SMIL Boston

Sally Khudairi (
Tue, 3 Aug 1999 10:30:24 -0400

I guess the name game must be getting challenging...

>World Wide Web Consortium Issues First Working Draft of SMIL Boston
>Next version of XML-based multimedia language features reusable modules,
>generic animation, improved interactivity and TV integration
>This document:
>SMIL Boston Working Draft
>W3C Contacts:
>Janet Daly, <>, +1.617.253.5884
>Europe: Ned Mitchell, <>, +; or Andrew
>Lloyd,<>, +
>Asia: Yuko Watanabe, <>, +81.466.49.1170
> -- 3 August 1999 -- Leading the Web to its full
>potential, the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) today releases the first
>public working draft of Synchronized Multimedia Integration Language
>(SMIL, pronounced "smile"), known as SMIL Boston.
>SMIL Boston builds upon the W3C SMIL 1.0 Recommendation, and adds
>important extensions, including reusable modules, generic animation,
>improved interactivity, and TV integration, all written in the
>Extensible Markup Language (XML).
>By publishing this working draft at an early stage of the work on SMIL
>Boston, W3C is ensuring that the public can follow developments, and
>that the final result may be widely accepted and adopted. Following W3C
>practice, the Synchronized Multimedia (SYMM) Working Group provides a
>public mailing list ( for comments in addition to the
>feedback channels defined by the W3C Process.
>SMIL Boston Delivers Multimedia Presentation Power to the Web, Carries
>Industry Support
>SMIL 1.0 enables authors to bring TV-like content to the Web, avoiding
>the limitations of traditional television and lowering the required
>Internet bandwidth for this type of content. With SMIL, producing
>audio-visual presentations for the Web is easy, since it can be done
>using a simple text editor, and does not require learning a programming
>The SMIL Boston Working Draft proposes several extensions to SMIL 1.0,
>such as integration with TV broadcasts, animation functionality,
>improved support for navigation of timed presentations, and the ability
>to integrate SMIL markup in other XML-based languages. These extensions
>are based on the feedback received from authors, implementors and others
>using the SMIL 1.0 infrastructure existing today.
>Current members of the W3C Working Group working on SMIL are key
>international industry players in Web multimedia, interactive television
>and audio/video streaming. In alphabetical order, they are: Canon,
>Compaq, CSELT, CWI/Oratrix, France Telecom, Gateway, GLOCOM, INRIA,
>Intel, Macromedia, Microsoft, NIST, Panasonic, Philips and RealNetworks.
>SMIL Boston Modules Enable Integration with other XML-based Languages
>Designing the syntax and semantics of a markup language requires
>significant time and effort. Fortunately, designers of other XML-based
>languages are able take full advantage of SMIL Boston, as it is designed
>as a set of reusable modules. With SMIL Boston, language designers can
>for example add timing information to Extensible HyperText Markup
>Language (XHTML) and Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG), simply by importing
>the SMIL Boston Timing and Synchronization module, rather than building
>timing models and syntax from scratch.
>SMIL Boston Enables Creation of Animations in XML
>Animation is a popular approach to create compelling Web content while
>reducing the download time for a presentation. While the most popular
>form of animation on the Web today is animated GIF, it has several
>limitations. As the animation is encoded in binary format, one needs
>special editing tools to create it. Further, only GIF images can be used
>in the animation- one cannot include a JPEG image, or an XHTML headline,
>or an SVG vector graphics object.
>The SMIL Boston animation module eliminates the limitations found of the
>animated GIF format. Since SMIL Boston modulesnare based on XML,
>animations can be written using a simple text editor. It enables
>animation of any media format, such as JPEG images, PNG images, even
>video clips. The SMIL Boston animation module can also be used to add
>animation capabilities to other XML-based languages, such as XHTML, SVG
>or an XML-based 3D language.
> SMIL Boston Improves Navigation Support
>One of the benefits of SMIL presentations over traditional TV content is
>that users can navigate within the presentation, thereby focusing on the
>parts of the presentation that interests them most. This can be achieved
>by providing a table of contents of the presentation.
>Using SMIL Boston, the table of contents and the content itself can be
>contained in the same SMIL file, rather than being split over several
>files. This simplifies authoring, and reduces delays when users navigate
>through the presentation.
>Another benefit over traditional TV content is that SMIL allows authors
>to include additional content (e.g. background information) on the topic
>of the presentation. In SMIL Boston, optional parts can be contained in
>the same SMIL file as the main presentation. This allows the user to
>access optional content without interrupting the main presentation.
>SMIL Boston Integrates Multimedia Objects with TV Broadcast
>Future digital television broadcasts are to use very similar techniques
>as today's SMIL presentations. Rather than broadcasting audio and video
>signals only, digital TV broadcasts may consist of a combination of
>images, text and other media objects that are synchronized at the
>SMIL Boston has been designed for integrating multimedia objects into
>digital television broadcasts. SMIL Boston authors can schedule media
>objects to appear at certain points in time, and can write SMIL
>presentations in which parts are activated by a signal sent from the TV
>broadcast station.
>About the World Wide Web Consortium [W3C]
>The W3C was created to lead the Web to its full potential by developing
>common protocols that promote its evolution and ensure its
>interoperability. It is an international industry consortium jointly run
>by the MIT Laboratory for Computer Science (MIT LCS) in the USA, the
>National Institute for Research in Computer Science and Control (INRIA)
>in France and Keio University in Japan. Services provided by the
>Consortium include: a repository of information about the World Wide Web
>for developers and users, sample code implementations to embody and
>promote standards, and various prototype and sample applications to
>demonstrate use of new technology. To date, over 340 organizations are
>Members of the Consortium.
> For more information about the World Wide Web Consortium, see