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There is a strange phenomenon going on these days. For more than a week now I’ve been having these thoughts running continuously through my mind that I can’t stop. A certain three letter acronym seems to pop frequently into my mind. I thought that it would stop last Wednesday when driving home from Walldorf. However as I headed home it took only a couple of CD’s (Deus, Marylin Manson, Faithless, …), or more, due to road works plus rain, before those three letters appeared again: SDN.

Was it the demo session with the The new ABAP Editor as a personal highlight; was it the evening event, or the pictures of the event at Flickr? Btw, I have just found a Firefox extension which enables you to view Flickr pictures in the sidebar of your browser.

Was it the fact that Karl Kessler promised to pass my request for regular expression support to the ABAP developers’ team? Or was it the refreshing, vibrant session given by Craig? Now, I’m not merely saying this because Craig mentioned both my article and I in his session and SDN Meets Labs – Day 1, My thoughts…. No, it was refreshing merely because he didn’t use the standard presentation and browser software. Reflecting on this lead me to think about another two letters: S5.

I had a quick look at this before when I was busy preparing my presentation, but lack of time prevented me from delving deeper into this matter and so I presented stuff in a classical manner. But my hunger for more info was increased after seeing Craig’s presentation.

What is S5?

S5 is a slide show system which enables you to make slideshow presentations which you are then able to view from within any browser. In fact a whole presentation is nothing more than an (X)HTML document, with an additional JavaScript and some CSS files. The project originated in Opera Show and is still Opera Show Format 1.0 compatible. Tantek Celik originally broadened it for use by all other browsers, since which it has been adapted by Eric Meyer, the CSS guru. S5 became very popular recently since it is used for the Spread Firefox project.

How is it different to PPT for example?

Sure, PPT can also make an HTML version of a slideshow. The result however is a rather complex collection of HTML, XML, CSS, JavaScript, GIF, JPEG and PNG and WMP files, spiced up with so called EMZ and WMZ files. All this with a lack of dynamic content which is precisely the area where S5 could be useful. I’m thinking of integration with BW and BSP without having to install a single driver, although the S5 primer says the content needs to be static and atomic. In my opinion it depends on who is creating the slide show. I think that an S5 slide show can easily be generated within BSP with e.g. extensions. I must admit I haven’t tried it out though.

What does S5 look like?

I won’t elaborate on the whole mechanism which is explained in the S5 primer guide that can be found at Meyer’s site. Let’s focus on what you should do when the entire layout is set in the CSS. The structure is based on several

statements each with their own specific class:

  • layout : guess what, it sets the layout. Within this division one has subsections
    • header
    • footer
    • controls (for the slide navigation)
  • presentation: indicates the start of the presentation
  • slide: indicates the start of a slide

That’s it. Nothing much to it, is there? As such you can put any (X)HTML within any division that you like, as long as it fits in to a slide. The whole slideshow itself fits into a single HTML page, so no need to worry about navigation between pages/slides.

S5 GE PPT or S5 LE PPT?

It all depends on your needs. Some people don’t like to use any Microsoft products at all. Others want a light weight, no installation needed, presentation. Personally, I like the idea of the inclusion of dynamic content/generation.

Critics might say on the other hand that S5 lacks any multimedia features. I have a love/hate relationship with these features. I have seen a lot of professional slide shows look kitschy due to all the sounds and slide transitions used, so I avoid these things as much as possible.

I think it’s just a matter of trying things out and the software which most closely fits the needs within the available resources should be used.

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7 Comments

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  1. Craig Cmehil
    Very interesting, as soon as I get some time I think I’ll play around with that 🙂 Thanks Eddy for the info!!

    Personally I use the alternative because I’m looking for the ability to due everything I need to do on Windows or on Linux and at the moment I’ve managed to get 99% of what I need on both environments with the same software packages.

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  2. Thomas Jung
    I know that you have asked about regular expressions before in the forums and that there was some hint that it was coming in a future release.  Have a look at the following OSS Notes for a hint of what might be to come in WebAS 7.0 (but hopefully your German is better than mine):  839853, 836234, 835053, and 836719.
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    1. Brian McKellar
      Damm, the cat is out of the bag. Yes, in >6.40 systems I have seen a class called CL_ABAP_REGEX (actual implementation is completely kernel based). The notes talk about improved syntax checks for regular expressions (in the FIND command). The notes actually give good clues as to what is just over the horizon.
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      1. Thomas Jung
        I often go hunt through OSS for just such glimpses of what may be in the next release.  The BC-ABA-LA area is always interesting.  🙂
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      2. Eddy De Clercq Post author
        That’s indeed good news. There is btw an article by David Jenkins on RE in SAP prof journal.
        Btw some background on my RE question. I originally asked whether further development on the BSP will be done now that we learned at SDN meets Labs that BSP and ABAP WebDynpro can live together. I gave RE as an example as a point of improvement.
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  3. Walter Schnell
    A point in favor of PPT is what SAP is using to produce the eLearning lessons, i.e. synchonizing video or audio with a PPT file. And the MS add-on, called Producer is free, just a download.

    have fun!

    Walter

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