Are Web slideshows and carousels the same thing? If not, what is the difference?

For Web slideshow, I mean HTML image galleries like:

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    This is more of a jargon question, rather than something that is governed by the conventions of the English language. – Dave Magner Jun 24 '14 at 20:01
  • A carousel typically has that carousel control. A slide show is just a slide show. – RegDwigнt Jun 24 '14 at 20:02
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    This likely belongs on Stack Overflow. – Max Vernon Jun 24 '14 at 20:23
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    This question would be a better fit at webmasters.stackexchange.com. – phenry Jun 24 '14 at 22:04
  • I think it's vocabulary that is likely to be accepted soon in dictionaries. But I'm happy if a moderator moves it – Pere Jun 25 '14 at 0:54

"Carousel" is a trademarked name for a particular variety of circular slide tray used in slide projectors made by the Eastman Kodak company. I wouldn't use that name for an online device unless you had approval from, and preferably advertising income from, Kodak.

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    Quick, someone sue The LEGO Company! On a second thought, that would require Kodak to still exist. On a third thought: are you serious? – RegDwigнt Jun 24 '14 at 22:07
  • Kodak still exists, even though they're out of the consumer film business. And I'm serious about not using the term unless I was being paid to do so, both to avoid any risk of having to argue it with lawyers and because it's actually less informative that the general term "slide tray" -- and even slides are rapidly becoming a foreign concept, outside of presentation tools where they've come to mean a page of the presentation. The only reason I'd use the brand name would be if I was being paid for the product placement advertising. – keshlam Jun 24 '14 at 22:14
  • Exactly. A foreign concept. The ship has sailed. Ask a hundred webmasters if they think this has anything to do with photography, or if they have so much as heard of slide trays. – RegDwigнt Jun 24 '14 at 22:17
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    Right. And then ask them if they would use the term "carousel". I'm betting the number answering "yes" is near zero either way. It's simply not a useful metaphor any more, and should be discarded in favor of one that actually serves the purpose. If in doubt, I'm sure the UI discussion will back me up on that. – keshlam Jun 25 '14 at 0:33
  • @RegDwigнt this may be a word that has become an antonomasia ('kleenex', 'xerox'), and for that reason, this is moot. – Third News Jun 25 '14 at 6:56

I'm also a web developer, so I'm drawing on that here.

A carousel is a type of web slideshow, particularly one created with the use of the javascript language. It creates smooth transitions, no page reloads, overlayed navigation etc.

This is just the current general consensus I'm aware of, it may change in the future.

  • Interesting. Do you have any citations or references? – Pere Jun 25 '14 at 0:59
  • You know, I asked a few friends, since this was just my understanding of it. Everyone gave different answers. I think to better my answer above, we could say that a carousel is a web slideshow where the images automatically rotate by themselves (using javascript) even if you don't navigate, but that isn't always true either. I think this term is used very loosely and interchangeably with slider or slideshow, but perhaps someone on stack overflow could give you a better answer. – Doa Jun 25 '14 at 1:16
  • i.e. this guy: jssor.com/demos/carousel-slider.html labels one of these a carousel, not the rest, although there is really no distinguishable difference. Sorry I don't have a better answer! I can just tell you all good carousels use javascript, but you can make a good slideshow with just html. – Doa Jun 25 '14 at 1:17

Carousel usually has the connotation of "circular" like the ride at amusement parks with horses that spins in a circle.

Where slide show is usually just a series of images displayed one after another on something.

Yes a slideshow on the web easily be made to loop, and seem circular. But its still Square pictures on a Flat surface.

In my opinion, a "carousel slideshow" would definitely display pictures, but also somehow look circular to the person viewing it.

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