Web based presentation tools for web devs

The term "presentation" has almost become synonymous with Microsoft Office PowerPoint. Yup, without doubt it is the sole leader among s/w for presenting stuff and is improving in every version, the only problem being - difficulty in sharing the presentation.

With the emergence of Web 2.0 sites like SlideShare.net, sharing ppt's on the web has become quite easy. There are several web based alternatives which are gaining popularity these days. They have the benefit of creating/editing/sharing the presentations entirely on the browser.

However, for web devs, having more flexibility on code would give better control, as they can show code/inline demos in the presentation itself! John Resig's tutorial on Advanced JavaScript is an excellent example for the powerful inline demos.

There are XHTML based tools which have pre-built slide show features, the famous ones being: S5 (A Simple Standards based Slide Show System) and HTML Slidy. They provide many features like navigating using keyboard shortcuts, mouse clicks etc., simulating a powerpoint presentation.

With the advent of jQuery, things have become even more easier! The recent release of jQuery 1.4 had a slideshow based on jQuery code, which was awesome. 

I had my own presentation template prepared using coda slider effect and it got good feedback :)

Now there is jQuery presentation plugin specifically for creating presentations! It came floating in my flood of tweets, thanks to Twitter & Trevor Davis (author of the plugin)!

By the way, if you want to prepare a simple slide show which slides automatically across .html files, don't struggle with complex JavaScript code. Just use the META refresh tag. Change the "URL" attribute of the tag so that it points to the next slide(html page). After the time interval set in "content" attribute is reached, automatic redirection to next slide takes place.

So lot's of interesting options for presenters/modern web devs! Let's wait for HTML5 for more hi-fi stuff like displaying 3D transitions & making the most of canvas element in the presentation itself!

Hope this article interests budding presenters like me :) Happy presenting! Smile

Tables Vs Divs...what to chose for better UI?

I was lucky enough in getting a chance to solve certain browser compatibility issues in UI design of a certain web project. The problem is, they are using "div" tags to hold content, but these tags are not styled properly with CSS. As most of the UI designers (who, like me,  are addicted to UI Design tools) do, I too suggested using tables to align content. But the customer preferred having divs to tables. Neither of us were wrong in our choice, yet I agreed to work using divs (as it's an area which I loved to explore). Here is an excellent article on the choice of using Divs or Tables.

The real challenge came while nesting divs simulating a tabular look and feel. The flow of elements in the page by floating and positioning divs appeared to a big mystery. I googled a lot and found excellent stuff on Understanding Page Layout using CSS at HTMLDog.com. A detailed and very good description of using floats to align your content is given here. This will surely be useful for budding web developers. Hopefully, I should be able to give a solution to the problem by 2moro EOD after reading all this stuff :)