A little over a month ago I wrote about how FlashPaper seemed like it was taking its last dying breath. After reading the comments and doing some searching on my own,
Share currently seems to be the only continuation of FlashPaper in any form by Adobe. This was a little disappointing since Share is definitely not FlashPaper. Share (much like its name states) is basically a document sharing product that offers an embeddable preview of the document that you can embed on your site. The keyword there is “preview”. The preview is very basic and doesn’t give you any controls besides changing the page. The only way to actually look at the document in all of its glory, with some of the old FlashPaper controls, is to click on the preview which links the user back to Share’s website where the actual document is hosted. Unfortunately this is very limiting and annoying to people who are used to being able to embed the entire FlashPaper application in their own page.
A month and a half later and along comes a new tool to possibly fill the void left by FlashPaper.
Scribd, another document sharing website competing with Share, has released their own version of FlashPaper called iPaper. At first glance, iPaper seems to be everything I was hoping FlashPaper 3 would be. It offers all of the tools that FlashPaper 2 offered, including embedding the entire application, plus some:
- iPaper can convert PDFs, Word docs, Powerpoint docs, OpenOffice docs, and more to Flash.
- You can integrate Google ads into your documents.
- Security… which I still need to look into.
- Very light… only 96 KB.
- Sharing features built in.
But the thing that caught my eye the most (that I still need to investigate further) is that Scribd offers a full API.
From their site: “Use the Scribd API to harness the full power of Scribd’s scalable conversion system, storage system, ad network, search engine, and iPaper viewer on your website at no cost to you.”
Looks like you will be able to control all of iPaper’s controls through an API much like FlashPaper allowed.
This is very exciting and I can’t wait to dig deeper into it and see if there is a need for a component at all anymore. One thing I do see the need for though is an AS3 library to communicate with Scribd’s API.
So I started AS3ScribdLib.
Nothing has been added yet, but keep your eye out and hopefully it will be coming soon.