W3C accepts New Multimedia Standard for Web Presentations

The W3C consortium has accepted a new standard for multimediapresentations on the Internet. This was announced by Tim Berners-Lee, the consortium's director and inventor of the World Wide Web (WWW), in a press release on the Web (http://w3c.org) on June 15. The world-wide W3C consortium was established in order to guide the Web's development.CWI hosts the local W3C office in The Netherlands. The new standard, SMIL (pronounced 'smile'), is a specification language for synchronized, interactive multimedia presentations on the Internet.

Publication date: 16-06-1998

The W3C consortium has accepted a new standard for multimediapresentations on the Internet. This was announced by Tim Berners-Lee, the consortium's director and inventor of the World Wide Web (WWW), in a press release on the Web (http://w3c.org) on June 15. The world-wide W3C consortium was established in order to guide the Web's development.CWI hosts the local W3C office in The Netherlands. The new standard, SMIL (pronounced 'smile'), is a specification language for synchronized, interactive multimedia presentations on the Internet. SMIL, used in connection with other W3C standards such as HTML and CSS, enables a Web author to develop applications comparable in quality with presentations on CD-ROM systems. This is an important step towards a full-fledged role of multimedia on the Internet.

CWI played a key role in the development of the SMIL standard, which emerged in cooperation with leading streaming media companies like RealNetworks (makers of the RealAudio and RealVideo products),Lucent/Bell Labs, and Netscape. SMIL's theoretical foundation is the Amsterdam Hypermedia Model which was designed at CWI some years ago. The SMIL standard was tested using CWI's authoring system GRiNS (Graphical Interface for SMIL) and experimental applications were built with CWI's authoring and editing tools. Several other organizations in Europe and the USA also created SMIL player implementations. Philips Research (Eindhoven) participated in the development of SMIL and prepared several test scenarios.

"Although it will probably take six months before most users will be able to use SMIL technology, the announcement by W3C-director Berners-Lee will certainly work as a catalyst for the standard's industrial integration into various Web-based products", says Dick Bulterman, leader of CWI's Multimedia and Human-Computer Interaction group. CWI plans to make its player and authoring systems available to early SMIL adopters and general users. CWI's effort for SMIL was funded in part by the ESPRIT-IV project CHAMELEON.

For more information:
Dick Bulterman, tel. +31 20 592 4147, e-mail: Dick.Bulterman@cwi.nl
and at the Web sites: http://w3c.org/
http://www.cwi.nl/SMIL
http://www.w3.org/TR/1998/REC-smil/