[Haskell-cafe] Making videos of your project

Don Stewart dons at galois.com
Tue Mar 24 16:59:15 EDT 2009

> Perhaps the "make a video" slogan doesn't quite explain what is
> intended - it didn't to me!-) Reading John Udell's short article
> What is Screencasting?
> http://www.oreillynet.com/pub/a/oreilly/digitalmedia/2005/11/16/what-is-screencasting.html?page=1
> gave me a better idea: the screen video part is the modern, animated  
> version of manuals with screenshots, now with audio or text caption  
> annotations (a canned demo). He also gives some tool references, and some 
> suggestions for focussing the bandwidth on useful contents, editing, 
> privacy considerations, etc. Almost certainly, this
>>    2. type 'recordmydesktop'
>>    3. do something with haskell
>>    4. hit control-C
>>    5. upload out.ogv to youtube
> is not a useful recipe - screencasts need planning of the steps one
> wants to demonstrate, editing out of aimless moving around or
> thinking about what to show next, annotations that guide the viewer (text 
> labels or audio track that explains what can be seen,
> or what keyboard shortcuts are used, or what the plan is), and probably 
> several attempts to get one useful result (minimal bandwith/length/.. 
> with maximal "ah, that is how I do it" or "ah, that is how it works" or 
> "cool, I want to install that" effect). 
> But with a little effort, this could be very useful, more so than simple 
> screenshots, lots of text, or combinations thereof, if the
> focus is not so much on producing a video to watch, but on
> showing potential users what they are going to see, and how
> to work with it if they decide to install it. For instance, I'd now like  
> to replace my old tour of haskellmode for Vim with a screencast.

Great! Yes, this is exactly what I hope. It is so much clearer why I
would want to use something when I can see it in use.

> As a windows user, I tried playing with CamStudio and that almost seems 
> to do the job (capture, annotation, replay, conversion
> of .avi to compressed .swf) but I don't like the resolution of the .swf 
> it generates (screen text isn't as readable as I've seen in other
> screencasts). Perhaps I'm missing an option to improve the quality, or 
> can anyone recommend another free tool for windows, from
> positive experience (wikipedia has a whole list of tools
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_screencasting_software )?
> For the purpose I have in mind, it would be good to have
> many small pieces of screencast, one for each feature, or even better, 
> one continuous screencast with the ability to link directly to sections 
> dealing with particular topics - a hyperlinked animation. Is that 
> supported by some (free) tool?

That would be very cool.

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