Sliding with Hovercraft!

Hey I’ve discovered a new  python-based presentations engine:

hovercraft logo           Hovercraft!

« The merge of convenience and cool!

Hovercraft! is a tool to make impress.js presentations from reStructuredText. For a quick explanation, see the demo.

  •     Write your presentations in a text markup language. No slow, limiting GUI, no annoying HTML!
  •     Pan, rotate and zoom in 3D, with automatic repositioning of slides!
  •     A presenter console with notes and slide previews!
  •     The slide show generated is in HTML, so you only need a web browser to show it.
  •     Easy sharing, as it can be put up on a website for anyone to see!

Full documentation is available at, and also in the documentation subdirectory. »


What a wonderful tool for all webdesigners, presenters, devworkers !
No need to use -free or not – softwares with their own extensions, no conversions needed as it makes all the work and create an index.html with css.
But all is not as easy as you’ll have to install it on your system, before creating your first reStructuredText.

That’s why I’ve made a little tuto for interested (and noob) people like you 🙂

Well, first of all I work on a Linux system ( Ubuntu 12.10 ) so you’ll have to translate the commands for yours (I use apt-get to download the missing libraries.)

Fine, so download the hovercraft folder on the dev page there:

Well done! So you’ll find there a lot of files and folders , but the interesting one is « »

Ok, so are you fluent with Python ? ==> you can pass this part and go down to « installing missing libs« 

If not, continue reading:

« Python is a programming language that lets you work more quickly and integrate your systems more effectively. You can learn to use Python and see almost immediate gains in productivity and lower maintenance costs.

Python runs on Windows, Linux/Unix, Mac OS X, and has been ported to the Java and .NET virtual machines. »


I won’t make a course on python there but I want you to understand you’ll have to build and install Hovercraft! in order to use it as a shell tool.

So make sure to install python on your system using the command shell ( or terminal) :

 sudo apt-get install python3.2-dev  ( here we install python3.2 since Hovercraft has been written in Python3; it won’t work if you use python 2.7 for multiple reasons I’ll let you search on )

Installing missing libs :

Hovercraft! needs 2 libraries to be compiled: libxml2 and libxslt ; here we’ll download the dev versions.
You can get them with:

sudo apt-get install libxml2-dev libxslt-dev


sudo apt-get install python-lxml

now if not installed, download python3-setuptools:

sudo apt-get install python3-setuptools

and you can finish with:

sudo easy_install lxml

That’s done for this part;

Nice; there you have all to build and compile Hovercraft! on your system.

Bulding and compiling:

You have to reach Hovercraft! folder to see the file

 cd ~/hovercraft-1.1/
 then type « ls » to check all the contained files and folders

ok, fire!

 sudo python3.2 build

once finished:
 sudo python3.2 install

Normally you’ll read some errors messages but it doesn’t mind;

I’ll let you there discover the well-made tutos :

linked on a dedicated page:

In the folder Docs/examples/ you can edit all the .rst files , as they are text files and try to make them html presentations with for example:

hovercraft tutorial.rst ~/yourdestinationfolder

Open Index.html with your favorite browser and enjoy 🙂


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