
...

```figlet
Fancy Font
```

This feature works by simply by:

  1. Spawn a process with the provided command
  2. Write the contents of the code block to the stdin of the process
  3. Wait for the process to exit
  4. Render the stdout of the process

Speaker Notes

Version 0.9 and later support comments which can be used as speaker notes.

---
title: This is my presentation
author: Jane Doe
...

# Chapter 1

<!--
Note: I should not bore the audience with my thoughts on powerpoint but
just get straight to the point.
-->

Slide contents.  Yay.

<!-- TODO: Finish the rest of the presentation. -->

You can also configure patat to write the speaker notes for the current slide to a file whenever the slide changes:

patat:
  speakerNotes:
    file: /tmp/notes.txt

Then, you can display these in a second terminal (presumably on a second monitor) by just displaying this file whenever it changes. entr is one way to do that:

echo /tmp/notes.txt | entr -s 'clear; cat /tmp/notes.txt'

Alternatively, just use a second patat instance with --watch enabled:

patat -w /tmp/notes.txt

Note that speaker notes should not start with <!--config:, since then they will be parsed as configuration blocks. They are allowed to start with <!-- config:; the lack of whitespace matters.

Transitions

Version 0.10 and later support transitions in between slides. A relatively fast terminal emulator (e.g. Alacritty, Kitty, iTerm2) is suggested when enabling this, to avoid too much flickering -- some flickering is unavoidable since we redraw the entire screen on each frame.

patat:
  transition:
    type: slideLeft

To set transitions on specific slides, use <!--config: blocks, as detailed in the configuration section. For example:

# Slide one

Slide one content.

# Slide two

<!--config:
transition:
  type: slideLeft
  duration: 2
-->

Slide two content.

Supported transitions types:

  • slideLeft: slides the new slide in from right to left.
  • dissolve: changes characters over time.
  • matrix: loosely inspired by the 1999 science fiction movie.

All transitions currently take these arguments:

  • frameRate: number of frames per second. Defaults to 24.
  • duration: duration of the animation in seconds. Defaults to 1.

Random transitions

You can set type to random to randomly pick a transition effect.

patat:
  transition:
    type: random
    items:
    - type: dissolve
      duration: 3
    - type: slideLeft
      frameRate: 10

You can optionally set items to a non-empty list of transition effects to randomly sample from. If items is not set, patat will simply sample from all transition effects using their respective default settings.

Trivia

"Patat" is the Flemish word for a simple potato. Dutch people also use it to refer to French Fries but I don't really do that -- in Belgium we just call fries "Frieten".

The idea of patat is largely based upon MDP which is in turn based upon VTMC. I wanted to write a clone using Pandoc because I ran into a markdown parsing bug in MDP which I could not work around. A second reason to do a Pandoc-based tool was that I would be able to use Literate Haskell as well. Lastly, I also prefer not to install Node.js on my machine if I can avoid it.