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Perl/Tk: Creating an Autocue for use in the Theatre

I have already provided some computer animation and autocue for a couple of theatre productions, which was done using Macromedia Flash. Macromedia Flash MX based Autocue and Menu.

I had developed the Flash based autocue further so that rather than creating the animation individually for each song, I could load the lyrics in from a text file, and display in a scrolling window. I’ve never really been happy with the solution, as the html viewer window is a bit basic, and hard to control as I’d like.

I’ve therefore started looking at using a “proper” programming language to development an alternative. I have chosen Perl/Tk as it’s something I’ve looked at before and it appears to be fairly easy to develop with. It also has the advantage that it will run on both Linux and Windows. So when used in the show I can run it on Linux which is stable and fast, but I can also let other people have a copy to run on their Windows machines (although they will have to install ActiveState).

It would also be nice to create a LiveCD disk similar to Knoppix so that people could just boot off a Linux CD and use the computer as an autocue, reading off a USB Flash Drive.

Before I let my imagination run wild, I’ll try and get the application working and try it for the show first.

When complete I will release the code as Open Source Software under the GPL.