Among the beauties of web standards like HTML, now XHTML and XML is that you can write content directly to the Internet and publish with no disintermediation -- if you so desire. Today, that seems like a weird endeavor; in a few years it will be considered the way. You hardly need an application, just knowledge of the language and the simplest common text editor that you can find almost anywhere. Authoring & publishing tools become utter commodities in this scenario. No scarcity, no monetary value whatsoever.
No example makes this more clear than HTML Slidy: something Dave Raggett has cooked up in Brisol, England, as part of his ongoing work with the W3C (the principal web standards organization, the World Wide Web Consortium). Dave is one of those people you'd like to thank...profusely...for his serial contributions to the basic web standards, particularly HTML, which we use so often and now take for granted.
HTML Slidy is PowerPoint -- or rather, Impress -- for the browser. It is a concept for writing presentations in raw XHTML. There is a WYSIWIG editor application in the roadmap, which more people will end up using than not; however, it is the concept of writing a "PowerPoint" in raw XHTML, strict & valid XHTML, in a light weight tool or commodity text editor -- like on a napkin picked up off the floor -- which so captivates the less-is-more mentality.
Linux hackers speak of the directness of the 'nix Command Line as like talking to God. Slidy is like that.
Hacking my first real web site (from scratch...it's not soup yet) a few weeks ago, I was searching hard for some good-quality tutorials on HTML...I'm an HTML tabula rasa...and I found these sort of shockingly good turorials by a rather unassuming bloke in England whose name was more than vaguely familiar. Beauty of the web, I followed some links about Dave and recognized that I have seen his name for years on mailing lists and in archives connected with W3C standards work on HTML. I may be mistaken -- and Dave would surely demur -- but Mr. Raggett would be easily in a few decades time be placed among the web's Founding Fathers.
Pages, slides rather, are stored remotely like the web pages they are and run during your talk in a browser, probably on the laptop provided by your kind host. So you nix the laptop for the intercontinental flight, carry your backup presentation on your USB dongle and eschew all the rigamarol, the baggage, of brilliant thought-leadership by borrowing kind strangers' PCs wherever you create the opportunity.
It's one of those pieces of brilliance that's so stripped down & simple -- so Zen -- that no one thought of it, until some people at W3C decided they didn't need to speak through the Pope to have a down-home chat with His Almightyness, The GREAT One (not Jackie Gleason).
Implications are quite simple too: There's no further need for expensive desktop applications that are installed locally on a PC. Google has Writely now and will no doubt conjur up a web-ified spreadsheet from somewhere like Zoho or use something like our colleague, Dan Bricklin's WikiCalc. HTML Slidy, then, represents the third line of the Holy Trinity for publishing content to the Internet (in the 3 basic ways that Microsoft taught us how: 1) text docuements; 2) spreadsheets; and 3) presentations). Turns out Norwegian technology powerhouse, Opera Software, has a similar concept for using the web for presentations, as well, called Opera Show.
HTML Slidy is free to use, modify & redistribute under a certain W3C copyright license.