It’s always important to test the cool new ideas you find against the cold hard realities of making things work, with genuine requirements, and a firm deadline. Overall, i’d rate my experience of using Slidy for my SBL presentation as a B-. This is not a slam on Dave Ragget’s fine tool: if i used it again tomorrow, things would doubtless go a bit more smoothly, and your mileage may vary. But here’s a scorecard on my own experience, as someone who’s definitely not a W3C-grade wizard, but probably still in the top 5% technically of the potential user population.

Pros:

  • Once you understand the basics of organizing slide content (at its simplest, each slide is a div,and bullets are li items), laying out the textual content is dead easy.
  • You get quite a bit of functionality for free through the javascript application: navigation, a table of contents, smaller/bigger fonts, autosizing of fonts for window size changes (which didn’t work perfectly but was still helpful).
  • Including images was mostly straightforward, provided the image was appropriately sized and you played a little with float:right and other placement. (but you’ll see plenty of places where i didn’t have time to get it right: the screenshot of the NYTimes article scrolls off the page, and i wish i’d been able to get the text overlaid on the Google Earth map of Miletus.)
  • One big win illustrated by that last point: you can link directly to individual slides because they all have URLs. Likewise, you can embed links to create a genuinely hyperlinked presentation. Sure, Powerpoint allows that too, but there you have to switch application contexts to visit the link. Here, everything lives in the browser.