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Archive: 18 October 2004

S5 1.0

Okay, folks, here it is: S5 version 1.0.  In addition to a few minor tweaks to make the system more robust, I’ve created a couple of themes to add to the ones Martin Hense created.  I have links to them all on the new S5 Themes page.  Share and enjoy.

One of the more notable tweaks is that the URL of slides.css is now read by the JS at document load, and used from then on.  Thus, you can point to a slides.css that’s in a different location than the rest of the UI files, if you so desire.  Another change is that the introductory slide show now contains some images, including one that maps out the file structure.  These were added so that new users would have some inkling of how to put images into a slide show.  There may of course be other ways of accomplishing the same task.

There were a number of good ideas and code contributions, but they were also too last-minute to be included in v1.0.  I’ll add them to a “to do” list for v1.1.  As to the suggestion that the project be moved to SourceForge, it’s certainly an idea I’ll explore further.  I don’t know enough about SF to know how such an arrangement would work; I only ever go to SF to download stuff, and find the site to be somewhat annoying in that it’s never immediately clear to me what I’m supposed to download, not to mention finding detailed information about whatever I’m downloading seems much harder than it should be.  For now, I’ll keep S5 local to meyerweb.  It can always be migrated over to SF later on, if that turns out to be a good idea.

There are still limitations in the system.  For example, if the slide show assumes 1024×768 and your window is 800×600, then you’re likely to have content cut off by the footer.  So edit the CSS to assume 800×600 (the easiest step is to lower the font-size of the body element).  Or set things up so that scrollbars will appear on the slide content if it overflows the slide.  You get the general idea, I think: this is very much a DIY-type system, at least for now.  The JS works, and the core styles help it work, in a cross-browser fashion.  Anything after that is up to the theme author.

There may one day be routines that automatically scale text, or dynamically break up slides, in order to solve the clipping problem.  There may also be features that let you trigger animations by hitting “next”, let you easily integrate SVG content, allow the use of the navigation menu in Opera Show, permit dynamic theme selection, and so on and so on.  For now, we have a good standards-based slide show system, one that should suffice for a great many people.

And my deepest thanks to all those people who have contributed, directly or otherwise, to S5, including those who made suggestions I haven’t yet folded into the system.  You have made, and will continue to make in the future, S5 better than I ever could have made it on my own.

October 2004
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