fullscreen slides in Hangouts workaround

More to come on the Ubuntu Online Summit soon but in the interim, I wanted to bring up something I learned a little too late.

Google Hangouts is handy little tool. Outside of providing an alternative to the likes of Skype, it also features some useful apps for using with a virtual tech conference like UOS really is. One of them is called Hangout Toolbox and has a feature called "Lower Third" that will allow you a pretty logo-ized tag line.

But the thing really useful to something like UOS is the default Screenshare app. Clicking on it, you get the option of either sharing the entire screen or one of your windows. So logically, you open the window with your presentation and start the full screen slide show, right?

Yeah, not exactly. I did that and I was going along talking away for my first presentation and no one could see anything beyond the first slide. I was manually advancing and it looked good on my side, but to everyone else, it was just frozen on the title. Since I was in full screen mode and no one had yet joined the Hangout, I had no idea what was going on though people were trying to get my attention on IRC.

I discovered a solution rather quickly: a windowized presentation. That is what I ended up doing, but things can look kind of tiny. Still, there are hoardes of posts out there on people doing similar things in PowerPoint and Keynote.

This is not the right way, though. We want full screen. So how do we do that?

It's simple, really. You share the full screen— not a window— then navigate to your presentation and start the slide show.

I guess that Hangouts thinks that the full screen window is not the same as the app window itself. Which is strange because, according to xprop -root | grep ^_NET_CLIENT_LIST, it's not a different window.

Unfortunately, unlike a lot of the other tools that the community uses, Google Hangouts is not open source. We can't just file a bug report and get to work on it (though you can file a bug report). This is really contrary to the spirit of Ubuntu. In fact, there's already a bug report for this very problem, the proprietary nature of Hangouts (not the first such issue, either).

It seems that especially for this public gathering of Ubuntu contributors and users, that this would be the most important place to put our best open source foot forward. That being said, I encourage you to confirm the bug and participate in helping to find a cure (rather than a mere treatment) to the malady of copyright.

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