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Archive: 28 January 2005

S5 1.1b4

As promised, I now draw back the curtain on S5 1.1b4 (try the testbed online, or download the 263KB ZIP file).  Here are the changes from 1.1b3:

  • “Meta” keys—function keys, command, control, alt, and option—should no longer be trapped by keys().  Thus, for those of you who discovered that you couldn’t use command-W to close the window in Firefox/OS X, that should be fixed; hitting F11 to invoke full-screen mode should also work; and so on, and so on.

  • While I was at it, I restructured keys() so that the only keystroke S5 pays attention to when in the outline view is “T”, to let you toggle back to the slide show view.  Anything else gets passed up by S5.  Despite this, Safari is still ignoring Page Up and Page Down while in the outline view.  I can’t for the life of me figure out why.

  • At the suggestion of Romain Herault, I’ve modified clicker(e) so that it will ignore clicks inside of embed and object elements.  This will allow you to interact with an embedded object, like a Flash file or a video, without advancing the slide show.

    I’m aware that some people have run into problems adding videos to their presentations, but I’m not at this point able to take on the task of analyzing the problems and figuring out potential solutions.  If someone else wants to work on fixes, there’s every chance I’ll be able to get fixes into the next version of S5, but very likely not this one.  I have a similar stance regarding the long pause of unstyled content while the presentation loads.  If someone devises a fix, I’ll study it for inclusion in the next version.  I personally don’t have a problem with the pause, but I realize there are those who’d like to eliminate it, and if it can be done without causing problems I’ll certainly add it.  Just likely not in this version.

  • PNG alpha channels are now honored in IE/Win, if only for img elements and not backgrounds.  You can see this happening on slide 5 of the testbed.  Woohoo!  This happens thanks to Erik Arvidsson’s pngbehavior.htc, a copy of which now resides in the default directory.  It may one day be replaced with IE7, but we’ll burn that bridge when we come to it.

    The one sort-of drawback to using this approach is that it seems to require that the call to pngbehavior.htc sits in an embedded style sheet, or else nothing happens.  This may very well have to do with the way the JavaScript monkeys around with external style sheets during startup.  If any of you IE/Win JS gurus can figure out a way to get the behavior to fire without having to embed it into the presentation, that would be stellar.  If not, it’ll just be documented as a “leave this in if you’re using alpha PNGs; otherwise you can take it out” thing.

One thing I’m still thinking about changing is the handling of the Home and End keys.  Right now, they move you forward or backward by one slide, just like the arrow keys and several others.  I’m thinking of making them jump to the first or last slide instead.  I’m hesitant because making the change means it would be much easier for a presenter to accidentally jump to the beginning or end of a slideshow with a single keystroke, and you can already easily jump to any slide by typing the slide number and hitting Return.  On the other hand, it’s a functionality that makes general sense, and it makes it much easier for a presenter to intentionally jump to the beginning or end of a slideshow with a single keystroke.  What are your opinions?

At this point, I would anticipate that 1.1 will have one more beta version to eliminate any bugs that are discovered as well as adopt any optimizations, and then it’ll go final.  I know there have been other feature requests (and may be more on this post, which is fine) but it’s really late in the beta cycle to add anything else.  Any new features will have a chance to get into the next version.

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