The World Wide Web Consortium recently announced the publication of Synchronized Multimedia Integration Language (SMIL) 2.0 as a W3C Recommendation, reflecting the director's judgment that the specification "has significant support for a technical report from the Advisory Committee, the Team, W3C Working groups, and the public; SMIL 2.0 is a stable document and may be used as reference material or cited as a normative reference from another document." The SMIL 2.0 specification defines an XML-based language that authors can use to write interactive multimedia presentations. Version 2.0 includes approximately one hundred predefined transition effects, and support for hierarchical layout and animation. In addition to full incorporation of the successful SMIL 1.0 features, SMIL 2.0 Modules provide functionalities including animation; content control; layout; linking; media objects; metainformation; structure; timing and synchronization; time manipulations; and transition effects. This gives authors the ability to create sophisticated animation, event-based interaction with a presentation, and graceful transition effects." Two design goals have been followed: (1) providing an XML-based language that allows authors to describe the temporal behavior of a multimedia presentation, associate hyperlinks with media objects and describe the layout of the presentation on a screen. (2) allowing re-use of SMIL syntax and semantics in other XML-based languages, in particular those who need to represent timing and synchronization. For example, SMIL 2.0 components are used for integrating timing into XHTML and into SVG. The strategy adopted in SMIL 2.0 for integrating its functionality with other XML-based languages is based on the concepts of modularization and profiling."
From the announcement:
By combining individual modules together, the W3C SYMM Working Group defines two SMIL 2.0 profiles. Profiling introduces the ability to tailor an XML-based language to specific needs, e.g. to optimize presentation and interaction for the client's capabilities. One profile is for comprehensive SMIL 2.0 presentations, and another suited to handheld/mobile devices, called SMIL Basic. This gives authors the ability to create presentations which are adaptable to different environments, whether limitations are due to bandwidth or device. Profiling also adds the ability for integrating functionality from other markup languages. The work done to combine Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) with SMIL 2.0 Modules has proven successful, and the early work with combining XHTML modules is promising.
The SMIL 2.0 specification was written and developed by the SYMM Working Group, a unique mix of experts from many divergent industries - CD-ROM manufacturers, Interactive Television, Web, Mobile Communications, and audio/video streaming - all interested in bringing synchronized multimedia to the Web. The W3C SYMM Working Group is comprised of key industry players including Glocomm, IBM, Intel, Macromedia, Microsoft, Netscape/AOL, Nokia, Oratrix, Panasonic, Philips, RealNetworks and WGBH; as well as research and government organizations such as CWI (Centre for Mathematics and Computer Science, the Netherlands), INRIA (Institut National De Recherce en Informatique et en Automatique, France), and NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology, USA). Manufacturers of both SMIL Players and SMIL authoring tools are committed to supporting SMIL 2.0, as evidenced in their testimonials.
- Announcement: "World Wide Web Consortium Issues SMIL 2.0 as a W3C Recommendation. XML Meets Synchronized Multimedia. Accessible and Rich Web Experiences Result."
- Synchronized Multimedia Integration Language (SMIL) 2.0
- SMIL Implementation report
- SMIL 2.0 Press release
- SMIL 2.0 Testimonials - From CWI, Daisy Consortium, IBM, INRIA, Intel, Microsoft, Nokia, Inc., Oratrix, Panasonic, and RealNetworks.
- W3C Synchronized Multimedia web site
- "Synchronized Multimedia Integration Language (SMIL)" - Main reference page.