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SlideShare ditches Flash for HTML5 (slideshare.net)
318 points by siddhant on Sept 27, 2011 | hide | past | web | favorite | 55 comments

This is great news. After Scribd's terrible move to lock my content away behind their paywall, I can now start uploading my slides to Slideshare and get the same HTML5 loveliness.

Bye, bye, Scribd!

I put my math thesis ( PDF file ) on scribd and sent a link to my professor. He was like, you want me to pay $20 for your thesis ? It was quite embarassing considering he was on my thesis committee..morover the equations in the PDF were messed up when I accessed them through scribd, though if I download the PDF and access thru Adobe reader, everything looks okay.

Speaking of Scribd. I didn't know they have a paywall so I decided to check how it works and BAM, they logged me in using my Facebook account immediately!.

I need a separate browser just for facebook.

Just two days ago when I decided to clean up Facebook applications, I found that I have apparently authorized Scribd to access my data 6 months ago. I never used scribd, and I am very sure I didn't authorize it consciously - there it was in my Facebook applications! Very strange.

I too went through my Facebook applications recently and there was a ton of stuff in there I never intended to authorize. Using a separate browser for Facebook sounds like a great idea.

If you use chrome, you can use an incognito window (ctrl+shift+n). You can also disable third-party cookies (just remember to delete current facebook cookies). Since iOS devices block third party cookies, most sites that wouldn't work with them enabled now do. If you use chrome, you can also disable them from being read (in about:flags). Chrome will also show an icon in the urlbar if a site wants to set third party cookies, so you can enable them for specific sites (it also has the same behaviour for blocked javascript and plugins).

The other option is to totally disable platform apps, in the privacy, applications menu. This will mean you can never log into an external site, but it also means that you can't have any applications. I would do it myself if I didn't use a third-party android application, that requires a facebook app for interaction

This is worrisome. Along with my sibling commentors on this thread, I am seeing a bunch of stuff in here I am fairly sure I never authorized - all with the same date range "more than 6 months ago". I wonder if Facebook did some kind of mass update to all of its old oAuth tokens to make them all accepted, even if we had never actually confirmed them via the dialog?

Exactly the same here. Never authorized sribd, and bam it's there on my list. Creepy.

Facebook disconnect is a worthwhile extension if you're using Chrome. There is a FF equivalent as well.

This so very much. Although I'd like one that does the same to twitter and G+ buttons...maybe I should take a look through the code for Facebook Disconnect and do it myself...

Take a look at Ghostery or Disconnect.

That's what I usually do. I normally use Firefox, but I use Chrome for Google logins and Opera for Facebook logins.

I would like Opera's style better. Private tab in same window.

If you're on Firefox, just install NoScript.

Save yourself the trouble and go with Speakerdeck directly. It's lovely — at least as a consumer of presentations — all my trips through Speakerdeck have been absolute pleasures so far.

Speakerdeck doesn't have full-screen view, so it cannot be treated seriously, at least for screening or just careful viewing purposes - I have to download PDF after all. OTOH as a presentation DB it looks rather ok.

Indeed. I recently ran YSlow? on my blog and it was a embedded Slideshare in Flash that was causing load times to increase 400%.

Heh, HTML5. http://i.v3n.us/ASQf Guys, this is just a non-Flash version. But I guess blasting it out there with the HTML5 logo gets a lot more attention, at the cost of confusing non-techies about what HTML5 really is.

And trust me, this is a discussion I have ad nauseam with clients.

Regardless, I appreciate the move Slideshare.

i've never thought of myself as a non-techie, but apparently i am confused about what HTML5 is as well. i was under the impression it meant rich web apps built with standard compliant technologies. there's a lot of HTML4 in HTML5, it's not exclusive to the few new elements.

Yeah, they may be using the XHTML metatag and relying of divs, but that doesn't mean they're not using some more modern tech to get it working. CSS3 fonts are used in the slides for example.

HTML5 is pretty much an umbrella term now and I think this fits neatly into that

HTML5 is definitely an umbrella term, and I think harping on its usage because no new elements are being used or whatever is a bit silly.

That said, CSS fonts were only recently moved to CSS3. For the longest time, they were in CSS2 (http://www.w3.org/TR/2008/REC-CSS2-20080411/fonts.html#font-... ).

Yeah, I know, the comment boils down to `let's not be pedantic about this, but this thing over here, this let's be pedantic about'. Sorry :) I've always thought it interesting that font-face is a much older technology that took a long time to make it into non-IE browsers (granted, IE only supported the EOT font format).

I wondered the other day who owns the html5 trademark and the logo. It should only be licensed to sites that are actually html5 - same for browsers.

It shouldn't be hard to come up with some criteria for both apps and browsers as to what is html5.

this definitely isn't, since the markup can't be parsed and made sense of as to what the document structure is

Correct me if I'm wrong here, but a site can't "be" HTML5. It can use technologies that require browsers which have implemented it from the HTML5 draft, but there is not a watershed to it.

I think the whole marketing fiasco has really warped the perception of what it means to use HTML5. Implemented HTML5 tech should be considered more of a supplemental library than a platform or language.

You say “should” but I wonder “why?”

If the goal isn’t to certify HTML5-ness so much as increase buzz about pure-web technology – and the W3C has, I believe, confirmed the latter to be the goal of the badge/logo — then no one is harmed by the status quo and a licensing scheme would be counter-productive.

It's worse than that. The goal is to create buzz for the sake of creating buzz... the problem with marketers is that they can only hold one or two buzz-words in their head at a time, and to them it's all "what those crazy hip programmers are working on in our basement, while I'm up here looking at chicks out the window". A lot of books will be sold about HTML5 and a lot of dumb sites will claim to be using it, and pretty soon when everyone's incredibly annoyed by all the HTML5 junk content out there, the marketers will realize no one actually gave a shit in the first place, find a new buzzword, and the world will move on.

I bet if Adobe changed the name of Flash 11 tomorrow to "HTML6", the marketers would go crazy for it. So would all the idiots who have no idea how web is made, but come out in armies anytime HTML5 comes up.

> I bet if Adobe changed the name of Flash 11 tomorrow to "HTML6", the marketers would go crazy for it.

Oh $deity, please don’t suggest that to Adobe marketing.

> So would all the idiots who have no idea how web is made, but come out in armies anytime HTML5 comes up.

Not sure who these supposed idiots are or where I can see them.

To be honest, how many web designers (let along the average user) can tell the difference between HTML4, CSS2, HTML5, CSS3, etc... without using view source?

Excellent. I was hoping they would eventually go this route, but it didn't look likely (though Scribd's move in this direction was a good indicator it would happen eventually).

I wonder how they'll fare against Speaker Deck (http://speakerdeck.com) once they get up to full steam. The experience at Speaker Deck is certainly prettier.

I'm still not sure what the point of SlideShare is, especially when Chrome has a PDF presentation mode.

Woah! It was only a few hours back i came to know about speakerdeck claiming to be the non flash (& non sucky) alternative to slideshare. And now this. Giant move!

Now if only slideshare cleans up its UI/X a bit, I might never leave.

Just after the launch of SpeakerDeck(http://speakerdeck.com/)...

This is a lot easier if you don't support PowerPoint animations. A few years ago I used to work on a competing product and we did support PowerPoint animations. I thought about how to support animations in HTML and JavaScript quite a bit and it just became obvious that doing it in Flash was far easier.

Could you list some of the issues you had a few years ago? I'd like to know if there now solutions to your problems or if you'd still have issues.

Can't speak for PowerPoint, but my company does print to web to print again and our issues with HTML were always how precise it was in terms of rendering text and graphics:

Font rendering: With flash you can embed fonts and have them render pixel perfect across browsers. Now with WOFF fonts (see google fonts, font squirrel, typekit) and CSS3 you can pretty reliably embed custom fonts in HTML.

Graphics: Flash was first of all a vector animation tool so this was its strong suit for many years. Now you can use libs like raphealjs, d3js, and fabricjs to render vectors with svg/vml or canvas.

I'll note that SVG could do much of this years ago, however IE not supporting it until IE9 pretty much killed its progress. If SVG fixed multiline text (it uses tspans to break up lines), I think it would be a better solution than canvas for rendering graphics and rich documents in the browser.

Flash also has text spans for displaying blocks of text. It is not too hard to figure out the line-breaking if you were doing the rendering on the server - Java fonts and other text related code gives a pretty decent approximation to what the Flash Player does. However Flash's text fields which does the wrapping for you and has rudimentary HTML support is a lot easier to use.

This is pretty much what I ran into. That and we had a business requirement that it worked in IE 6. At that point Flash is going to be your best bet and even that has cross browser issues from time to time.

This article could be the press release (or footnotes to it) that Jobs never wrote or would write. What I mean is, when Steve Jobs announced a couple of years ago that Apple would go HTML5 instead of Flash, there was great oohing and ahhing but no concise explanation for those of us lesser mortals as to why HTML5 is the better path. And this article does it in a couple of hundred words.Specifically: 1) From iPhone to desktop, it's one and the same document; 2) Document files are smaller and load faster; 3) SEMANTIC WEB accessible. Our poor semantic web, so visionary and so non-starter. Perhaps the growth of HTML5 will save it.

Actually, Jobs did write in some detail on this very subject:


He specifically mentioned the same points you brought up, plus a few others.

Thanks for sharing that. I had heard it summarized before but don't know how i missed that whole thing.

Perhaps the growth of HTML5 will save it.

I fervently hope not.

Wow, nice work. As someone making the same transition for a large Flash app I can attest to how hard this is, especially for accurate font rendering. I've seen a lot of comments on HN along the lines of Flash sucks why don't you use HTML5? As the post points out it's not a trivial switch, canvas is extremely low level compared to Flash's Display List.

edit: HTML5 = abs positioned divs and CSS3 fonts in this case, plus some text rendered as part of background images, still it's really difficult to go from PDF to HTML no matter how you do it :)

When Apple announced that they didn't want flash on their i(pod|pad|phone), I instantly knew I'd see this in the forthcoming months:

  1) The exact same HTML5 documents work on the iPhone / iPad, 
       Android phones/tablets, and modern desktop browsers."
That was such a huge move from them. I couldn't imagine another big company than Apple to do that.

I like the section on Error Handling. They do image comparison to confirm the page looks good. Does anybody know any open source library that would do this? I had tried a naive approach for something similar, and had failed miserably.

Does that include putting hideous adverts across the slides in 'HTML5'?

(I miss the early scribd & slideshare, before they started trying to make money to survive by plastering the place with adverts)

I have been using latex with beamer for the last year, I don't do many presentations, but really it helps with staying on message that you have to be able to so it in latex.

30% faster, because it's a rewrite?

SWF is a very compact format and text rendering is optimized for speed (animation). I doubt their flash viewer was built on decent code...

They did a bit more ambitious version: they're using CSS fonts and absolutely position every single letter to preserve original text layout in HTML.

Are fonts working for anyone else? As they're all pixellated horribleness for me now. They look especially bad in their demo. Probably just a small bug.

They're still using the Flash version in the embeddable/oEmbed-discoverable version.

SlideShare 30% faster and flash free! Do they get carbon credits for this?

An HTML5 driven mobile SlideShare is great news right now :)

w00t, finally its here.

Good god, finally. I'm no fan of Flash, but I'm not sure I've ever had a SlideShare presentation load properly and for what ever reason, people love to use them exclusively and I'm never able to get to the content in an alternative fashion.

Yippie :D

SlideShare faster, lighter!

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