A Format for Sharing Documents on the Web
An image embedded in FlashPaper. (Coffee with a drop of milk)
One of our goals at Scribd is to create "the best way to publish a documentonline." For short and simple documents, it is generally best to display the text inHTML format. However, for any document that is more than a few pages long or has complex formatting, HTML doesn't work very well. We could allow people to just attach their document as a PDF or Microsoft Word file, but then the sitewouldn't be any fun to browse, because users would have to download eachdocument they want to view. We saw the difficulty with sharing formatteddocuments as a real problem, and we looked for a way to solve it.What we found was a product called Macromedia FlashPaper, which we hadactually never heard of. The document you’re reading now, by the way, is inFlashPaper format. FlashPaper documents are Flash SWF files that look andfunction a lot like PDF files.