Presentation/Slideshow Sofwtare

Presentation/Slideshow creating

Note: The slideshow software here is generally meant for interactive slideshows (where a presenter can choose how quickly to move from slide to slide) and the slides may commonly have easily editable text. For software which shows one graphic after another, some graphics viewers may have slideshow functionality, and so may some screensavers (e.g. slideshow screensavers for Microsoft Windows). Some transition effects may be applicable.

[#webslide]: Web-based slideshow presentation software

Using some of web-based slideshow software, such as W3C's Slidy, is extremely simple. Additionally, such software tends to be supported by even more systems than the most popular specialized presentation software, so compatibility (of at least some solutions) actually exceeds some of the common specialized formats. The web-based software uses a web browser and so hyperlink integration to websites works flawlessly and is often quicker than specialized presentation software which launches a web browser to visit hyperlinks, and the cost is free. The slideshow files also tend to be very small, unlike the data files used with some other specialized presentation software. These are some of the great technical benefits to using a web-based solution: Other benefits may include the price of free software and the usage of open standards.

Although using special effects may be more limited, at least without vastly increased complexity, there are often solutions that may use common web-based technologies such as stylesheets, specialized effects (such as Image Cross Fade(r) (Redux)/XFade(2)), or other techniques using DHTML including DOM interaction. (Netscape may have been one of the earliest adopters of performing some interesting style techniques using the now-deprecated <LAYER> tag that its buggy web browser supported.) Creating the spreadsheets may be a bit more difficult than some other specialized presentation software. However, a simple guide can be followed which, although such a guide may not provide a full understanding of the technology being used, may reduce the amount of added complexity by providing some simple steps that may be followed.

Complexity of such a solution may be higher, depending in part on what the goal is. For example, W3C's Slidy may not be a whole lot more difficult to make a basic implementation. However, like any web-based solution, it is pretty flexible and so complexity can potentially be increased significantly. For example, custom/proprietary software (integrated by using web browser plug-ins) may be used to provide additional effects.

XSLidy slideshow slide #5 says the most popular solutions are Slidy and S5.

Web-based slideshow solutions
[#slidy]: Slidy (W3C's HTML Slidy solutions)

See:

A basic implementation of Slidy

The legal licensing referenced by the JavaScript file refers to W3C Copyright information for documents and W3C Copyright information for software. Legal acknowledgement is needed, but otherwise the license looks fairly permissive.

These instructions are likely going to be fairly usable for anyone who is familiar with creating web pages, including directly interacting with HTML. Although these instructions could provide even more details, the skill of learning some basic HTML can be learned pretty quickly (possibly within just a few minutes).

Obtain the necessary file(s). http://w3.org/Talks/Tools/Slidy2/scripts/slidy.js.gz might be directly usable by some web browsers, but http://w3.org/Talks/Tools/Slidy2/scripts/slidy.js may be compatible with more web browsers and is also more thoroughly commented. Also, http://w3.org/Talks/Tools/Slidy2/styles/slidy.css may be handy.

Then, specify where each new slide starts by using one of these two methods:

  • Using some Header One (“<H1>”) tags to specify the start of a slide. The header tags should be direct children of the BODY tag, not contained within other elements. This method is probably preferable because this method may look better when the web page's content is being viewed, but is not being viewed as an active slideshow-style presentation.
  • Or, specify both the start and end of a slide. To specify the start of a slide, use “<DIV class="slide">” and then, after the slide's contents, end the slide by using a matching closing/ending “</DIV>” tag.

Some example source code using Slidy was intentionally designed to utilize impactful, functional code that should be fairly easy to read and understand by people who can easily interpret HTML. (A bit of knowledge of CSS may be even more useful, but even that knowledge is probably really unnecessary for someone who just copies and pastes the appropriate segments of the HTML code.)

Another basic implementation

A sample is available from Slidy Basic Example (Zipped collection). This is an even shorter example, so some people may find this to be simpler that the previous basic implementation.

Simply look at the base/htm/slidybas.htm file. This file can also be seen online, already extracted, without needing to download a zip file. See: Slidy Basic Example (extracted HTML file).

The file is meant to be short; it does not provide an introduction, but presumes that the viewer is already familiar with Slidy. The file is simply meant to be a rather short example that demonstrates deployment of Slidy.

Customizing

If you like what you see, then editing the slidybas.htm file can be done. Or, even better, just copy the pre-existing sample slidybas.htm file to any directory that is two subdirectories deep from where the base/ directory that gets created when unzipping the zip file. Then, edit the copy.

The only reason that the file needs to be two directories deep is so that the pre-existing relative paths work without requiring modification. So, that approach is slightly less work. Other locations can be used, simply by editing those relative paths. So the location is flexible as long as appropriate modifications are made to the references that specify where other files can be found.

This sample also hides the status bar, which is done with one of the external JavaScript files. To show the status bar, simply remove the reference to slidehid.js (or rename that file, which is a less ideal approach that will also typically work).

Licensing

The slidybas.htm file is meant to be an extremely basic example. The file is intended to be treated as public domain. No copyright is reserved on that file. Other files are based on content related to Slidy, which may be under W3C's licenses, which permit re-use. Some files have comments that refer to slidycss.htm, which is found at Slidy CSS web page. Any changes from W3C's contents can be treated as public domain. This means that people can re-license such changes as desired, so the changes can be placed under W3C's license (so that everything is under a single license) if that makes things easier.

Enhancing a web page using Slidy

These steps are not necessary to use some of the basic slideshow functionality, and may take a bit more time to implement. However, they are proven options, so spending time pursuing one or more of these ideas can result in a more customized presentation experience.

backgrounds/themes

A background may be used. This may involve using a DIV that is assigned the "background" class. (This DIV can come right after the start of the BODY.) Beware, though, that improperly using this can easily lead to some unattractive results (such as text overwriting other text). So, some care may be needed.

Even more customization can also be provided. Slidy may have various themes. W3C Slidy2 Presentation Slide #4 discusses how to use the “W3C Blue Style” (that is used by that presentation). Doing this oes involve using an additional CSS file.

The bottom of W3C Slidy2 Presentation Slide #6 does refer to Dave S. Raggett's “Web of Applications” presentation. This “Web of Applications” presentation has a “notebook”-based theme, looking quite a bit different than the “W3C Blue” theme used by W3C Slidy2 demo.

The Slidy2 demo seems to have a top bar used for the title of the slide. That does not seem to be implemented using the more basic integration instructions. That probably requires using additional styles; investigating the usage of existing example stylesheets is recommended. (Presumably this might be accomplished by following the instructions by Slidy2.)

(Further details on performing these tasks are not provided by this text. Playing around with the public examples may be required to get this figured out.)

[#slidytlk]: Slidy with speech

TOOGAM had modified the original Slidy1 by adding support for text to speech with SAPI 5.1 ActiveX. The result is available on this web page at Slidy w/ Talk Support. (Note that, as described in the section about SAPI 5.1, the feature of enabling speech may not work with some newer browsers, due to security implemented in those browsers.)

More enhancements

Transitions may be available. TOOGAM.com Base Web Files allows for <LINK> tag navigation and collapsability of <DT> tags. These things are likely able to be added to slideshow presentations fairly easily (just like they can be added to any other web pages fairly easily).

[#xslidy]: XSLidy
Implementations end up using code from W3C's Slidy. XSLidy adds functionality related to XML/XSLT. Unlike Slidy, it seems that XSLidy removes the reference to a slide number when the page loads (e.g. XSlidy slide #5)
[#sfive]: S5: Simple Standards-Based Slide Show System (a.k.a. “S5”, “S5”)
Name

Though the website seems to generally be calling this solution S5, S5 Introductory slideshow web page slide 8 shows that it had been calling itself S5 with the number five being superscripted.

The S5 FAQ discusses the idea of adding more S's and giving it a name like S9. It seems that 5 was considered to be plenty.

Recognition
Comparison

This initially looks a lot like Slidy2, although there are definitely some differences. The keys might not exactly match Slidy2 (which is not necessarily bad, but does indicate a difference in the code). With Slidy2, a hyperlink can be made to an individual slide by adding a hyperlink-anchor (pound) sign, followed by a parenthesis-surrounded number (e.g.: “#(8)”). That did not seem to function when tested with S5. The integration instructions seem to involve using more files.

[#operasho]: OperaShow
Overview
OperaShow involves using the web browser called Opera.
Web pages/sites

http://www.opera.com/browser/tutorials/operashow/ had been a more recent page, but now shows a 403 error message. http://www.opera.com/support/tutorials/operashow/ was hyperlinked to by S5 Intro web page (slide 2) and Slidy2 Documentation: Slide 19, but is now a 404 error page. http://www.opera.com/community/dev/operashow/documentation/doc_fileformat.html was mentioned by S5 Intro web page slide 4 (which called the hyperlink "Opera Show Format 1.0"), but that is also now a 404. So, apparently the web pages has moved multiple times.

OperaShow (2004) site may provide some more details.

A forum post about Opera Show refers to “Opera Show Format (OSF)”.

Other solutions/formats
Extensible Open XHTML Outlines (“XOXO”)
Supported by S5 (as noted by S5 Intro web page slides 4 and 13)
OSF 1.0
Noted by S5 Intro web page slide 13
Misc/other
W3C SlideMaker Tool (referenced by HTML Slidy 2: Slide Shows in HTML and XHTML (Slide #29) (First of two “Acknowledgements” at the end of the slideshow)
[#websldtr]: Transitional Effects
Fading

A solution may be made available from Image Cross Fade(r) (Redux)/XFade(2).

Firefox

Some add-ons can help to hide Firefox's presense.

window.open("filename.htm","_blank","width=1024,height=768,menubar=yes,scrollbars=no,titlebar=no");

Hide Tab Bar With One tab causes the entire tab bar to become invisible if only one tab exists.

Hide Navigation Bar

At this point, it ought to be safe to restart Firefox to make newly added add-ons available. If an add-on needs Firefox to restart, a hyperlink to request Firefox to restart is available via about:addons (or Tools, Add-ons), Extensions. Hide Caption Titlebar Plus has a restartless feature.

Hide Caption Titlebar Plus can be used to hide the title bar... There are also options to disable the new widgits that this add-on adds. Choose Tools, “'Hide Caption Title Bar Plus' Options...”. On the “Look & Feel” page (default), flip “Show Custom Caption/TitleBar” to Never (from the “Small caption” default), and flip the “Customize Minimize, Max & Close Buttons:” section's “In Maximized window” and “In Un-Maximized window” options to Disabled (from the “Enabled” default). Check the “System TitleBar always hidden” option. Then, on the “Look & Feel  2” tab, uncheck “Enable custom Firefox 'Home' Button”.

Then press F2 to toggle hiding the navigation bar (using the “Hide Navigation Bar” add-on).

That should hide a lot of the distinguishable elements of Firefox. (Borders may still be visible.) That also doesn't really leave anything to grab onto, in order to drag the window. However, pressing Alt will bring up a menu and some extra space that will permit dragging.

[#impress]: Impress

After Oracle took over administration/ownership of OpenOffice, a lot of people switched to using LibreOffice. The home page for LibreOffice Impress seems to be LibreOffice: Discover Impress. OpenOffice Impress does still exist. There is also an Apache OpenOffice Wiki page for Impress. Wikipedia page for “Impress”, “Computing” section lists some others.

OpenOffice Math's overview web page states the product allows one to insert equations “into other OpenOffice.org programs” and provides two examples of such programs: Calc and Impress.

[#kpresntr]: KPresenter
Part of the KOffice office suite (for KDE/Linux, and more recently also for Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X).
[#mspowpnt]: PowerPoint (by Microsoft)
Non-need

A lot of people have used Microsoft PowerPoint because they believed that using Microsoft PowerPoint was rather necessary. This is often not the case.

Other alternatives do now exist, such as LibreOffice's Impress and a solution by using Google Docs. However, even such specialized presentation software has not been necessary. Web pages have always worked out very sufficiently. If there is a desire to make a presentation that looks like a slideshow, an effective solution has been to use one of the web-based presentation creators.

At the time of this writing, which is in the year 2013, the founder/creator of ][Cyber Pillar][ has never used PowerPoint to create or edit a document. There has just simply never been any real need to do that.

Public confession: By that time (in the year 2013), the founder/creator of ][Cyber Pillar][ has, on very rare occasion, interacted with the full version of Microsoft PowerPoint exclusively, only, and for the singular purpose, to view slideshows that were created by somebody else. PowerPoint-viewing software would have technically served just as well, if it had been just as conveniently available. However, sometimes the PowerPoint editing software was found to be pre-installed on a machine. Particularly when a group of people were looking forward to a presentation to be delivered, utilizing the conveniently available software was the simplest choice. Forcing inconvenience upon other people, just in order to try to specifically avoid ever touching the software, was not desirable. However, there actually was never any real need to create or edit PowerPoint files.

This is true despite careers of being an IT support specialist, software developer, and having the title of “Lead Instructor” of an IT/computer program at a college. People have been surprised to learn that such a recognized expert in computers hadn't spent substantial time using PowerPoint. (This may have been especially true towards the latter part of the decade from the year 2000-2010, because PowerPoint had obtained a noticeable amount of popularity for about a decade or two.) People seemed to simply assume that achieving noteworthy success in these sorts of careers would necessarily involve a strong dose of PowerPoint editing. The idea was: in order to become so recognizably good at computers, a strong mastery of PowerPoint must just absolutely be a requirement. Well, it's not.

Viewers
TOOGAM's page on Office software has information about some viewers. (Some of this may be rather dated information. Perhaps newer viewers may be needed to work with presentations made with newer versions of the software?)
Some other open alternatives

Wikipedia's page about GNOME Office, as archived (by the Wayback Machine @ Archive.org) from March 29, 2010 has stated a status of Agnubis as being software that “was in development; no activity observed lately” and that “Criawips Presentation tool” ... “aims to be powerful, but it is still immature.”