On Ramp: Launching 280 Slides

Last week, after about five months of hard work, we launched the public beta of our first application, 280 Slides, which lets you create presentations quickly and easily right in the browser.

280 Slides is designed to really look and feel like the desktop based applications people are used to. We paid attention to the little things, like cmd-z to undo (or ctrl-z for Windows users), copy and paste that works on everything from pictures to shapes and slides (instead of just text), and snappy performance for complex tasks like rotating and resizing (and everything else).

It’s not just about recreating the desktop in the browser though. Being on the web allows us to build in great features that are difficult to do in desktop applications. For example, your presentations are stored “in the cloud” so you can access them from any computer connected to the Internet. We’re also able to take advantage of great services like Flickr and YouTube, putting the media of the web right at your fingertips, just a quick search away. Best of all, when you’re done creating, you can share your presentation using SlideShare, e-mail, or directly through our viewer.

Of course, sometimes you may not have the Internet with you, and you shouldn’t have to take any chances. That’s why we made it really easy to download a copy of your presentation as a PowerPoint file that works with the most popular desktop presentation software there is. We took extra care in making sure that your presentations looked as good when exported as they do in 280 Slides.

Launch day wasn’t without its surprises (like, losing our Internet connection 30 minutes after TechCrunch posted our launch announcement), but perhaps the biggest surprise for us was how quickly people picked up on a key piece of our technology, Objective-J. We talked a little bit about Objective-J in an interview with Ajaxian, but you can expect a lot more to come in the future.

In the last week since launch, we’ve fixed dozens of bugs, and responded to thousands of e-mails and feature requests. Rest assured, we’re working hard on improving 280 Slides. We’ve got a lot of things in the works (yes, importing is one of them), but we’re always interested in hearing what our users want most, so let us know!

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  • matt
    Guys I am so excited to use this service when Summer quarter begins in a few weeks for college. Finally I will be able to do nice looking presentations without having to purchase expensive software like with Office 2008.

    Congrats on the launch and I am already spreading the word!

  • Alastair
    Wow, this looks amazing. When will the source code for 'objective-j' be released? It looks really interesting
  • Jared
    Is there a release date for the public framework?
  • Anthony
    Excellent implementation idea. It works right out of the box (window!!). Looking forward to more good stuff - Nice to see you are using a Drupal blog.
  • Mason
    *waits patiently for Objective-J release*
  • Ross
    There’s no release date for Objective-J yet, but we’re working hard on it. We want to make sure its ready.
  • Steve Gershik
    Wow! That's all I can say.

    This is the most amazing web app I've used this year. It's beautiful, a cinch to use, and really, really addictive.

    Congratulations to you all!

    - Steve Gershik

    Here's what I wrote about you -> http://theinnovativemarketer.blogs.com/ideas/20...
  • aaronbrethorst
    Why not just toss Objective J out there, and garner additional feedback from the web development community at large? Release early, release often, etc.?

  • Hu Shunjie
    Very amazing.

    Here's what I wrote too!

  • Pavel
    Well as for feature requests:

    Math integration would be very nice. Ideally I would like to type LeTeX and have it translated to MathML in the slides. If browsers are not compatible with MathML, then even bitmap format, but keeping the text source in metadata, allowing to re-generate the picture after scale or simply change the equation later.
  • Math Campbell
    Very very impressive.

    Now, release the damned code already :D

    Seriously though, this is amazing, great app. But what's even more amazing is that you've implemented the Cocoa framework into a new language. Even Apple balked at that. Seriously, you rock!

    Pweeese pweese pwetty pweease make an X-Code plugin to do all this. That'd make it so absurdly easy to integrate everything..
    Imagine, build your Cocoa app, start a new project in XCode (an Obj-J one), a little tweaking and BAMM!, one web-app ready to go with desktop cousin as well.

    That would rock on many, many many levels....
  • IOn
    look nice
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