SMIL 2.0: Interactive Multimedia on the Web

Lloyd Rutledge


SMIL 2.0 specifies interactive multimedia on the Web. It has just been released as a W3C recommendation. It already enjoys substantial support, implemented in such Web browsers as RealNetworks' RealOne and Internet Explorer 6.0. This version of SMIL extends SMIL 1.0, a W3C recommendation since June 1998. SMIL 2.0 is 15 times as large as SMIL 1.0, and defines a family of languages rather than just one language. This tutorial presents SMIL 2.0, tools for it, how to create presentations in it, and how it has currently been adopted by the community at large.

The goal of the tutorial is to explain the concepts that form the basis of the SMIL language and to provide sufficient detail on the language itself so that participants can create their own simple presentations. Participants will also understand the underlying issues of temporal and spatial layout and the complexity of creating links within multimedia. They will also be able to use available tools to play and create SMIL presentations.

Before describing the details of the SMIL 2.0 language, the tutorial first presents an overview of the components required in a hypermedia document description language. The SMIL language includes features for specifying the media items included in a document, referred to with URL's, how these are temporally and spatially related to one another, and how links can be specified within the multimedia environment. Alternates for different data formats for the heterogeneous web environment are also provided.

The tutorial is intended for content developers who have created HTML documents or have used tools such as Macromedia Director or Authorware. Multimedia designers, web-page creators, creators of interface prototypes such as user interface designers, human factors practitioners and industrial designers will also benefit from this course.

Presenter biography

Lloyd Rutledge is a researcher at CWI, the Dutch national center for computer and mathematics research. His research involves adaptable and semi-automatically generated hypermedia. He received his Sc.D. from the University of Massachusetts Lowell, where he worked with the HyTime hypermedia standard. Dr. Rutledge is a member of the W3C working group that developed SMIL. He is also co-author of "SMIL: Interactive Multimedia on the Web", to be published in May by Pearson Education.

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